HOLIDAY HOURS: The offices of the Metropolitan Washington Council and the Community Services Agency will be closed on Monday, July 5, in observance of the July 4 federal holiday. The office will re-open on Tuesday, July 6. Union City will not publish on Monday and will resume publication on Tuesday, July 6.
NURSES JOIN TEAMSTERS ON DAYCON PICKETLINE: "We're here today out of solidarity, pure and simple," DC Nurses Association Executive Director Herman Brown, Jr. said yesterday morning as he and other DCNA members walked the picket line at Daycon. "We don't like management treating people wrong, whether it's Teamsters or nurses." Blowing whistles and jeering "scab" at Daycon truck drivers, the nurses joined the Teamsters 639 members as they chanted "What do we want? Contract!" Said Sandra Falwell, a nurse at Children's Hospital and Metro Council Executive Board member, "We want the Daycon workers to know they're not alone, and to send a clear message to employers everywhere that we're out here and will do what we must to help the workers win." The DCNA contract covering nurses at Children's expires next year and DCNA has been supporting efforts by Nurses United to win a contract at the Washington Hospital Center next door to Children's. "The Teamsters walked with nurses at Washington Hospital recently, so we wanted to show our support for them," said DCNA VP Margaret Shanks, a shop steward at Children's. Ten weeks into the strike against Daycon, a local cleaning supplies company, "morale is still high," Eugene Brown - a Teamsters 639 shop steward at Daycon - told Union City. "We not going back until Daycon returns to the bargaining table; we're holding strong. We have unity out here while inside they have mayhem." After walking the line, DCNA's Herman Brown and Shirley Jackson - a nurse at the DC Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency program - presented strike support checks to the Teamsters. "Every contribution helps," said Local 639's Doug Webber, "Thanks for being here and for the support!" - Chris Garlock; photo by Boaz Young-El, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
DC WORKERS FIGHT FOR JOBS AT CITY HEARING: Workers battled business lobbyists in a major throw-down over jobs at DC City Council yesterday. "City Council needs to get serious about enforcing legislation that provides DC residents with jobs and training," challenged Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO Executive Board member and DC COPE Chair Fred Allen, "First source has been on the books for twenty years but has not been enforced." Dozens of District residents and community allies traded volleys with suited business lobbyists at yesterday's Council hearing on the Employment and Trade Stimulus Amendment Act. While supporters said the bill would provide more jobs, training opportunities and fair labor standards for District residents, business lobbyists gloomily predicted economic catastrophe. “The apprenticeship programs connected to the project labor agreements (PLA) will provide DC residents with career opportunities that are transferable to any state - it is not just a job but a career,” argued Jeff Grabaski. "PLAs can be used as a vehicle to enforce the first source law and get DC residents back to work," added building trades attorney Gerry Waites. Meanwhile, Councilmember Michael Brown (I-At Large) - who introduced the bill -- criticized Mayor Fenty as a no-show in the debate; Fenty failed to send any representatives to the hearing.– Ryan Carty, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern; photo courtesy DailyMe
INSPIRING & MOBILIZING DC NURSES: Area nurses were "inspired and mobilized" by a labor relations seminar conducted last week by the DC Nurses Association. Thirty DCNA local leaders gathered for the annual training session led by Edward J. Smith, the union's staff attorney. "It was our most active labor relations seminar in years," Smith told Union City, noting that in addition to sessions on grievance procedures, collective bargaining and strategies for effectively addressing worksite problems, the training included well-received presentations by the Community Services Agency (CSA) and the Metro Washington Council. CSA's McKirchy outlined the agency's role in helping improve the lives of area workers by protecting workers rights, building coalitions and addressing social services needs, while Metro Council President Jos Williams focused on the role of workers in local politics, governance issues and the need for workers to be involved in transforming the city. DC labor-endorsed mayoral candidate Vincent Gray (center) -- who has an extensive background in DC social services -- also addressed the nurses, speaking on healthcare issues; DCNA had previously announced their endorsement of Gray on May 28. The session left participants feeling "mobilized and zealous to continue to push for major political changes in the District of Columbia," added Smith. - Lizet Ramirez, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern; photo courtesy Ed Smith
CORRECTION: Emma Goldman was born on June 27, not June 30, as reported in yesterday’s Union City. Kudos to Sarah Heydemann and Kris Warner for catching the error.
TODAY'S LABOR HISTORY: Steel workers in Cleveland begin what was to be an 88-week strike against wage cuts (1885); Homestead, Pennsylvania steel strike. Seven strikers and three Pinkertons killed as Andrew Carnegie hires armed thugs to protect strikebreakers (1892); The Amalgamated Assn. of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers stages what is to become an unsuccessful three-month strike against U.S. Steel Corp. Subsidiaries (1901); One million railway shopmen strike (1922); Some 1,100 streetcar workers strike in New Orleans, spurring the creation of the po’ boy sandwich by a local sandwich shop owner and one-time streetcar man. "Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming," Bennie Martin later recalled, "one of us would say, ‘Here comes another poor boy.’" Martin and his wife fed any striker who showed up (1929); Nat'l Assn. of Post Office & General Service Maintenance Employees, United Fed. of Postal Clerks, Nat'l Fed. of Post Office Motor Vehicle Employees & Nat'l Assn. of Special Delivery Messengers merge to become American Postal Workers Union (1971); International Jewelry Workers Union merges with Service Employees International Union (1980); Graphic Arts International Union merges with International Printing & Graphic Communications Union to become Graphic Communications International Union, now a conference of the Teamsters (1983); Copper miners begin a years-long long, bitter strike against Phelps-Dodge in Clifton, Ariz. Republican Gov. Bruce Babbitt repeatedly deployed state police and National Guardsmen to assist the company over the course of the strike, which broke the union (1983); Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union merges with International Ladies' Garment Workers Union to form Union of Needletrades, Industrial & Textile Employees (1995); International Chemical Workers Union merges with United Food & Commercial Workers Int'l Union (1996); The Newspaper Guild merges with Communications Workers of America (1997); United American Nurses affiliate with the AFL-CIO (2001); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo: a portion of a 40-ft mural in the now boarded-up USWA Local 616 union hall in Clifton, Arizona. The mural - "American Labor: Fortitude, Pride, Honor" - was painted by David Tineo and Tomas War Cloud during the 1983-1986 strike against Phelps Dodge. The man pulling the chain and the woman standing beside him symbolize unity against Phelps Dodge and The Arizona State Troopers trying to break the spirit of the families on strike.
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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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