FISH FRY HELPS USDA LOCAL BUILD MEMBERSHIP: Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch wasn’t at the USDA last Wednesday. Members of AFSCME 3925 -- which represents the USDA Farm Services and Risk Management Agency’s employees -- enjoyed a free fish fry, as did their colleagues who signed up for the union that day. As part of the membership promotion, which Local 3925 president Trina Liddell said drew “A good turnout,” the local also held a raffle, which raised over $300 for the Community Services Agency; winners received gas cards, movie tickets, and restaurant and grocery store gift cards. The event was so successful that Liddell says “we plan on having another in October.” - Boaz Young-El, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
VERIZON CHARGED WITH EXPLOITING WORKERS: Verizon workers in Northern Virginia say they are being forced to perform “mandatory overtime,” charging that Verizon’s Director of FiOS Installation is exploiting a provision in their contract that allows up to eight extra “volunteer hours” per week if necessary. “For a business, it’s cheaper to pay overtime than to hire new workers, but this mandatory overtime might affect morale and even lead to safety issues,” says CWA Local 2222 President Jim Hilleary. In light of Verizon’s push for mandatory overtime, the telephone company has also laid off 30 technicians, with more cuts coming in November. “Thriving corporations like Verizon should set an example for area businesses by maintaining a stable workforce rather than cutting jobs,” adds Hilleary. “There’s a line that shouldn’t be crossed when forcing overtime, and if it gets too bad, the company should really think about new hires.” – Joseph Daniels, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
LABOR TO HOST RECEPTION FOR GRAY: Meet labor’s endorsed candidate for Mayor of the District of Columbia, Vince Gray (below), at a reception and fundraiser on Tuesday, July 27. "Labor will have an integral role in a Gray administration," said Gray in May, when the Metro Council endorsed him. "Union members are the life's blood of our communities and our economy. They deserve equal access and equal opportunity to development and the jobs created by development in our city." Calling Gray a “leader of, by and for the people,” Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO President Jos Williams told Union City, “In the challenging times that lie ahead, Vince's broad vision and deep community roots are just what the District needs to come together around a common agenda.” Make checks payable to "Vince Gray for Mayor" and bring them to the reception; maximum contribution is $2,000 per local, international or individual. Please RSVP to Alya Solomon: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you cannot attend, send your checks to the Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO: 888 16th Street NW, Suite 520, Washington, DC 20006. - photo by Johnnie Walker, AFGE 383
TODAY'S LABOR HISTORY: New York City newsboys, many so poor that they were sleeping in the streets, begin a two-week strike. Several rallies drew more than 5,000 newsboys, complete with charismatic speeches by strike leader Kid Blink, who was blind in one eye. The boys had to pay publishers up front for the newspapers; they were successful in forcing the publishers to buy back unsold papers (1899); Two killed, 67 wounded in Minneapolis truckers' strike (l)—"Bloody Friday" (1934); Postal unions, Postal Service sign first labor contract in the history of the federal government (1971); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo courtesy of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters
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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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