The Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO has decided not to endorse a candidate to replace Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D), president Fred Mason Jr. told the Washington Post Tuesday. Mason said a committee of several dozen executive board members and representatives from the state’s five central labor councils interviewed U.S. Reps. Donna F. Edwards and Chris Van Hollen, both Democrats, as well as Republican Richard Douglas. To win support, a candidate would need the backing of two-thirds of the committee members. None of the three cleared that bar. “It happens sometimes when there are two very good candidates,” Mason said of Edwards and Van Hollen. “They’re both good quality candidates, they’ve both represented Maryland [well] in their respective positions. . . . That’s why it was so hard.”
Saying “we need to make our voices heard,” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler – the highest-ranking woman in organized labor – said on Tuesday the federation is rolling out a new survey of woman workers, union and non-union, and work and life issues and launching new organizing of those workers, especially women of color. The survey runs online through Dec. 4 and the data will be published next March, during Women’s History Month. Discrimination, Shuler said, “is experienced by every woman who takes home a smaller paycheck than her male counterpart for doing the same job. It is felt by every mother who is denied a promotion because she wants to balance work and family. It hangs like a dark cloud over every victim of workplace harassment, discrimination and violence.” Shuler’s speech can be viewed online here.
- Mark Gruenberg, PAI Staff Writer
Winners: Workers at Bank of America and Wells Fargo, who rallied this week in opposition to declining working conditions at major U.S. banks.
Loser: The Chipotle store in New York City, for allegedly firing an employee after she became a survivor of domestic violence.
- AFL-CIO Now blog
Jobs with Justice Field Director Treston Davis-Faulkner passed away October 26. He had been battling lung cancer for over a year. “Treston contributed incalculable leadership, wisdom and hard work to our movement, from serving as the first national SLAP (Student Labor Action Project) coordinator in 1999, through seven years as a Field Organizer in the Southern Region, and as National Field Director since 2009,” said Jobs With Justice executive director Sarita Gupta. “He was a leader of leaders. We are already missing him in our work and in our lives.” Click here to leave a condolence message and/or contribute to an education fund for his son.