Arthur Schwartz is a Principal Attorney at Advocates for Justice Chartered Attorneys. Mr. Schwartz has been representing unions, workers, and Lower Manhattan community residents for over 32 years. He is widely recognized as one of New York City’s top labor and employment lawyers.
Mr. Schwartz has worked as General Counsel to numerous labor organizations, including Transport Workers Union of Greater New York (Local 100), Utility Workers Union of America, Local 1-2 Utility Workers of America at Con Edison, Transport Workers Union Local 101 at National Grid, and Professional Staff Congress of CUNY. He also served as counsel to DC 37′s largest blue-collar locals for many years (where he played a major role at exposing corruption in 1998), Local 32B-32J, SEIU, Emergency Medical Service Workers Union, Teamsters Local 237 (representing elevator mechanics), Local 1182 of the Communications Workers (representing Traffic Enforcement Officers), numerous locals of the American Postal Workers Union, and the Northeast Regional Joint Board of UNITE (the garment workers union). 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. Mr. Schwartz has achieved many important victories for unions and union members in state and federal court, in administrative proceedings and in arbitration.
Mr. Schwartz has also won landmark cases in several other areas of workers’ rights: whistleblower protections, employment discrimination, Equal Pay Act, public employee free speech, union democracy, federal and state civil rights, and pension funds. He has reached a verdict in more than twenty jury trials, has argued over fifty cases in the appellate courts, and 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.
Mr. Schwartz has also represented his community, both as a lawyer and as a citizen activist. He has litigated cases that brought ball fields to Hudson River Park’s Pier 40, stopped the construction of a Costco on 14th Street (getting a YMCA instead), and stopped the closing of subway system token booths citywide. He was also part of teams that stopped a subway fare increase, successfully sued to bring about fair voting procedures in charter school controversies, and represented parents challenging the appointment of Catherine Black to be Schools Chancellor by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He has organized his neighbors to win millions of dollars to renovate local parks and playgrounds, build Hudson River Park, and get needed services. In 2001, he represented severely injured survivors of the World Trade Center collapse.
Mr. Schwartz 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. Mr. Schwartz has also served on Manhattan Community Board 2 for 20 years (where he presently chairs the Waterfront Committee) and as 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. He is a vigorous and forceful leader who believes in holding the feet of government officials to the fire.