YOUR RIGHTS AT WORK (3/31/2016)
Union City Radio’s Chris Garlock hosts, with DCNA Executive Director Ed Smith.
Judy Rivlin, AFSCME Deputy General Counsel, on the national implications of this week’s Supreme Court ruling on Friedrichs, and Andrew Washington, Executive Director, AFSCME Council 20, on the local implications of Friedrichs.
GWU Progressive Student Union members Henry Klapper and Olive Eisdorpher on the Fair Jobs GW campaign and their support for GW cafeteria workers.
SEIU 32BJ Area Director Jaime Contreras on the 24-hour strike by airport workers at National Airport.
Labor song of the week: Sell your labour, not your soul, Brian McNeill
Brian McNeill (born 6 April 1950, Falkirk, Scotland) is a Scottish folk multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, record producer and musical director. He was a founding member of Battlefield Band which combined traditional Celtic melodies and new material.
This Week’s Labor Quiz: The OSHA Severe Injury Reporting rule, passed in 2014, requires employers to report severe work-related injuries.
How many work-related injuries were reported in 2015, the first full year of the federal reporting requirement? 2,420; 5,273; 8,213; 10,388.
Union leaders cheered Tuesday as the U.S. Supreme Court tied, 4-4, on a key labor case, Friedrichs versus California Teachers Association. The tie upholds lower court rulings for the teachers and for unions’ right to collect agency fees. AFSCME Council 26 Executive Director Carl Goldman called it “a significant victory for all working people and a defeat for corporate interests.” Goldman added that “We should enjoy the victory but get ready for additional cases that are in the pipeline that aim to take away our rights and bust our unions.”
Unions appeared headed for a 5-4 loss in the Supreme Court after the January 11 argument of the case, but Justice Antonin Scalia, leader of the court’s conservative bloc, died a month later, and no successor has been confirmed.
On today’s edition of “Your Rights at Work,” Ed Smith and I will discuss the implications of the Friedrichs decision with AFSCME Council 20 Executive Director Andrew Washington at 1pm here on WPFW 89.3FM
And for all the latest local labor activities, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1883, cowboys earning $40 a month began what was to become an unsuccessful two-and-a-half-month strike for higher wages at five ranches in the Texas Panhandle.
In 1927, farmworker organizer Cesar Chavez was born in Yuma, Arizona.
In 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed legislation establishing the Civilian Conservation Corps to help alleviate suffering during the Depression. By the time the program ended after the start of World War II it had provided jobs for more than six million men and boys. The average enrollee gained 11 pounds in his first three months.
And in 1995, federal judge Sonia Sotomayor, later to become a Supreme Court justice, issued an injunction against baseball team owners to end a 232-day lockout.
Today’s labor quote is by Cesar Chavez
“Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.”
This quote is on a plaque on the roof patio above the USDA cafeteria here in Washington, reports Steven Beasley of AFSCME 3876, which represents workers at USDA.
In “The Case of the Nanny's Separation Anxiety,” our latest report from the Claimant Advocacy Program files, a laid-off nanny won her unemployment benefits thanks to help from a CAP lawyer. The nanny was being replaced with an au pair, but the employer family wouldn’t tell her how long they needed her to keep working.
The nanny confronted the employer and demanded that they give her a final date of employment along with a reference, but when she filed for unemployment benefits, the employer contested the claim, saying that the nanny had caused the separation by demanding a termination date. The CAP attorney helped the nanny win her case when she was able to prove that she was involuntarily separated from her job due to the parents' personal choice of an au pair versus a nanny. The Claimant Advocacy Program is a free legal counseling service available to individuals who file unemployment compensation appeals in the District of Columbia. Call 202-974-8150 for more info, and read more about the case at dclabor.org
For the latest info on local labor activities, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1918, Chicago stockyard workers won the 8-hour day.
In 1930, at the height of the Great Depression, 35,000 unemployed marched in New York’s Union Square. Police beat many demonstrators, injuring 100.
In 1990, Harry Bridges, Australian-born dock union leader, died at age 88. He helped form and lead the International Longshore and Warehouse Union for 40 years.
And in 2012, leaders of the Screen Actors Guild announced that the membership had voted to merge with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, creating the 150,000-member SAG-AFTRA.
Today’s labor quote is by Harry Bridges
“The most important word in the language of the working class is ‘solidarity’”
George Washington University students, workers, faculty, staff and community allies turned out last Friday afternoon to support dining workers at GW as the university transitions from Sodexo to Restaurant Associates.
The GWU Progressive Student Union organized the rally and march to, quote “demand job retention for the over 40 dining hall workers on our campus," unquote, delivering 2,000 pledges, and demanding that the administration act quickly to secure employment for the workers. "The action this afternoon was such a strong show of solidarity and community between workers and students!" reported the Progressive Student Union.
"Thank you to all who showed up to hold GW accountable. We look forward to hearing from the administration in the next week...until the University makes concrete commitments to these members of our community, this effort is far from over."
On today’s labor calendar, the Betty Dukes Foundation hosts a Women's and Worker's Rights Rally at the National Press Club today starting at 12 noon; today marks the fifth anniversary of WALMART VS DUKES, the largest civil rights class action lawsuit to be heard by the United States Supreme Court. The Dukes class action law suit represented 1.6 million women.
For details on this and other local labor activities, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1852, Ohio made it illegal for children under 18 and women to work more than 10 hours a day.
In 1918, Sam Walton, founder of the huge and bitterly anti-union Walmart empire, was born in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He once said that his priority was to “Buy American,” but Walmart is now the largest U.S. importer of foreign-made goods—often produced under sweatshop conditions.
In 1948, the “Battle of Wall Street” took place, during which police charged members of the United Financial Employees’ Union, striking against the New York Stock Exchange and New York Curb Exchange (now known as the American Stock Exchange). Forty-three workers were arrested in what was to be the first and only strike in the history of either exchange.
Today’s labor quote is by Betty Duke
“We, the women of Wal-Mart, will have our day in court. [Wal-Mart] will answer our charges—that they have treated us unfairly and we deserved better.”
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