DAYCON STRIKERS' MESSAGE TAKES FLIGHT: Tourists flocking to the Smithsonian got a taste of American labor history in the making on Friday morning, as striking Daycon workers handed out flyers - which doubled as paper helicopters - about their 6-week struggle with the local cleaning supplies giant. The workers, members of Teamsters Local 639, distributed thousands of flyers to tourists streaming into the Air and Space Museum, urging them to tell the Smithsonian - one of Daycon's major customers - to bring the cleaning supplies company back to the bargaining table. "We out here this morning to drum up some public support for our struggle," said Lynette Burton, who has worked in Daycon's warehouse for over 7 years. "We need help from Daycon's customers and the public to tell our employer to start negotiating with us in good faith." The workers have been on strike since April 26 over an unequal wage scale that the workers say effectively keeps new workers at poverty level wages, among other issues. "Daycon has pushed me into a bad position," Burton told Union City. "They have cut off my health care, frozen my retirement fund, and are attempting to block my access to unemployment." The Community Services Agency is encouraging financial support for the strikers; donations earmarked "IBT Strikers" can be sent to the CSA at 888 16th Street, NW, Suite 520, Washington, DC 20006. Email email@example.com for more information. - report/photo by Adam Wright
"GO FOR IT!" SAY JOB TRAINING GRADS: "The program was a blast and I got a job out of it!" said newly-minted job training graduate David McRae Thursday at the graduation ceremonies for the Prince George's Community College/UCAP Team Builders Green Industry Certification Program. "I like working with my hands," added fellow graduate Traci Phelps (l), "This is something I've never done before and I got a whole lot out of it." One of ten women in the 45-student class, Phelps said "A lot of people doubted we'd make it but we made it," and encouraged other area women to "Go for it!" and take advantage of the program. Prince George's County District 8 council member Tony Knotts keynoted the festivities, along with Sandra Gammons, President/CEO of United Communities Against Poverty, Inc. (UCAP). The Community Service Agency's GSA Building Futures Project is an official partner in the program, providing job development assistance to the students, bringing in guest speakers from the various building trades to give an introduction to the unionized construction industry and funding the student stipends through a contract with the General Services Administration. - report/photo by Yvette De La Cruz
DC UNEMPLOYED WORKERS WIN NEW BENEFITS AND FAVORABLE CHANGES TO UI REGULATIONS: Unemployed workers in the District will see favorable modifications to existing unemployment insurance benefits regulations beginning July 22, thanks to a new Unemployment Insurance (UI) bill recently passed by the DC City Council. The new changes include: a dependent allowance of $15 per child (up to a maximum of $50), training extension benefits for claimants enrolled in a authorized or approved training program, qualification for UI if you resign due to compelling family reasons (domestic violence, spousal relocation, and illness/disability of family member) and extends the appeal deadline from the current 10 days to 15 days and adds an exception for late appeals with evidence of good cause/excusable neglect. For more details or other questions on UI in DC, contact the Metro Council's Claimant Advocacy Program's Tonya Love at firstname.lastname@example.org
TODAY'S LABOR HISTORY: Militia sent to Cripple Creek, Colo., to suppress Western Federation of Miners strike (1904); Sole performance of Pageant of the Paterson (NJ) Strike, created and performed by 1,000 mill workers from the silk industry strike, New York City (1913); Striking textile workers battle police in Gastonia, N.C. Police Chief O.F. Aderholt is accidentally killed by one of his own officers. Six strike leaders are convicted of "conspiracy to murder" and are sentenced to jail for from 5 to 20 years (1929); The Steel Workers Organizing Committee, later to become the United Steel Workers of America, is formed in Pittsburgh (1936); Founding convention of the United Food and Commercial Workers. The merger brought together the Retail Clerks International Union and the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcher Workmen of North America (1979); The United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club announce the formation of a strategic alliance to pursue a joint public policy agenda under the banner of Good Jobs, A Clean Environment, and A Safer World (2006); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo courtesy University of North Carolina
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Published by the Metropolitan Washington Council, an AFL-CIO "Union City" Central Labor Council whose 200 affiliated union locals represent 150,000 area union members. JOSLYN N. WILLIAMS, PRESIDENT.
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