In a move that the musicians union called “outrageous” and “blatantly illegal,” the Kennedy Center on Friday said that paychecks for members of the National Symphony Orchestra will stop this week. That was the same day that President Trump signed into law a stimulus package that specifically appropriated $25 million to the Kennedy Center to be used for operating expenses including employee pay. Ed Malaga, president of AFM Local 161-710 said the union has filed a grievance, saying that the union’s contract with the center “specifically requires that the Center provide six weeks’ notice before it can stop paying musicians for economic reasons.” Cellist Steven Honigberg, a member of the orchestra since 1984, said on Facebook “Thanks (NOT)” to Center president Deborah Rutter “for your compassion for the musicians of your National Symphony Orchestra in this time of unprecedented peril. This is not OUR fault.”
photo: Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads the National Symphony Orchestra in September 2017. (Scott Suchman/National Symphony Orchestra)
The Washington Teachers’ Union is partnering with Fox 5 and its sister station, Fox 5 Plus (WDCA), to air lessons on television, starting this morning, for students who do not have access to laptops or Wi-Fi during school closures. “We know that almost 50% of our students in D.C. do not have computers or internet access, so they’re not able to access the lessons that are being delivered via distance learning,” said Liz Davis, president of the Washington Teacher’s Union, AFT Local 6. They’re launching a new program for DC students called “Learning Doesn’t Stop - Lessons on TV” this morning. “So we contacted local news stations to see if they would be interested in running lessons and I was amazed that two stations agreed to do so,” said Davis. Patrick Paolini, general manager of Fox 5, said the station was thrilled to team up with WTU in this time of crisis. “Fox 5 is committed to serving the community in any way we can. The lessons on WDCA taught by our community heroes—teachers—will help kids keep learning as we all get through the coronavirus crisis together in a variety of ways,” Paolini said.
Read more here and hear our Union City Radio report here.
“The most important word in the language of the working class is ‘solidarity’”
Bridges, the Australian-born dock union leader, died on this date in 1990. Harry helped form and lead the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for 40 years.
photo: Harry Bridges (center) joins his striking waterfront workers in a demonstration at Fort Mason.
Photo: The Chronicle 1934
This week’s Labor History Today podcast: Socialists, suffragettes and fear at work
On this week’s show, Kurt Stand, who – at least until recently – was a bookseller at Busboys and Poets here in Washington, DC, tells us about his last days at work, Carl Goldman reminds us of the day in 1913 when 20,000 striking textile workers and their supporters gathered in front of the house of the socialist mayor of Haldeon, New Jersey, and Jessica Pauszek tells the story of Tough Annie, a woman of means who threw in her lot with working women in London during the struggle for women’s suffrage.
Last week’s show: COVID-19: An injury to one is the concern of all
Chicago stockyard workers win 8-hour day - 1918
At the height of the Great Depression, 35,000 unemployed march in New York’s Union Square. Police beat many demonstrators, injuring 100 - 1930
The federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act is enacted - 1970
- David Prosten