item 4 - Interview with executive members of the Union of United College Employees (UCE) of FIT: Joe Garofalo, Judy Wood, Arthur Levinson, & Juliette Romano, 1994 November 14

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Reference code

US NNFIT SC.FITA.3.20.4.9.4.4

Title

Interview with executive members of the Union of United College Employees (UCE) of FIT: Joe Garofalo, Judy Wood, Arthur Levinson, & Juliette Romano, 1994 November 14

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  • 1994 November 14 (Creation)

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item

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([1933]-2016)

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Joseph Garofalo was a professor of textile science at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC for over 40 years. He was also a trustee and treasurer of the Federal Teachers' Credit Union, as well as treasurer of the United Federation of Teachers.

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(Unknown)

Biographical history

Immigration attorney Judith L. Wood, has championed immigrants' rights for families and has persecuted individuals troughout the world for over 35 years.

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Juliette Romano is a professor in the Career and Internship Center at the Fashion Institute of Technology and is the president of the United College Employees of FIT/SUNY. She was a member of the UCE/FIT negotiating committee and also served as assistant secretary of the executive committee. She served as vice president for contracts and grievances for seven years, and then became the local's executive vice president. Juliette has served as president of her local since 2005.

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Carol Poll was a professor of sociology at FIT and interviewed members of the FIT community for the FIT 50th Anniversary oral history series.

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This is an interview with four executive members of the Union of United College Employees (UCE) at FIT: Joseph Garofalo, Judy Wood, Juliette Romano, and Arthur Levinson. The four begin by explaining their backgrounds and initial involvement with FIT in the 1960s and 1970s. They discuss how difficult it was to get promotions under the administration of Lawrence Bethel, and how the union had to fight for many rights such as faculty status for “non-classroom faculty.” They also discuss the crowded state of the FIT offices before 1976 and the steadying role the union played in such chaos. The four then describe their connections to the NYC labor movement and close relationships with the Central Labor Council and the Municipal Labor Coalition. State and federal connections also played an important role, and Judy Wood describes her active political involvement with councilman Ed Sullivan. The group then mentions their parent organization, the AFL-CIO, and further union connections with the United Federation of Teachers. They take a moment to remember a strike at Radio City Music Hall, and how they convinced a union to pause the strike to facilitate an FIT graduation, kick-starting a long friendship. The group pays homage to Marvin Feldman, an FIT president they found especially supportive. They mention an upcoming negotiation and go one to detail how union negotiations with the school and city work. Finally, the four describe the union’s relationship to students and the creation of the George Levinson Scholarship Fund in fond memory of his legacy.

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Access this recording on YouTube: https://youtu.be/2-OR2bVssSw

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Legacy audio file ID: AOH203

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Archivist's note

Aug 2018: A VHS cassette was found in the library labelled as being this interview. We only have a digitized audio version of this interview. The VHS tape needs to be viewed to confirm whether or not it's the same interview, or something supplemental.
VHS labelled: No. 23

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