CAPITOL TOUR STAFF BEGIN HISTORIC PUSH TO UNIONIZE: For the first time in the 134 years since Congress' Capitol Guide Service was created, Congressional tour guides and visitor assistants "began efforts last week to form a union, citing concerns over the management practices at the Capitol Visitor Center," reports Roll Call. "Eighteen CVC employees sent letters Thursday to about 30 Members of Congress and Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, explaining their plans to form a union under the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees." AFSCME Council 26's Executive Director Carl Goldman told Union City that concerns voiced by the workers include "having insufficient access to water, lack of protective clothing during winter, and not being given time on the job to do research, effectively forcing the workers to keep up on Congressional issues and history in their own time." Since the Capitol Visitor Center opened in 2008, the Architect of the Capitol now employs almost 60 guides and over 70 visitor assistants who lead groups of tourists through the Capitol. Click here for the full story. - photo courtesy Antonio Zamora
SHERATON WORKERS TO PICKET WEDNESDAY: Northern Virginia hotel workers – who have been organizing for over a year – will rally outside the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel in Arlington this Wednesday at 4:30P. "After a year of struggle including intimidation, supply shortages, protests, and the firing of a union supporter, the hotel's owner, HEI, has still not accepted the demand for a fair, democratic process for unionizing," says DC Jobs with Justice Lead Organizer Mackenzie Baris. "We're going to keep fighting until our workers get treated with dignity and respect," adds UNITE HERE Organizer Mike Hachey. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. - photo: at the Sheraton workers' rally in July 2009; photo by Adam Wright
LILO GONZALEZ TO HEADLINE "I'LL BE THERE AWARDS": Singer-songwriter Lilo Gonzalez (r) and DC hip-hop artist Head-Roc will provide the entertainment at DC Jobs with Justice's "I'll Be There Awards" this Thursday. "Lilo has been composing and singing for over 20 years," says DC JwJ Organizer Ruth Castel-Branco. "Among his many credits, Lilo won second place for the Latin category of the 1991 Billboard Song Contest with his song 'Forjando un Solo Pueblo' and received the Wammie Award for 'Best Latin Vocalist' for many years." There's still time to sign up as a "Workers' Rights Defender" ($100), Mass Mobilizer ($250), Movement Builder ($500) or Solidarity Superstar ($750). Sponsors will be recognized in the Awards program; the deadline for sponsorships is today at 5P. For more information, or to become a sponsor, email email@example.com or call 202-974-8281. - photo courtesy Takoma Voice
TODAY'S LABOR HISTORY: A battle between the Militia and striking miners at Dunnville, Colo. ended with six union members dead and 15 taken prisoner. Seventy-nine of the strikers were deported to Kansas two days later (1904); Some 35,000 members of the Machinists union begin what is to become a 43-day strike – the largest in airline history – against five carriers. The mechanics and other ground service workers wanted to share in the airlines' substantial profits (1966); The earliest recorded strike by Chinese immigrants to the U.S. occurred when stonemasons brought to San Francisco to build the three-story Parrott granite building - made from Chinese prefabricated blocks - struck for higher pay (1852); New York City drawbridge tenders, in a dispute with the state over pension issues, leave a dozen bridges open, snarling traffic in what the Daily News described as "the biggest traffic snafu in the city's history" (1971); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo: the Brooklyn Bridge comes to a stand-still in 1980 as striking transit workers shut down much of New York City, causing traffic chaos similar to that in 1971; photo courtesy Wired New York
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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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