Arthur Z. Schwartz, Attorney and Board President
“All too many people get involved are doing it because they’re saying there’s something in it for numero uno. But there are lots of people who are in it for the right reasons. And if you had to pick someone who symbolizes that it would be Arthur Schwartz. Whenever anyone calls on Arthur to do something good, he’s there and he doesn’t ask what’s in it for him and he doesn’t ask how much money there is. He just does it. And you know, when you think about it, he is the kind of person who – we use the word with a lot of cliché – but he truly is a great American. It’s helping the union movement live up to its ideals and getting fair benefits for people who work hard, who are just working to feed themselves and their families, and to have a little dignity in their work. It’s standing up for causes that we know are right, but there is almost no chance of winning. He’s the man… One of the nice things about running for office is you meet a lot of people you really like, and the bonds stay. Arthur has been one of those people. I don’t think I’m the only one who just says to themselves, “I’m lucky I know that guy!”” – Sen. Charles Schumer (March 2003)
Arthur Schwartz, a 1974 graduate of Columbia University, who attended Hofstra Law School, has been representing unions and workers for over 30 years and is one of New York City’s top labor lawyers.(1) Mr. Schwartz has worked as general Counsel for the Transit Workers Union (9) and has been counsel to DC 37’s largest blue collar locals (10) for many years. He has served also as General Counsel to Local 1-2 Utility Workers of America at Con Edison, to the Transport Workers Union at National Grid, and the Professional Staff Congress of CUNY. He has also worked as counsel to Local 32B-32J, SEIU, the Emergency Medical Service Workers Union, Teamsters Local 237, and Local 1182 (7) of the Communications Workers, which represents Traffic Enforcement Officers.
Arthur has achieved many important victories for unions and union members in State (3). and Federal court, at arbitration and in administrative proceedings. He has won landmark whistle blower cases (6), employment discrimination cases, Equal Pay Act cases, public employee free speech cases (5), and other federal and state law civil rights cases after trial. Arthur has successfully litigated pension fund cases (4) and he has handled hundreds of arbitrations regarding various contractual and disciplinary disputes. He has also specialized in addressing workplace safety, having litigated over 40 OSHA cases, and handled numerous matters involving worker exposure to toxins, like asbestos, in the workplace.
Arthur has worked representing his community as well. He has litigated cases which brought ball fields to Hudson River Park’s Pier 40, stopped the construction of a Costco on 14th Street (getting a Y instead), stopped the closing of token booths citywide, and stopped a fare increase. He has organized his neighbors to win millions of dollars to renovate local parks and playgrounds and to build Hudson River Park. He has served on Community Board 2 for 20 years, and has been an elected Democratic District Leader or State Committee Member for Greenwich Village, Soho, Tribeca and Northern Battery Park City for the past 15 years. After 9/11 he represented severely injured survivors of the World Trade Center collapse in making claims to the Victim’s Compensation Fund. He is a vigorous and forceful leader who believes in holding the feet of government officials to the fire.(2)
From 2009 to 2010 he worked as General Counsel to the nationwide Community Organizing group ACORN, and presently represents New York Communities for Change (8). In 2010 he founded Advocates for Justice in order to provide new resources to people’s efforts to use the Courts to address inequality in America. Arthur is admitted to the Bar in the States of New York and Pennsylvania, of the District of Columbia, and of the United States Supreme Court.
More about Arthur:
1. NY Times: Lawyer Prescribes: Shake Before Helping http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9402E5DA1F38F936A35751C0A96F958260
2. WestView: Arthur Z. Schwartz: A West Village Original http://www.westviewnews.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=427&catid=47%3Awest-village-originals&Itemid=175&reset-settings
3. NY City Transit Authority v. Transport Workers Union: http://www.law.cornell.edu/nyctap/I05_0158.htm
4. Katsaros v. Cody (US Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit) http://openjurist.org/744/f2d/270/katsaros-v-cody
5. Clue v. NYC Transit Authority (US Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit) http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/F3/179/179.F3d.57.97-9564.97-9522.html
6. NY Times: Con Ed Loses Its Fight On Dismissed Worker, http://www.nytimes.com/1982/03/14/nyregion/con-ed-loses-its-fight-on-dismissed-worker.html
7. Website: http://www.cwalocal1182.org/
8. Website: www.nycommunities.org
9. Website: http://www.twulocal100.org/
10. Local 983 Motor Vehicle Operators website: http://www.dc37.net/about/locals/local983.html
Local 376 NYC Construction Laborers, Highway repairers and Watershed Maintainers website: http://www.dc37.net/about/locals/local376.html