Thursday, June 10, 2010 “DON’T CHECK IN, CHECK OUT!” SAY SHERATON WORKERS: Dozens of hotel workers rallied for almost two hours outside the Sheraton Crystal City in Arlington Wednesday afternoon, thumping drums, brandishing signs reading “Boycott this hotel!” and chanting “Don’t check in, check out!” The workers have been struggling for over a year to organize their workplace but have been met with strong opposition from their employer, with workers reporting that they have been repeatedly harassed and intimidated by hotel management. UNITE HERE organizers told Union City that the company recently signed an agreement with the National Labor Relations Board to reinstate fired worker – and outspoken union advocate – Ferdi Lazo (below, at right), who was wrongfully dismissed early last year. “This is an amazing victory for myself and my pro-union coworkers,” Lazo told Union City, “but the fight is far from over. We’re going to keep fighting until we have a free and fair process for organizing.” Vice-Chairman of the Arlington County Board, Chris Zimmerman (below, at left), walked the line with the workers and told Union City, “These hard-working men and women deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and given the wages and working conditions they rightfully deserve.” He added, “When a company like this short-changes its workers, it short-changes Arlington.” Lazo was presented with a symbolic check for $24,800 by the union, Zimmerman and Northern Virginia Area Labor Federation President Dan Duncan (left, at center), representing the lost wages that the hotel will have to pay him per their agreement with the NLRB. “We’re going to stand with these workers until the day they walk through those doors with a union contract,” Duncan told Union City. – report/photos by Adam Wright
FOCUSING ON SOLIDARITY AND YOUTH: Solidarity and youth are the focus tonight in two separate events in the District. Beginning at 5:30P at the AFL-CIO, DC Jobs with Justice will host their 8th annual "I'll Be There" awards honoring individuals and organizations for "exceptional solidarity work in the Metro DC area." Tonight's also the official kickoff for the AFL-CIO's first ever Young Workers Summit, where young union members and workers will meet to "share their concerns, skills and ideas for shaping young workers' role in the union movement-and the movement you want to see for the future." Although registration for the Summit is full, there's a waiting list sign-up hereor watch the AFL-CIO's Blogand Union City for coverage.
GREAT LABOR ARTS EXCHANGE GOES WEST: For the first time in 32 years, the Great Labor Art Exchange (GLAE) will not be held at the National Labor College. Instead, the annual labor creativity gathering - scheduled for June 18-21 -- will take place in Detroit, MI. The three-day festival of concerts and performances, workshops and networking has been timed to lead into the U.S. Social Forum, June 22-26 in Detroit. The Arts Exchange gives union activists a place to learn how to use creativity and the arts to build and enrich the union movement, as well as to show off their own gifts and talents. Click here for details and to register. - photo: at the 2009 Great Labor Arts Exchange; photo by Adam Wright
TODAY'S LABOR HISTORY: Unions legalized in Canada (1872); U.S. Supreme Court rules in Anderson v. Mt. Clemens Pottery Co. that preliminary work activities, where controlled by the employer and performed entirely for the employer's benefit, are properly included as working time. The decision is known as the "portal to portal case" (1946); President Kennedy (r) signs a law mandating equal pay to women who are performing the same jobs as men [Equal Pay Act] (1963); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services.
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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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