WHC NURSES MAY STAGE 1-DAY STRIKE OVER FIRINGS: Washington Hospital Center nurses are voting on staging a one-day strike to mark the six-month anniversary of firings in the wake of the February blizzards. If approved by members, the one-day Unfair Labor Practice strike would take place in August, six months after 18 nurses were retroactively fired and disciplined for being unable to show up to work during the historic blizzards (Nurses Prepared For Battle At Washington Hospital Center 3/4/2010 Union City). "Enough is enough" said Stephen Frum, a nurse at the hospital, and chief shop steward of Nurses United, which represents over 1,600 WHC nurses. "It is far past time for the hospital to do the right thing." In February, following the snow storms, Washington Hospital Center management unilaterally made it a disciplinary offense not to show up to work during a snow emergency. “They then retroactively and selectively applied this policy to fire certain nurses – including longtime nurse and union leader Geri Lee -- who did not make it to work during the blizzards,” says Frum. “Adding insult to injury, they then prevented nurses from wearing black ribbons in solidarity with those who were unjustly disciplined.” Despite the union’s efforts to resolve this issue, management continues to keep nine of the original eighteen fired nurses out of work and has refused to remove the discipline from the nurses’ records.” The possible one-day strike comes in the context of ongoing contract negotiations; nurses have been without a contract since June (Washington Hospital Nurses Reject Contract 6/29/2010 Union City). - photo: almost 2000 nurses rallied in May for a fair contract outside the Washington Hospital Center; photo by Adam Wright
STATE FED ENDORSEMENTS RELEASED: U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley top the list of candidates endorsed by the Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO, released yesterday. Click herefor the complete list of endorsements, which includes candidates for election in the U.S. House of Representatives, the District of Columbia and the Maryland General Assembly. Minutes from July’s Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO Executive Board and Delegate meetings – which include the complete list of MWC endorsed candidates in state and local races – are also now available for downloadon the MWC’s website.
TRAINING STEWARDS TO BATTLE OVER WHAT'S NOT COVERED: Many workers think their union's there to negotiate and enforce their contract, but in the federal sector, it's changes in working conditions and personnel policies that are not covered by a contract where a union also proves useful. AFSCME Council 26 held a training session Wednesday for 45 local union leaders on just this kind of bargaining, which Council 26 says "goes on all the time, and is the union's best chance to organize new members by showing them what the union is all about." The daylong training session also prepared local leaders to successfully handle contract negotiations as well. Council 26 holds such sessions monthly to train and equip local union leaders with the skills needed to handle the array of issues that arise in workplaces around DC. – report/photo by Boaz Young-El, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
NANCY TREJOS’ BOOK SIGNING KICKS OFF GUILD’S NEW OUTREACH PROGRAM: Guild member Nancy Trejos (below) kicked off the Washington Post Newspaper Guild’s new Outreach program with a book signing at Caribou Coffee just down the street from the paper on July 21. The program has been created to promote the talents of Guild members and to raise the profile of the Guild. Future events will include more book signings and shows for Guild members to display paintings or photographs. At the July 21st event, Trejos, a long-standing Guild member, talked about her book “Hot (broke) Messes: How to Have Your Latte and Drink It, Too” and what prompted her to write on the subject — personal finance — at a time she was struggling with her own personal finances. Click herefor more photos. - report/photo courtesy The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild 32035 website
WEEKEND LABOR HISTORY: President Lyndon Johnson signs the Medicare Act, providing federally-funded health insurance for senior citizens (7/30/1964); Former Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa (right) disappears. Presumed to be dead, his body has never been found (7/30/1975); United Airlines agrees to offer domestic-partner benefits to employees and retirees worldwide (7/30/1999); Members of the National Football League Players Association begin what is to be a two-day strike, their first. The issues: pay, pensions, the right to arbitration and the right to have agents (7/31/1970); Fifty-day baseball strike ends (7/31/1981); The Great Shipyard Strike of 1999 ends after Steelworkers at Newport News Shipbuilding ratify a breakthrough agreement which nearly doubles pensions, increases security, ends inequality, and provides the highest wage increases in company and industry history to nearly 10,000 workers at the yard. The strike lasted 15 weeks (7/31/1999); After organizing a strike of metal miners against the Anaconda Company, Wobblie organizer Frank Little is dragged by six masked men from his Butte, Mont. hotel room and hung from the Milwaukee Railroad trestle. Years later writer Dashiell Hammett would recall his early days as a Pinkerton detective agency operative and recount how a mine company representative offered him $5,000 to kill Little. Hammett says he quit the business that night (8/1/1917); Sid Hatfield (below), police chief of Matewan, W. Va., a longtime supporter of the United Mine Workers union, is murdered by company goons. This soon led to the Battle of Blair Mountain, a labor uprising also referred to as the Red Neck War (8/1/1921); Police in Hilo, Hawaii open fire on 200 demonstrators supporting striking waterfront workers. The attack became known as "the Hilo massacre" (8/1/1938); A 17-day, company-instigated wildcat strike in Philadelphia tries to bar eight African-American trolley operators from working. Transport Workers Union members stay on the job in support of the men (8/1/1944); Government & Civic Employees Organizing Committee merges into State, County & Municipal Employees (8/1/1956); Window Glass Cutters League of America merges with Glass Bottle Blowers (8/1/1975); Ten-month strike against Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel wins agreement guaranteeing defined-benefit pensions for 4,500 Steelworkers (8/1/1997); California School Employees Association affiliates with AFL-CIO (8/1/2001); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services.
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.
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