POLITICAL ACTION DOMINATES JUNE COUNCIL MEETING: Political action dominated the agenda at Monday’s Metro Council Executive Board and delegate meetings. After spirited discussion of the candidate endorsement recommendations by the DC, Prince George’s and Tri-County COPE committees, both bodies voted to meet again in special session on Monday, July 19 for the sole purpose of finalizing the Council’s endorsements. Please save the date: details on time, location and the specific COPE recommendations will follow. The Council did make endorsements in Tri-County and also voted to take “no position” in DC’s Ward 1 race, and to recommend Mary Cheh in the DC Ward 3 race; CLICK HERE for the complete list of endorsements. Action on all other endorsements was tabled until the July 19 meeting. Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D, MD, above), made a special appearance at the delegate meeting, where she reiterated her “strong support for the right of workers to organize,” as well as her solidarity with “government workers at all levels who are being targeted” during the current economic crisis. “Workers cannot afford another two decades like the last,” Edwards told the Council delegates, “we have nothing left to give; we’re at rock bottom.” Edwards called labor “my backbone” and urged union support for political leaders “who are willing to stand up and fight for you, not just vote right.” Other reports included updates on the ongoing Teamsters 9-week strike at Daycon, the upcoming vote by Nurses United to reject the contract offer from the Washington Hospital Center, the July 9 Labor Night at the Nats and a June 30 DC City Council hearing on the Employment Stimulus Bill. Watch Union City and the Council’s websitefor full details on these and other upcoming local labor news and events. - Chris Garlock; photo by Adam Wright
HILTON WORKERS TO RALLY AGAINST UNION-BUSTING TODAY: Workers at the Hilton Crystal City in Northern Virginia continue their two-and-a-half-year struggle at 4:30P today. The hotel workers have been fighting to maintain decent wages, benefits and workplace rights and will rally to stop hotel owner Columbia Sussex Corporation's union-busting tactics during bargaining. The UNITE HERE members have been working without a contract since October 2007. Call 703-344-4778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. - photo: Hilton workers rally in Northern Virginia in September 2009; photo by Adam Wright
AREA BROADCAST WORKERS PULL OFF DOUBLE-PLAY: Workers at Montgomery Community Television - members of NABET Local 31 - overwhelmingly ratified a 3-year contract earlier this month; the vote was 13-0. NABET 31 also just negotiated a “ground breaking agreement” with ABC that will add over 3,700 “man days” for local union members. “When ESPN’s popular weekday programs, Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn, begin broadcasting in High-Definition this fall,” reports NABET 31 President James Carl Mayers, “the studio and control room crews, editors, and other workers will be represented by NABET-CWA.” Both shows were previously produced at a non-union shop. Mayers calls the agreement, which was signed on May 28, “represents a major opportunity for work for NABET-CWA represented employees at the ABC News Bureau Washington” and credited Sector President Jim Joyce for his role in securing the agreement.
JUFJ'S "THINKING JEWISHLY": 2010 Labor On The Bimah: Jews United For Justice's annual Labor on the Bimah programis back, focusing this year on restaurant worker justice. Part of the Interfaith Worker Justice's Labor in the Pulpit/Bimah/Minbar, the program weaves together labor issues, social justice, and Judaism in an effort to bring meaning and reflection back into Labor Day. "We will be working closely with the Restaurant Opportunities Center-DCand Interfaith Worker Justiceto address problems such as low wages, wage theft, racial and gender discrimination, and a lack of health insurance and paid sick leave that occur in the restaurant industry," say event organizers. "As always, volunteers are critical to the growing success of Labor on the Bimah, especially as we work to break last year's record participation of 45 congregations!" People interested in volunteering or connecting your religious community with Labor on the Bimah/Pulpit/Minbar should email Jessie Posilkin, Labor on the Bimah coordinator, at email@example.com. - Robin Metalitz, Jews United for Justice
TODAY'S LABOR HISTORY: Charles Moyer, president of the Western Federation of Miners, goes to Butte, Mont. in an attempt to mediate a conflict between factions of the miner’s local there. It didn’t go well. Gunfight in the union hall killed one man; Moyer and other union officers left the building, which was then leveled in a dynamite blast (1914); Congress overrides President Harry Truman's veto of the anti-worker Taft-Hartley Act. The law weakened unions and let states exempt themselves from union requirements. Twenty states immediately enacted open shop laws and two more did so later (1947); OSHA issues standard on cotton dust to protect 600,000 workers from byssinosis, also known as "brown lung" (1978); The newly-formed Jobs With Justice stages its first big support action, backing 3,000 picketing Eastern Airlines mechanics at Miami Airport (1987); A majority of the 5,000 textile workers at six Fieldcrest Cannon textile plants in Kannapolis, N.C., vote for union representation after an historic 25-year fight (1999); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo (l-r): Charles Moyer, Bill Haywood, and George Pettibone; photo courtesy Independence Hall Association
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