Arthur Schwartz, a 1974 graduate of Columbia University, who attended Hofstra Law School, has been representing unions, workers, and Lower Manhattan community residents for over 32 years and is one of New York City’s top labor and employment lawyers. Mr. Schwartz has worked as General Counsel for the Transport Workers Union of Greater New York (Local 100) and the Utility Workers Union of America and has been counsel to DC 37’s largest blue collar locals for many years (where he played a major role at exposing corruption in 1998). He has served as General Counsel to Local 1-2 Utility Workers of America at Con Edison, to Transport Workers Union Local 101 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 (representing elevator mechanics), a Local 1182 of the Communications Workers, which represents Traffic Enforcement Officers, numerous locals of the American Postal Workers Union, and the Northeast Regional Joint Board of UNITE (the garment workers union).
Arthur has achieved many important victories for unions and union members in State. and Federal court, at arbitration and in administrative proceedings. He has won landmark whistle blower cases , employment discrimination cases, Equal Pay Act cases, public employee free speech cases, union democracy cases , other federal and state law civil rights cases, and pension fund cases. He has tied over 20 jury trials to verdict, and has argued over 50 cases in the appellate courts. Arthur has 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, both as a lawyer and as a citizen activist. 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 YMCA instead), stopped the closing of subway system token booths citywide, was part of a team which stopped a subway fare increase, successfully sued to bring about fair voting procedures in charter school controversies, and has represented parents challenging the appointment of Catherine Black to be Schools Chancellor by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He has organized his neighbors to win millions of dollars to renovate local parks and playgrounds and get needed services and to build Hudson River Park. He was a founding member and a long time Board Member of Friends of Hudson River Park and has served three terms as Chair of the Hudson River Park Trust Advisory Council since 2000. He has served on Manhattan Community Board 2 for 20 years (where he presently chairs the Waterfront Committee), 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 . In 2008 he was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention pledged to Barack Obama. In 2001 he represented severely injured survivors of the World Trade Center collapse. He is a vigorous and forceful leader who believes in holding the feet of government officials to the fire.
From 2009 to 2010 he worked as General Counsel to the nationwide Community Organizing group ACORN, and presently represents New York Communities for Change, Pennsylvania’s Action United, the Black Institute, and Jobs With Justice. 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.