HOTEL WORKERS PRESS BANK OF AMERICA TO "SAVE OUR JOBS!": Under grim and damp skies, more than one hundred hotel workers and labor allies rallied outside the 15th and Pennsylvania Bank of America branch during rush-hour last night to demand that the bank protect their jobs. “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!" said AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker outside the Treasury Department, which helped bail out BOA last year. UNITE HERE represents hotel workers whose jobs are in jeopardy as a result of the potential default of $1 billion in loans made by Bank of America to Columbia Sussex, which owns 14 hotel properties nation-wide – including the Hilton Crystal City and the Baltimore Sheraton City Center. “We helped bail them out, now it’s time for them to bail us out to keep our jobs,” said DeLouise Eggleston (above, at right), who works at the Baltimore Sheraton. “Columbia Sussex expects us to pay back their loan through big cuts in our pay and benefits – it’s not fair and we won’t allow it.” Added Nelly Villalobos (left, at center) – a laundry worker at the Hilton Crystal City for over 17 years – “Since Columbia Sussex took over our hotel, they have made our lives very difficult. We are not going to let workers pay for their mistakes. We’re going to keep fighting and moving forward together to protect our jobs!” – report by Adam Wright; photos by Chris Garlock
FILMFEST AD DEADLINE EXTENDED: The deadline for ads in this year's DC Labor FilmFest Program Guide has been extended to Friday, September 3. "We're very close to finalizing the line-up for our 10th annual FilmFest and will have exciting news by Labor Day," announced FilmFest Director Chris Garlock. "Don't miss this chance to be part of the FilmFest!" The Program Guide is distributed to all FilmFest attendees; in addition to space in the Guide, sponsors receive free tickets to the FilmFest and discounts to special event screenings. Click here to download the Guide rate sheet or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-974-8153 for details or to reserve space.
AUGUST EDITION OF “THE TRADES” AVAILABLE ONLINE: "Wake up and smell the coffee (and) help re-elect the two most important O’s this year and in two years, the first being O’Malley and the second being Obama," reports Washington Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Vance Ayres in the August edition of The Tradesnewsletter. Ayres also challenges readers "to buy products made in the U.S.A. as much as you can even if it is does cost a little more to help keep jobs in the U.S.A." The newsletter also includes reports from Rodmen Local 201 and Plumbers Local 5.
LABOR ON THE MOVE: KAHRAMAN HEADS WEST (AGAIN): Newspaper Guild organizer – and former Metro Council Union Cities Coordinator – Joe Kahraman (at left) is leaving town. Again. Kahraman is heading back to California to take a job as Executive Director of the Engineers and Architects Association, one of the unions for Los Angeles city employees. Kahraman had worked in California previously, as a Lead Organizer for AFSCME International for most of the last decade. Friends are sending him off at a happy hour this Friday, August 20, 6-10P at Whitlow's on Wilson, 2854 Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon: 703-276-9693. Contact him at email@example.comJUFJ’S METALITZ TO LAUNCH CONSULTING BIZ TO HELP NONPROFITS: Development and Communications Manager Robin Metalitz is leaving Jews United for Justice “to launch a nonprofit consulting business, focused on helping smaller nonprofits increase their capacity and find creative solutions to their challenges.” Metalitz says she plans “to continue to be an active member of JUFJ, and to stay involved in working for social justice in the Greater Washington area, which is one of my longtime passions.” Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to check out her website. – photo: Kahraman (left) walking the line in support of Reuters reporters in January, 2010; photo by Chris Garlock
TODAY'S LABOR HISTORY: First edition of IWW "Little Red Song Book" published (1909); Some 2,000 United Railroads streetcar service workers and supporters parade down San Francisco’s Market Street in support of pay demands and against the company’s anti-union policies. The strike failed in late November in the face of more than 1,000 strikebreakers, some of them imported from Chicago (1917); Founding of the Maritime Trades Dept. of the AFL-CIO, to give "workers employed in the maritime industry and its allied trades a voice in shaping national policy" (1946); Phelps-Dodge copper miners in Morenci and Clifton Ariz. are confronted by tanks, helicopters, 426 state troopers and 325 National Guardsmen brought in to walk strikebreakers through picketlines in what was to become a failed three-year fight by the Steelworkers and other unions (1983); Some 4,400 mechanics, cleaners and custodians, members of AMFA at Northwest Airlines, strike the carrier over job security, pay cuts and workrule changes. The 14-month strike was to fail, with most union jobs lost to replacements and outside contractors (2005); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services.
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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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