Friday, July 2, 2010

UNION CITY! 07/02/2010

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Today, July 2 9:45A:
Labor On The Air:
LIVE from the Mott's strike in
upstate New York with Council
Coordinator Chris Garlock

Saturday, July 3 9A:
Independence Day
Celebrations With Labor

Friday, July 2, 2010

HOLIDAY HOURS: The offices of the Metropolitan Washington Council and the Community Services Agency will close AT 3P today and 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.

LAST & FINAL CHANCE FOR NATS TIX: It’s the bottom of the 9th, two outs and two strikes for Labor Night at the Nats tickets. “Today’s your last chance to buy tickets for next week’s annual Labor Night at the Nats,” reports Community Services Agency Executive Director Kathleen McKirchy. “Final ticket purchases must be completed by noon today or you’ll miss out!” Tickets for the July 9th game are $10 per person; order 50 or more to get your local's name on the big screen. AFGE Local 3615 – which bought 600 tickets - will throw the first pitch. The family event - which has raised $5,000 so far - benefits the CSA’s Emergency Assistance Fund, which helps area families in crisis. Click here to download an event flyer; email or call 202-974-8221 to order your tickets before 12P today! – photo: at the 2009 Labor Night at the Nats; photo by Chris Garlock

AREA WORKERS SUPPORT MOTT’S STRIKE: Local grocery workers are supporting a month-old strike in upstate New York. Three hundred workers at Mott’s were forced out on strike last month when the company slashed wages, benefits and undercut retirement security. UFCW Local 400 is supporting their fellow members at UFCW Local 220 in Williamson, NY, by distributing flyers in metro Washington-area grocery stores urging consumers not to buy products made by Mott’s or by Mott’s owner Dr. Pepper/Snapple (DPS). “The plant manager compared us to commodities in the grocery store,” Larry Culver, a 15-year mechanic in the upstate New York facility, told Labor Notes, “and he said we were overpriced.” Meanwhile, the three highest paid executives at DPS doubled their pay between 2007 and 2009 and company stock has rocketed 28% since the most recent earnings announcement in February. Click here for a complete list of boycotted products and here for more on the strike. - Lizet Ramirez, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern

LABOR ON THE MOVE: Heintzman Succeeds George As ATU President: Ronald J. Heintzman (r), executive vice president of the Amalgamated Transit Union for the past year, and a union vice president for seven years before that, took over as ATU’s international president on July 1. The union’s executive board appointed him to succeed Warren S. George, who retired. Heintzman, a former President of ATU Local 757 in Portland, Ore., is the eighth international president in ATU's 117-year history. He takes office as his union and the Transport Workers are in the midst of a major campaign about transit funding, pushing to allow use of U.S.-provided transit aid for operating subsidies in major metro areas. In the DC area, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, among other cities, federal transit dollars may be used only for capital improvements, such as buying new buses or subway cars, but not to pay people to run or maintain them. Heintzman came to the union headquarters after serving as Local 757 president in Portland from 1988-2002. While he was president, the local doubled in size, to more than 5,000 members covered by 23 contracts in Oregon and southwest Washington. To inject humor into bargaining drives -- and draw public attention and support -- he led Local 757 to create “a Disney-like character, Pepper the Greed Fighting Possum, who became a mainstay of union and community activities. The character is widely known and still used today for contract disputes, political events and the like,” said ATU. - Mark Gruenberg, Press Associates Union News Service

DC’S LABOR HISTORY EXPLORED: When labor activists took a walk through downtown Washington recently, it was, unusually, as tourists, not demonstrators. The group of 18 labor lawyers – in town for the annual meeting of the Lawyers Coordinating Committee -- participated in the first-ever DC Labor History Tour, led by Metro Council Union Cities Coordinator Chris Garlock (center). “We’d been intending to put together a walking tour for a few years and the LCC request was just the spark we needed to pull it together,” said Garlock, who, with his dad Jon, a labor historian, has been researching metro-area labor history for the Metro Council’s online DC Labor Map, which also includes DC labor monuments and markers, art, as well as area union headquarters, hotels, restaurants. The June 4 tour started off at the AFL-CIO headquarters, where participants checked out the giant labor-themed tile murals, and proceeded to stops at the 1953 CIO headquarters just off Lafayette Park, the White House – where 18 protestors were arrested in 1989 when they blocked a gate during a protest over deaths of labor leaders in El Salvador – the unionized Hotel Washington, the National Archives (where an envelope once contained some of Joe Hill’s ashes), the WPA-era sculpture depictions of Labor & Trade at the Interstate Commerce Commission and wound up with an extensive personal tour of the Labor Hall of Fame at the Department of Labor with AFGE Local 12 President Alex Bastani. Some of the tour group continued on a bonus leg down to Union Station, passing the Carpenter’s, Teamsters and Letter Carriers headquarters, the unionized Charlie Palmer’s Steak House and concluding at the A. Philip Randolph Memorial and nearby Amtrak Workers Memorial in Union Station. Tour fees totaling $360 were donated to the Community Services Agency’s Emergency Assistance Fund. Click here for a virtual tour of DC’s labor history sites. If you’re interested in participating in the next DC Labor Tour – or organizing one as a fundraiser -- email
- photo by Adam Wright

WEEKEND LABOR HISTORY: President Johnson signs Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, forbidding employers and unions from discriminating on the basis of race, color, gender, nationality, or religion (7/2/1964); Children, employed in the silk mills in Paterson, N.J., went on strike for 11-hour day and 6-day week. A compromise settlement resulted in a 69-hour work work week (7/3/1835); Feminist and labor activist Charlotte Perkins Gilman (r) born in Hartford, Conn. Her landmark study, "Women and Economics", was radical: it called for the financial independence of women and urged a network of child care centers (7/3/1860); Albert Parsons joins the Knights of Labor. He later became an anarchist and was one of the Haymarket martyrs (7/4/1876); AFL dedicates its new Washington, D.C. headquarters building at 9th St. and Massachusetts Ave. NW. The building, still standing, later became headquarters for Plumbers and Pipefitters (7/4/1916); Five newspaper boys from the Baltimore Evening Sun died when the steamer they were on, the Three Rivers, caught fire near Baltimore, Md. They are remembered every year at a West Baltimore cemetary, toasted by former staffers of the now-closed newspaper (7/4/1924); With the Great Depression underway, some 1,320 delegates attended the founding convention of the Unemployed Councils of the U.S.A., organized by the U.S. Communist Party. They demanded passage of unemployment insurance and maternity benefit laws and opposed discrimination by race or sex (7/4/1930); Two primary conventions of the United Nations' International Labor Organization come into force: Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize (7/4/1950); During a strike against the Pullman Palace Car Company, which had drastically reduced wages, buildings constructed for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago's Jackson park were set ablaze, reducing seven to ashes (7/5/1894); Battle of Rincon Hill, San Francisco, in longshore strike. 5,000 strikers fought 1,000 police, scabs and national guardsmen. Two strikers were killed, 109 people injured. The incident led to a General Strike (7/5/1934); National Labor Relations Act, providing workers rights to organize and bargain collectively, passes Congress (7/5/1935); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo courtesy Library of Congress

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Material published in UNION CITY may be freely reproduced by any recipient; please credit the Council as the source.
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. 
Story suggestions, event announcements, campaign reports, Letters to the Editor and other material are welcome, subject to editing for clarity and space, and should be directed to: 
Editor: Chris Garlock
Assistant Editor: Adam Wright
Voice: 202-974-8153
Fax: 202-974-8152

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