On February 13, 2024, Tom Suozzi won a special election to represent New York’s Third Congressional District following former Representative George Santos’ expulsion from the House of Representatives. Suozzi’s victory resulted in no small part from the mobilization and voting efforts of SMART members, who turned out in force to flip the seat from antiunion to pro-worker.

“This sends a message to all: When you bring all unions together, we all win,” Local 28 (New York City and Long Island) wrote on Twitter.

In the weeks leading up to election day, sheet metal and transportation workers joined their union brothers and sisters across the New York labor movement for a massive member-to-member outreach campaign. All told, New York City union members made more than 50,000 calls and knocked on almost 10,000 doors in Queens alone.

“I was honored to endorse Tom Suozzi for Congress in the Third Congressional District on behalf of SMART Sheet Metal Workers Local 28,” said Eric Meslin, Local 28 president and business manager. “As the president and business manager of our union, I place great importance on addressing the concerns that matter to our members. These concerns include improving wages and benefits, apprenticeship programs that provide long-term career opportunities, implementing stricter safety regulations and advocating for fair prevailing wages that have been overlooked for far too long.

SMART members get out the vote for Tom Suozzi.

“Tom Suozzi aligns with our vision and has demonstrated a consistent dedication to fighting for working-class families,” Meslin added. “He understands the challenges faced by our members in Long Island and New York City and has actively supported middle-class jobs that keep pace with the rising cost of living in our region. We firmly believe that Tom Suozzi will champion the needs and interests of our union members, and greatly benefit our community.”

Suozzi had previously served in the same seat before deciding not to run for reelection in 2022 — and during his years representing Queens and Long Island, he consistently consulted SMART-TD and Alt. Vice President/General Chairperson from the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) Anthony Simon on issues that would affect TD members.

“Some legislators have a relationship with labor unions where they feel obligated to reach out to us to explain their vote before or after it is cast. Suozzi treats General Chairperson Simon and our members as valued assets who contribute to him forming his opinion rather than as a voting bloc he needs to pacify or make sure is kept happy,” SMART-TD’s Legislative Department wrote in an article ahead of election day. “Suozzi is a valued partner in our union’s effort to promote safety in transportation, as well as invest in the value we bring to our neighborhoods and the country.”