Just hours after AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka blasted the Republican health care plan as “a betrayal of working people,” House leaders were forced to postpone the vote on their health care bill because they lacked enough Republicans to back it. Trumka said the proposed legislation “is really a massive redistribution of wealth away from working families to give even more to the wealthy few.” Read more here.
“If your voice held no power, they wouldn’t try to silence you.” The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) reports that critical voices like Dr. Michelle Washington’s or AFGE Local 2028 President Kathleen Dahl’s “were so powerful the status quo wanted to shut it down.” If VA employees had not spoken out, says AFGE, “more veterans would have died from a severe shortage of mental healthcare providers and the Legionnaires outbreak that VA employees exposed.” Their union, AFGE, stood behind them and fought for their right to do their jobs serving veterans. But that’s about to change if certain members of Congress get their way. The Official Time Reform Act of 2017 would severely restrict workplace rights for federal workers, and would financially penalize union reps who volunteer to help their coworkers. “This means whistleblowers and other frontline employees may not get the protection they need when they try to do their jobs, and the American people, including veterans, will suffer,” says AFGE. The bill passed in a House committee earlier this month, but it will have to pass both the full House and Senate to become law. Read more here.
A memorial for Solidarity Center legal counsel Earl Brown – who died February 26-- is set for March 25 at 3 p.m., at the AFL-CIO, with a reception to follow. RSVP to:[email protected]. If you're unable to attend, the memorial will bebroadcast live here. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center or the Solidarity Center. More information here.
“The floods of water from the firemen's hose that ran into the gutter were actually stained red with blood. I looked upon the heap of dead bodies and I remembered these girls were the shirtwaist makers. I remembered their great strike of last year in which these same girls had demanded more sanitary conditions and more safety precautions in the shops. These dead bodies were the answer.”
Shepard, a United Press reporter, happened to be in Washington Square on March 25, 1911 and phoned in his report while watching the Triangle Shirtwaist factory tragedy unfold.