MONTCO WORKERS FIGHT FURLOUGHS WITH YOUTUBE: Montgomery County workers, frustrated at being targeted for layoffs and furloughs, are striking back creatively. "Make a video-serious or funny, in verse or in song-rap, parody, satire or comedy," urges their union, UFCW Local 1994, Municipal & County Government Employees Organization (MCGEO). "Tell the world what you think of Montgomery County's budget process." The union is awarding $600 in prizes and the results will be posted on YouTube. The contestis only open to Local 1994 members. - Jasmine Butler, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
MIRANT WORKERS OK 5-YEAR CONTRACT:IBEW Local 1900members have okayed a new 5-year contract at the Mirant power company. "There were a lot of good things in the contract," says Karl Furbush, Local 1900 business representative. While the Mirant workers won six weeks of vacation after 30 years of service and an additional floating holiday, the new contract did not include lower medical costs for retirees, which was one of the main issues. - Ryan Carty, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
AID WORKERS SEE RED: Red Cross workers and their supporters are bringing their battle for justice to the aid agency's national headquarters on Monday at 1P. Following up on a three-day strike by Red Cross workers in six states in early June, hundreds of delegates to the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU, one of several unions representing Red Cross workers) convention will picket the American Red Cross (ARC) 17th Street headquarters. "The Red Cross is supposed to help people, yet they've unilaterally cut benefits for their own workers and shipped jobs overseas," said OPEIU Local 2 President Dan Dyer. "The Red Cross is putting our precious blood supply at risk and threatening donors, workers and the public. Please join us Monday!"
LABOR PROFILE: Union Summer Intern Jasmine Butler: Eighteen-year-old Jasmine Butler (r) wants to educate you about the labor movement. Just a week into her Union Summer internship at the Metro Washington Council, the Bowie State sophomore already knows that "when you are at a job and employers aren't treating you right," you have a right to organize. Butler learned about the Union Summer program from a fellow church member at Kettering Baptist Church in Prince George's County and was inspired by a presentation on labor history at last week's Union Summer orientation, connecting workers' past and present struggles. A native Washingtonian, Butler studies communications and runs track at Bowie State. The 10-week Union Summer internship is her first paid internship and as she looks forward to her work this summer, she says she looks forward to a wide range of activities with the Council and its affiliates, from journalism with Union City to campaigning in local political races. Whatever Butler does this summer, she says she knows one thing for sure: "I want to be a part of educating more people about the labor movement." -report/photo by Ryan Carty, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
WEEKEND LABOR HISTORY: Union and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph (at left)and others meet with Pres. Roosevelt about a proposed July 1 March on Washington to protest discrimination in war industries. A week later, Roosevelt orders that the industries desegregate (6/18/1941); Eight-hour work day adopted for federal employees (6/19/1912); AFL President Sam Gompers and Secretary of War Newton Baker sign an agreement establishing a three-member board of adjustment to control wages, hours and working conditions for construction workers employed on government projects. The agreement protected union wage and hour standards for the duration of World War I (6/19/1917); The first important sit-down strike in American history is conducted by workers at a General Tire Co. factory in Akron, Ohio. The United Rubber Workers union was founded a year later (6/19/1934); The Women’s Day Massacre in Youngstown, Ohio, when police use tear gas on the women and children, including at least one infant in his mother's arms, during a strike at Republic Steel. One union organizer later recalled, "When I got there I thought the Great War had started over again. Gas was flying all over the place and shots flying and flares going up and it was the first time I had ever seen anything like it in my life..." (6/19/1937); ILWU begins a four day general strike in sugar, pineapple, and longshore to protest convictions under the anti-communist Smith Act of seven activists, "the Hawai’i Seven." The convictions were later overturned by a federal appeals court (6/19/1953); The American Railway Union, headed by Eugene Debs, is founded. In the Pullman strike a year later, the union was defeated by federal injunctions and troops, and Debs was imprisoned for violating the injunctions (6/20/1893); Henry Ford recognizes the United Auto Workers, signs contract for workers at River Rouge plant (6/20/1941); Striking African American auto workers are attacked by KKK, National Workers League, and armed white workers at Belle Isle amusement park in Detroit. Two days of riots follow, 34 people are killed, more than 1,300 arrested (6/20/1943); The Taft-Hartley Labor Management Relations Act, curbing strikes, is vetoed by President Harry S Truman. The veto was overridden three days later by a Republican-controlled Congress (6/20/1947); Oil began traveling through the Alaska pipline. Seventy thousand people worked on building the pipeline, history's largest privately-financed construction project (6/20/1977); Evelyn Dubrow, described by the New York Times as organized labor's most prominent lobbyist at the time of its greatest power, dies at age 95. The International Ladies' Garment Workers Union lobbyist once told the Times that "she trudged so many miles around Capitol Hill that she wore out 24 pairs of her Size 4 shoes each year." She retired at age 86 (6/20/2006); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration
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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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