Metro workers want their boss out. Accusing WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld of disrespect, failing to bargain in good faith, and violating their contract, the workers, represented by ATU Local 689, yesterday began circulating a petition to fellow union members stating that they have no confidence in his leadership and want Wiedefeld and his team removed before they can do any more harm. “Employee morale at WMATA is at an all-time low,” said Local 689 president Jackie Jeter, adding that more than 700 workers have left Metro since Weidefeld arrived; “I have never seen numbers like that,” Jeter said. “The riders and workers of this region deserve leadership that is going to move our transit system forward,” said Jeter. “All Paul Wiedefeld has done is make the system unstable and drive riders away. It is time for him to go.” The petition will be presented to the WMATA board later this month.
That's the theme at this year's Southern Women Workers School, which includes sessions on "Organizing Struggles and Victories in the South," "Outreach and Public Speaking," and "Building Community-Labor Coalitions." The school runs August 2-5 at the Highlander Center in New Market, TN. "Come join women workers from across the South and Appalachia as we share worker organizing stories from the past and the present, learn from other movements, build our leadership and organizing skills, and have a great time!" say organizers. Click here or contact Susan Williams: [email protected]; 865-360-7042
“Labor history is littered with defeats that sowed the seeds of victory for workers. By learning lessons, fighting smarter, and, most important, challenging illegitimate legal restrictions on the right to strike, our ancestors built a powerful labor movement capable of transforming society. It is still possible.”
Joe Burns, a union negotiator, labor lawyer, and former local union president, is the author of “Reviving The Strike: How Working People Can Regain Power and Transform America.”
photo: Detroit newspaper strike
Click here to check out this week's Labor History Today podcast. Please "Like" the podcast and pass it along!
Southern Tenant Farmers' Union organized in Tyronza, Ark. - 1934
Detroit newspaper workers begin 19-month strike against Gannett, Knight-Ridder. The strike was to become a lockout, which lasted four years more - 1995
The Great Uprising nationwide railway strike begins in Martinsburg, W.Va., after railroad workers are hit with their second pay cut in a year. In the following days, strike riots spread through 17 states. The next week, federal troops were called out to force an end to the strike - 1877
Woody Guthrie, writer of "This Land is Your Land" and "Union Maid," born in Okemah, Okla. - 1912
(Woody Guthrie: A Life: Folksinger and political activist Woody Guthrie contributed much to the American labor movement, not the least of which are his classic anthems "Union Maid" and "This Land Is Your Land." This is perhaps his best-ever biography, written by bestselling author Joe Klein (Primary Colors, The Running Mate). It is an easy-to-read, honest description of Guthrie’s life, from a childhood of poverty to a youth spent "bummin’ around" to an adulthood of music and organizing—and a life cut short by incurable disease.)
Italian immigrants and anarchists Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are convicted in Massachusetts of murder and payroll robbery—unfairly, most historians agree—after a 2-month trial, and are eventually executed. Fifty years after their deaths the state's governor issued a proclamation saying they had been treated unfairly and that "any disgrace should be forever removed from their names." - 1921
Get Union City Radio!
FOLLOW us on social media