Maf Misbah Uddin
Municipal Labor Union in USA
Maf Misbah Uddin, a Bangladeshi American, is a highly educated and talented professional leader who is the President of District Council 37, AFSC ME, Local 1407 in New York and Treasurer of AFSC ME. He has been serving this important position since 2000.
Misbah Uddin was born in a political conscious family on February 16, 1954. His father was a renowned leader from Bengal who was jailed together with Mahatma Gandhi during the non-violence movement against British colonialism.
As a student, Misbah Uddin was very meritorious. He completed his master degree in Mathematics in 1978 from Dhaka University. He obtained another master degree in Demography in 1980 where he stood first in first class.
In 1984, Misbah Uddin obtained a Graduate Teaching Assistantship to study at Ball State University in Indiana. He completed his third master degree in Actuarial Science there in 1986 which is a rare incident.
Misbah Uddin is a very outspoken and organizing person. He lives in Jamaica, New York. In 1988, he joined the City Of New York as an Actuary through immigration sponsorship to work for the City’s five retirement systems. Misbah Uddin became active in union politics and in 1992 became an Executive Board Member of Local 1407 which represents the City’s Accountants, Statisticians, and Actuaries.
In May 2000, Misbah Uddin ran a brilliant campaign and unseated a popular two term incumbent by more than a two to one margin to become President of Local 1407. He gained wide popularity through his ability, skill and sincerity in organizational activities. As a result of this popularity, he was overwhelmingly re-elected in 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2016, he was elected President of the Municipal Workers Union of the United States of America by a wide margin. Misbah Uddin is the only Bangladeshi American in the United States to have been elected President of such an important organization. He is not only proud of his success but also Bangladesh. This has brightened the image of Bangladesh.
In 2001 he was appointed as the Secretary-Treasurer of the District Council 37 Fallen Heroes Fund after the 9/11 tragedy. In 2004, Misbah Uddin was elected as the Treasurer of DC 37, an umbrella organization of 61 unions with 150,000 members and 60,000 retirees, a position he was re-elected in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019. Misbah Uddin is the first minority to have attained one of the most prestigious positions in the New York City Labor movement. He serves DC-37 on the Finance and Asian Heritage committees as chairman and as a Trustee of the Benefit Trust, Health & Security, Annuity, and Education Funds where he helps to manage a $400 million welfare fund.
In September of 2004, he was elected as Vice-Chairman of the Municipal Labor Committee (MLC), a coalition of over 100 unions with over 325,000 members. He was re-elected unopposed again in September 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 as their representative. Through the MLC, he helped negotiate Health and Welfare benefits for all New York City active and retired employees. As chairman of the Asian Heritage Committee he brings forth the Asian contribution and culture to American Society and especially to the entire DC-37 Union Family.
As chairman of the Asian Heritage Committee, he has highlighted Asian contributions and culture in American society and particularly in the DC-37 Union family, which has increased the dignity of Asians among the Americans.
In 2005, Misbah Uddin was elected as an at-large Executive Board member of APALA, AFL-CIO at its Las Vegas Convention. In 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019 Misbah Uddin was appointed to the APALA National Executive Board by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to represent it’s 1.6 million union members. In the 2013 APALA Las Vegas Convention, Misbah Uddin presented a resolution which he authored and passed to give the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) to the Bangladesh Garments Industries. This was a huge achievement for Bangladesh.
In 2008 Misbah Uddin called upon all South Asians in the American labor movement and community leaders to come together in New York City where he formed the Alliance of South Asian American Labor (ASAAL) to empower South Asians in America through education, activism, and participation. Today, ASAAL has thirteen chapters where seven are in the State of New York and a chapter in New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Washington DC. In the last few elections, ASAAL has played an important role in electing progressive and/or South Asian candidates throughout the City and State of New York and beyond.
Through ASAAL political activism and lobbying efforts “School Holidays in New York City’ was announced in 2015 during Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and was incorporated into the New York City Public School System, the largest School System in USA.
Maf Misbah Uddin is conducting important activities for Bangladesh and South Asians including protecting the dignity of the working-class people there.