WARD 1 CANDIDATE FORUM TO FOCUS ON LABOR ISSUES, AFFORDABLE HOUSING: With the DC primaries less than two months away, Ward 1 City Council candidates will appear before labor and community groups tonight for a candidate forum. Sponsored by DC Jobs with Justice, Defeat Poverty DC, Empower DC, Jews United for Justice and the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO --among others -- the forum will feature incumbent Jim Graham, and challengers Jeff Smith, Bryan Weaver and Marc Morgan. “This is an important opportunity for labor to join community groups, pose questions to the candidates and hold elected officials accountable,” says Alya Solomon of the Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO. Questions will address the role of Project Labor Agreements in ensuring local hiring and apprenticeships, the need for responsible contracting language to prohibit the city from doing business with contractors who have violated workers’ rights, and next steps to expand employment and job readiness services.The forum will run from 6-8:30p at True Reformer Building, 1200 U Street. The forum is free and open to the public, and there will be an open floor for questions. For more information contact Ruth Castel-Branco at 202-974-8281. photo: at the August 2009 Take Back DC rally; photo by Adam Wright INCREASED WORKER SAFETY DEMANDED AT TOWN HALL: “My son fell to his death at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas,” testified Mary (right), of United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF). “I will live forever with a dagger in my heart because there is no deeper pain, no deeper despair. All of us are here because we’ve suffered a loss that could have been prevented and the pain is that all of these deaths were senseless.“ The angry mother joined workers who spoke at Tuesday’s town hall meeting on the need for stronger worker safety legislation. The Miner Safety and Health Act of 2010 (H.R. 5663) would strengthen OSHA’s and MSHA’s oversight and enforcement in mines as well as other dangerous workplaces, provide tougher penalties for negligent employers and increase whistleblower protections. “The best protection is prevention,” said Bricklayer Local 1’s Eric Parks. “This new law will give workers a chance to avoid being a statistic like my brother, like myself and so many others.” Tom O’Connor, Executive Director of National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, urged those concerned to call Democratic House members at 202-225-3121 to demand support for immediate passage of H.R. 5663 and oppose any efforts to strip Title 7 (the OSHA language) from the bill when it gets to the floor. Other speakers included Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, OSHA , Dr. Darius Sivin of the United Auto Workers, Dr. Celeste Monforton, George Washington University, Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health, as well as area workers with UNITE HERE Local 25, SEIU 32BJ, BAC Local 1 and CWA Local 2222 who have been injured on the job. Click here for hearing photos. - report/photo by Julie Hunter CVC UNION WELCOMES FIRING OF CEO: The union organizing workers at the Capitol Visitor Center welcomed the news yesterday that the Center’s CEO has been fired (“Head of Capitol Visitors Center gets fired, The Hill 7/27). “You have taken the first steps towards correcting an untenable situation at the CVC,” AFSCME Council 26 Executive Director Carl Goldman wrote to Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers. “Management has put the visiting public and employees in potentially dangerous situations through the mishandling of suspicious substances. It has endangered employees’ health by limiting Visitor Assistants’ access to water when working outside on hot days, and has only provided them with light weight jackets when working outside during the winter.” Noting that “the Capitol Visitor Center needs not only a change in personality, but also a change in management philosophy,” Goldman urged Ayers to recognize the CVC workers “as an asset to be valued and consulted,” adding that “CVC employees believe in the mission of the agency. With a CEO and management team that values their work, you will find them and AFSCME to be important partners in serving Congress and the visiting public.”
LABOR FOR GRAY RECEPTION PHOTOS POSTED: Photos from Tuesday night’s Labor for Gray fundraiser have now been posted online. The photos are available for downloading and may be freely used; please credit Chris Garlock/Union City. TODAY'S LABOR HISTORY: The Coast Seamen's Union merges with the Steamship Sailor's Union to form the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific (1891); A preliminary delegation from Mother Jones' March of the Mill Children from Philadelphia to Pres. Theodore Roosevelt's summer home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, publicizing the harsh conditions of child labor, arrives today. They are not allowed through the gates (1903); Following a five-year table grape boycott (r), Delano-area growers file into the United Farm Workers union hall in Delano, Calif. to sign their first union contracts (1970). More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. photo courtesy historylink.org
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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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