Dozens of transit workers and their allies joined the DC Streetcar launch festivities Saturday, marching down H Street chanting "ATU is in the house and on the street!" to demonstrate their support for streetcar workers who will vote this week on joining ATU Local 689. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)ruled last year that McDonald Transit, the private DDOT contractor charged with operating the streetcar engaged in illegal anti-union activity, and McDonald was forced to promise to stop interfering with worker's organizing efforts. In a related story, transit workers who operate the D.C. Circulator - a District-controlled bus service funded by the District Department of Transportation and operated by private multinational First Transit - will rally outside of the Wilson Building today at 10a to demand wages that allow them to live in the city that they serve. The workers are members of ATU 1764.
- report/photos by Chris Garlock
Cary James spent four years getting a degree in mechanical engineering from Boston University. But after a few years of working in her field, she quit and became an electrician apprentice. “I spent quite a few years in a job I knew wasn’t for me,” James (l) said recently at a Center for American Progress briefing on apprenticeships. “It wasn’t related to my degree or what I wanted to do in life. I realized I needed to move away from a job and start looking for a career.” The Obama administration earlier this month proposed a $2 billion Apprenticeship Training Fund as part of its 2017 budget proposal to fulfill the president’s 2014 pledge to double the number of apprentices in the United States before he leaves office. Apprenticeship is a work training strategy that mixes on-the-job experience with classroom instruction. James, a first year wireman apprentice with IBEW Local 26, attends biweekly classes to learn about the field, safe working practices and electrician etiquette. “Everyone has different ways of doing the same job,” said James. “Working with multiple people on the same type of task gives me the opportunity to see what works best for me and gives me ways to improve my craft.”
- adapted from a report by Tyler Kendall in MarketWatch; photo courtesy CAP
This Week's Quiz: Though home care is one of the fastest growing industries in today's economy, what is the average annual salary of a home care worker? $12,000; $17,000; $29,000; $43,000; $52,000. Click here and you could be next week's winner!
Previous Quiz: During fiscal year 2014, Wage and Hour Division investigations found that $240 million was owed in back wages to workers whose employers violated the law and didn’t pay them what they had rightfully earned. Congrats to Joel Basore of IBEW Local 569, San Diego, CA, this week's quiz winner!
"I loved Mammy. I think I understood her because my own grandmother worked on a plantation not unlike Tara."
Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award -- in 1940 -- honored for her portrayal of “Mammy” in “Gone with the Wind.”