CEMENT MASONS SEAL BIG CONCRETE DEAL AT NEW COAST GUARD HQ: Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ Local 891 is “One of the first labor unions" to land a contract on the St Elizabeth's project in Southeast DC, reports Business Manager Keith Hickman. The union recently locked down a federal contract to work on the new Coast Guard headquarters at the former site of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. The several-year contract is not only one of the biggest in the local’s history, but “is about the people of DC,” says Hickman, noting that the million-square-foot project will provide work for area residents during the prolonged economic downturn. “This is great news for workers and it's a big deal,” adds Hickman. – report by Boaz Young-El, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern; photo courtesy OPCMIA website
STRASBOURG SET TO PITCH AT LABOR NIGHT AT THE NATS: Now there are two reasons to catch the July 9 Nationals-Giants game: tickets to the third annual Labor Night at the Nats benefit the Community Services Agency and pitching phenom Stephen Strasbourg (l) is currently scheduled to start that night. “It’s going to be a great night at the ballpark,” says CSA Executive Director Kathleen McKirchy, “and there’s still time to get tickets!” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to order. photo courtesy The Washington Post
DC RESIDENT WANTS TO HELP REBUILD HIS COMMUNITY: Larae King-Day is a construction worker, a father, a musician and a lifelong DC resident. He’s also been out of work for two long years. King-Day trained as a construction worker through the GSA Building Futures Project but has had no luck finding steady work. “I thought being a Ward 8 resident would give me preference in hiring, but it hasn’t,” says a frustrated King-Day (r). “Its grim out there for the native Washingtonian.” A glimmer of hope for King-Day is the “District Resident Employment & Trade Stimulus Amendment Act of 2010,” legislation currently before the DC City Council that would require higher standards for employing DC residents on District- subsidized projects. “DC residents should be able to get first priority,” says King-Day, “We live in this community. Why wouldn’t I want to work to rebuild my community, my school, my neighborhood, my street, my sidewalk?” King-Day will testify in support of the legislation at a hearing next Wednesday before the DC City Council. - Essie Ablavsky, Union Summer intern; photo by Ryan McCarty
LABOR PROFILE: Union Summer Intern Jack Arlook Inspired by his urge to make a positive impact on people’s lives in his hometown, Washingtonian Jack Arlook is one of this year’s Union Summer interns at the Metro Washington Council. After graduating from Eckerd College in St Petersburg, FL in 2007 – where he earned a double major in Philosophy and Political Science -- Arlook (l), who comes from a union family, worked as a videographer at the Campaign For America’s Future. Much of his work there was focused on a documentary during the healthcare debate about a patient whose coverage was dropped by her insurance company after she developed lupus. Arlook wanted to participate in the Union Summer program because of its “potential for progressive change” as well as “the great networking opportunities that come with this line of work.” Arlook is looking to take the experiences gained this summer, along with his videography background, to either Chicago or New York as he pursues career opportunities in videography. - report/photo by Boaz Young-El, Union Summer intern
WEEKEND LABOR HISTORY: More than 8,000 people attend the dedication ceremony for The Haymarket Martyrs Monument (r) in Chicago, honoring those framed and executed for the bombing at Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886 (6/25/1893); Fair Labor Standards Act passes Congress, banning child labor and setting the 40-hour work week (6/25/1938); At the urging of black labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, Franklin Roosevelt issues an executive order barring discrimination in defense industries (6/25/1941); Congress passes the Smith-Connally War Labor Disputes Act over Pres. Franklin Roosevelt’s veto. It allows the federal government to seize and operate industries threatened by strikes that would interfere with war production. It was hurriedly created after the third coal strike in seven weeks (6/25/1943); 21 workers are killed when a fireworks factory near Hallett, Okla. explodes (6/25/1985); Decatur, Ill. police pepper-gas workers at A.E. Staley plant gate one year into the company's two and one-half year lockout of Paperworkers Local 7837 (6/25/1994); Members of the American Railway Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, refuse to handle Pullman cars, in solidarity with Pullman strikers. Two dozen strikers were killed over the course of the strike (6/26/1894); The Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the "Wobblies," is founded at a convention in Chicago. The Wobblie motto: "An injury to one is an injury to all." (6/27/1905); Congress passes the National Labor Relations Act, creating the structure for collective bargaining in the United States (6/27/1935) ; A 26-day strike of New York City hotels by 26,000 workers – the first such walkout in 50 years – ends with a five-year contract calling for big wage and benefit gains (6/27/1985) ; A.E. Staley locks out 763 workers in Decatur, Ill. The lockout was to last two and one-half years (6/27/1993). More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. photo courtesy Chicago Independent Media Center; the memorial is in the Waldheim (Forest Home) Cemetery.
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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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