Friday, July 9, 2010 MOE IS LESS AT LOCAL EATERY: Restaurateur Moe Hamdan (below, at left) used his new upscale DC eatery as his own personal piggy bank while leaving workers empty-handed, say former employees of The Reserve. According to one former manager who requested anonymity, Hamdan - who's the target of a demonstration by former workers and their supporters today at 5P - repeatedly "used workers wages for his own private expenses" while short-changing or not paying employees. Workers came to DC Jobs for Justice for help after not being paid for six months by Hamdan, who they say owes them over $10,000. "I worked really hard as a bar boy at this restaurant," says former Reserve employee Luis Ducas, "and the owner refuses to pay me my back wages." D.C. Jobs for Justice's Arturo Griffiths says Hamdan "owes more than just these workers" with another $15,000 in claims, for a total of at least $25,000 in unpaid wages. Hamdan "has no intentions of paying his workers or even meeting with them" says the former manager, "he is unethical, immoral, and has no remorse for what he has done." - Boaz Young-El, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern; photo courtesy The Reserve website
UNION NATS FANS: WEAR YOUR COLORS, BRING A TOY: "Don't forget to wear your union colors at tonight's Labor Night at the Nats," says Community Services Agency Executive Director Kathleen McKirchy. Union City will be roaming the stands shooting photos for special online Labor Night at the Nats photo album. "Plus, bring along a new toy, unwrapped, for the Nats' Toys for Tots drive," McKirchy adds. The presents will be collected at the ballpark gates. - photo: OPEIU Local 2 member Renee Barnes - who works at AFSCME International and is pictured in 2008 - will once again perform the National Anthem at tonight’s game; photo by Chris Garlock
UFCW 400 FEEDS DAYCON STRUGGLE: As their strike stretched into its 11 week and temperatures soared, striking Daycon workers got some relief on Thursday when UFCW Local 400 President Tom McNutt sent over lunch and cold drinks. "We've got to help them keep their struggle alive," said UFCW Local 400 Director of Strategic Growth Jim Hepner, who - along with other Local 400 staff - walked the picket line while the strikers enjoyed their lunch in the shade. The strikers are continuing their picketing as they await the result of a meeting with management next week in the wake of last week's favorable ruling from the NLRB. - photo by Jim Hepner
NPO MUSICIANS INK NEW CONTRACT: National Philharmonic Orchestra musicians finalized a new contract on June 28 that provides for wage increases, annual bonuses and increased pension payouts over the life of the three-year contract. AFM Local 161-710 President John Cusick praised the local's NPO bargaining committee "for crafting a compromise that shows concrete progress on wages despite the stagnant economy." Orchestra members also received contract upgrades that, among other clauses, included coverage for religious holidays. "Talks were cordial," added Cusick, "and we did well to work cooperatively with management to find solutions that benefited the musicians." - Joseph Daniels, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
LOCAL UNION MEMBER STANDS IN FOR AMERICA'S LAID-OFF WORKERS: "From the Panera bakery in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, Carlita Guzman can gaze across the street at Lee Plaza, the 10-storey art deco building where she used to clean office suites every evening," wrote James Politi in the July 2 edition of The Financial Times. Guzman, an SEIU 32BJ member, has been out of work since early April, "after the building's owner selected a new contractor to provide janitorial services," The Times article continues. "Although the position was only part-time, it paid relatively well - $10.50 an hour - and offered benefits such as prescription drug coverage. The income was crucial to her family's balance sheet, since her husband's occasional work as an electrician is not a reliable source of cash. The couple have three children to support, as well as a $1,450 per month mortgage payment for their home in nearby Hyattsville." Politi's report details how the "Jobless pay price for Washington's legislative stalemate" as attempts to extend jobless benefits are stymied by Republicans in Congress. Click herefor the complete Financial Times report (available with free registration) and herefor Union City's report on SEIU 32BJ's ongoing campaignto expose how Lee Development Group's Cleaning Contractor is breaking the law.
NEXT WEEK’S LABOR CALENDAR: - WEEKDAYS:Walk The Line With Striking Daycon Workers!: Walk the picketline in solidarity with Daycon workers - represented by Teamsters Local 639 - who have been on strike since April 26. 8A, 16001 Trade Zone Ave, Upper Marlboro. - MONDAY:DC City Council Hearing On Immigrant Rights: Show your support for immigrant rights legislation at a DC City Council hearing on the Secure Communities Act of 2010. 4P, John Wilson Building (Room 500). - FRIDAY:Labor On The Air: Get the latest local labor news updates with Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO President Joslyn Williams. 9:45A, WPFW 89.3 FM. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to notify us of other upcoming labor events! - photo: SEIU 32BJ DC Capital Area Director Jaime Contreras was joined by community allies and immigrant rights activists at an April press conference outside the DC City Council condemning Arizona’s passage of “anti-immigration” laws; photo by Adam Wright
WEEKEND LABOR HISTORY: The worst rail accident in U.S. history occurred when two trains pulled by 80-ton locomotives collided head-on at Dutchman’s curve in west Nashville, Tenn. 101 people died, another 171 were injured (7/9/1918); New England Telephone "girls" strike for seven-hour workday, $27 weekly pay after four years' service (7/9/1923); New York City subway system managers in the Bronx attempt to make cleaning crews on the IRT line work faster by forcing the use of a 14-inch squeegee instead of the customary 10-inch tool. Six workers are fired for insubordination; a two-day walkout by the Transport Workers Union wins reversal of the directive and the workers’ reinstatement (7/9/1935); United Packinghouse, Food & Allied Workers merge with Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen (7/9/1968); Five thousand demonstrators rally at the state capitol in Columbia, S.C. in support of the "Charleston Five" (l), labor activists charged with felony rioting during a police attack on a 2000 longshoremen's picket of a non-union crew unloading a ship (7/9/2001); Mary McLeod Bethune, educator and civil rights activist, born (7/10/1875); 14,000 federal and state troops finally succeed in putting down the strike against the Pullman Palace Car Co., which had been peaceful until July 5, when federal troops intervened in Chicago, against the repeated protests of the Governor and Chicago’s mayor. Some 34 American Raily Union members were killed by troops over the course of the strike (7/10/1894); A powerful explosion rips through the Rolling Mill coal mine in Johnstown, Pa., killing 112 miners, 83 of whom were immigrants from Poland and Slovakia (7/10/1902); The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce holds a mass meeting of more than 2,000 merchants to organize what was to become a frontal assault on union strength and the closed shop. The failure of wages to keep up with inflation after the 1906 earthquake had spurred multiple strikes in the city (7/10/1916); Sidney Hillman dies at age 59. He led the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, was a key figure in the founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and was a close advisor to Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt (7/10/1946); Striking coal miners in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho dynamite barracks housing Pinkerton management thugs (7/11/1892); A nine-year strike, the longest in the history of the United Auto Workers, began at the Ohio Crankshaft Division of Park-Ohio Industries Inc. in Cuyahoga Heights, Ohio. Despite scabs, arrests and firings, UAW Local 91 members hung tough and in 1992 won a fair contract (7/11/1983); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo: the "Charleston Five"; photo courtesy ILCA
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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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