MD OFFICERS PUSH BACK ON CASELOADS: Citing "unmanageable caseloads," Maryland parole and probation officers are meeting next week with government officials to develop a "commonsense agreement on caseloads and overtime," reports AFSCME Maryland. Almost 600 General Supervision Agents in the city of Baltimore and Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George's counties - represented by AFSCME Local 3661 - are pushing for a plan that allows "agents constantly monitoring high-risk offenders to meet with offenders once every other week." AFSCME MD Organizer Joe Cox told Union City, “These agents recently fought back against an additional increase to their contact standards and won.” He added, “The upcoming meeting with the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is about winning overtime and caseload reductions, because even the status quo they are now back to is too much to handle in a 40-hour workweek. It is a step in the right direction towards giving a total of 840 agents state-wide the resources they need to protect the public interest." – photo courtesy Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
THOMAS TO JOIN WARD 5 LABOR-TO-LABOR WALKS SATURDAY: "As we enter our second week of labor walks, we will be joined by Councilmember Harry Thomas Jr. this Saturday," reports Metro Washington Council Assistant Political Coordinator Alya Solomon. Saturday's walks run 10A - 1P to blitz Ward 5 for labor-endorsed candidates Vincent Gray, Phil Mendelson and Harry "Tommy" Thomas Jr. (left). "We are expecting a good show of union members this Saturday and we hope to hit every union household in Ward 5!" Solomon adds. Up to Election Day - September 14 - labor-to-labor walks will be conducted every Saturday from 10A - 1P out of the Fire Fighters local Union 36 (located at 2120 Bladensburg Road, NE) and Monday through Thursday from 5P - 8P from the Metro Council's office (888 16th Street, NW). Union volunteers who turn out regularly will receive a free campaign T-Shirt; contact Alya at 202-320-9027 for more information and to register to volunteer. – photo: Ward 5 DC Councilmember Harry Thomas speaking at the "Take Back DC" Rally outside the Wilson Building in September 2009; photo by Adam Wright
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REMEMBERING CRIPPLE CREEK: Some of the sharpest and most violent class struggles in American history were fought in the hard rock mining towns of the nineteenth-century West where workers and bosses fought with fists, bullets, and dynamite in the streets and mines. On a recent visit to Colorado, I stopped by Cripple Creek, a little town whose name is forever linked to one of the most brutal confrontations in American labor history. In 1904, Governor James Peabody sent in the National Guard; Company L, a detachment commanded by a mine manager, surrounded the miner’s union hall in nearby Victor, took up sniper positions on neighboring rooftops, and began to fire into the union hall. Four miners were hit, and the men inside were forced to surrender. In the ensuing days, union members were deported or loaded onto special trains and dumped across the state line and for all practical purposes the Western Federation of Miners was destroyed in Colorado's mining camps. These days, Cripple Creek is known more for its casinos and though the miner’s union hall in Victor still stands, it’s empty and marked only with a For Sale sign. No monument or plaque memorializes the epic battles in either town and the museums barely mention workers at all, focusing instead on the tons of gold ore they painstakingly pulled from the now-quiet mountains. Click herefor the complete version of this report and to share it via your favorite social media networks. - Chris Garlock; photos by Lisa Garlock
WEEKEND LABOR HISTORY: Slave revolt led by Nat Turner begins in Southampton County, Va. (8/21/1831); Five flight attendants form the Air Line Stewardesses Association, the first labor union representing flight attendants. They were reacting to an industry in which women were forced to retire at the age of 32, remain single, and adhere to strict weight, height and appearance requirements. The association later became the Association of Flight Attendants, now a division of the Communications Workers of America (8/22/1945); International Broom & Whisk Makers Union disbanded (8/22/1963); Joyce Miller (l), a vice president of the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers, becomes first female member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council (8/22/1980); International Longshore & Warehouse Union granted a charter by the AFL-CIO (8/22/1988); More info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services. - photo courtesy Chicago Democratic Socialists of America
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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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