GRAY DEFEATS FENTY IN STRAW POLL: District police were called out to direct traffic and maintain order as hundreds of Ward 4 residents – many of them union members – turned out in droves to vote for Vince Gray for DC Mayor in Wednesday night's Ward 4 Democratic straw poll at Saint Georges Church. Gray served up an embarrassing loss to Mayor Adrian Fenty in his home base, winning the poll with 581 votes to Fenty’s 401. “Tension filled the air as people stood in line, which was wrapped around the block, in the sweltering heat, for two hours chanting in support of their candidate,” Alya Solomon, Assistant Political Coordinator for the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO told Union City. “This overwhelming victory for Gray shows us that Fenty has lost his base and can be beaten come September 14.” Click herefor coverage in The Georgetown Dish. – photo: Vicent Gray leaving Ward 4 endorsement forum; photo by RJ Smith/The Georgetown Dish
ENGINEERS WIN ELECTION AT FDA FEDERAL CENTER: On Monday August 2, twelve engineers won a union election at Brooks & Brooks Services Inc., joining the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 99 at the FDA Federal Center in White Oak, Maryland. The plant is part of a 50-year plan at that location and provides power, steam, and chilled water for the 78-acre facility. Although the union had originally secured a card-check agreement with Brooks & Brooks Services Inc., the company pushed for an election instead but refused to allow an on-site vote, forcing the election to be conducted by mail. “Despite the relatively small size of this unit, it’s a huge victory that gives a foothold in a state-of-the-art plant that will provide good jobs for decades to come,” said IUOE 99 Business Manager Michael Murphy. “We congratulate the employees and welcome them into our union.” The workers won the election by a margin of better than 2:1. – Essie Ablavsky, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
SINGING OUT FOR YOUR UNION: Are you a union member with musical talent? Union Plus is sponsoring the Union Song Contest where entrants can win a $2000 cash prize. To enter, simply write a song about the things you like about your union and submit it onlineby September 6, 2010. The Union Song Contest is brought to you by Union Privilege, the provider of Union Plus benefits founded by the AFL-CIO in 1986. Union members, retirees and their families are automatically eligible for their union’s Union Plus benefits, including scholarships, legal services, financial services and discounts on everything from travel to flowers. Click herefor more details and to submit your song. - Joseph Daniels, AFL-CIO Union Summer Intern
WEEKEND LABOR HISTORY: Cigarmakers' International Union of America merges with Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union (8/6/1974); American Railway Supervisors Association merges with Brotherhood of Railway, Airline & Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express & Station Employees (8/6/1980); Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of the US & Canada merges with Brotherhood of Railway, Airline & Steamship Clerks, Freight Handlers, Express & Station Employees (8/6/1986); Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (l), Wobblie organizer, born (8/7/1890); Eugene Debs and three other trade unionists arrested after Pullman Strike (8/7/1894); Actors Equity is recognized by producers after stagehands honor their picket lines, shutting down almost every professional stage production in the country. Before unionizing, it was common practice for actors to pay for their own costumes, rehearse long hours without pay, and be fired without notice (8/7/1919); United Slate, Tile & Composition Roofers, Damp & Waterproof Workers Association change name to Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers (8/7/1978); Some 675,000 employees struck ATT Corp. over wages, job security, pension plan changes and better health insurance. It was the last time CWA negotiated at one table for all its Bell System members: divestiture came a few months later. The strike was won after 22 days (8/7/1983); Television writers, members of The Writers Guild of America, end a 22-week strike with a compromise settlement (8/7/1988); Delegates to the St. Paul Trades and Labor Assembly elect 35-year-old Charles James (r), leader of the Boot and Shoe Workers local union, as their president. He was the first African-American elected to that leadership post in St. Paul, many believe the first in the nation (8/8/1902); Cripple Creek, Colo. miners strike begins (8/8/1903); Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of North America merge with Retail Clerks International Union to become United Food & Commercial Workers (8/8/1979); Cesar Chavez is posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton, becoming the first Mexican-American ever to receive the honor (8/8/1994); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo (left) courtesy Library of Congress, (right) courtesy Workday Minnesota
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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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