Every day TSA officers screen over 1.7 million airline passengers. Every day they stop, on average, 8 guns from getting on to airplanes. And yet, says the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents the officers, "they’re treated like second-class federal employees with lower pay and fewer rights at work — every single day." Last month, 19 U.S. Senators urged TSA to give officers the same civil service and labor rights enjoyed by other Department of Homeland Security employees. After TSA officers rejected the last proposed contract earlier this year, the negotiating team returned to the table and have now reached agreement on a majority of the contract. Meanwhile, AFGE says the union will continue working on behalf of TSA officers to demand they receive the respect and fair treatment they deserve.
And if you want your Halloween to be all treats and no tricks, make sure all your candy is union-made in America. We've got a list of union-made candies on our website at dclabor.org from our friends at Union Plus and Labor 411.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1891, Tennessee sent in leased convict laborers to break a coal miners strike in Anderson County. The miners revolted, burned the stockades, and sent the captured convicts by train back to Knoxville.
In 1941, after 14 years of labor by 400 stone masons, the Mount Rushmore sculpture was completed in Keystone, South Dakota.
And in 1971, in a sign of the changing times, the International Alliance of Bill Posters, Billers and Distributors of the United States and Canada surrendered its AFL-CIO charter and disbanded.
Today’s labor quote is by George Henry Evans, who published the first issue of the Working Man’s Advocate on this date in 1829.
Evans said his paper was, quote, “edited by a Mechanic” for the “useful and industrious classes” in New York City. He focused on the inequities between what he described as the “portion of society living in luxury and idleness” and those “groaning under the oppressions and miseries imposed on them.”
With just a few days until their contract expiration, UFCW Local 400, Giant and Safeway "remain far apart on nearly every issue," reports Local 400. For the first time, Safeway and Giant are negotiating with Local 400 separately. "While the companies are divided, we are united," says Local 400. "We remain strong and united with each other, with UFCW Local 27, with the Teamsters who drive the trucks and work the warehouses, and with Giant/Ahold and Safeway/Albertson's workers across the country. We expect Giant and Safeway to come to us with a fair contract, in the event they do not, we continue to prepare." This week union representatives and members donned their UFCW Local 400 team jerseys and collected signatures on a petition encouraging customers and communities to ask Giant and Safeway to "do the right thing."
You can watch Local 400's latest video on our website at dclabor.org.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1879, union organizer and anarchist Luisa Capetillo was born in Ariecibo, Puerto Rico. She organized tobacco and other agricultural workers in Puerto Rico and later in New York and Florida. In 1916 she led a successful sugar cane strike of more than 40,000 workers on the island. She demanded that her union endorse voting rights for women. In 1919, three years before her death, she was arrested for wearing pants in public, the first woman in Puerto Rico to do so. The charges were dropped.
In 1965, the St. Louis Gateway Arch was completed after two and one-half years. Originally sold as a jobs program for thousands of African Americans in St. Louis suffering from the Depression, the 630-foot high arch of stainless steel marks the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Mo. Although it was predicted 13 lives would be lost in construction, not a single worker died.
Today’s labor quote is by Luisa Capetillo
“Do not buy finery or jewels, because books are worth more than they are. Adorn your understanding with their precious ideas, because there is no luxury that dazzles like the luxury of science.”
In a victory for free speech and public access rights, hundreds of protestors jubilantly demonstrated yesterday in front of the new Trump International hotel. Trump had attempted to push the protest off the plaza in front of the hotel, taking advantage of the unusual leeway to control public space granted by the federal government when Trump leased the Old Post Office for his $212 million-dollar hotel. However, the Metro Labor Council had already applied for a permit to hold a picket, and the feds honored the request, allowing picketers to press their demand that Trump negotiate with his workers in Las Vegas.
There will be another protest at the Trump hotel today at 12:30, catch this week's ediiton of Your Rights at Work at 1pm here on WPFW and metro workers will speak out on safety issues at a 1pm Metro hearing.
Complete details on all the latest local labor calendar listings are at dclabor.org; click on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1904, the New York City subway, the first rapid-transit system in America, opened. More than 100 workers died during the construction of the first 13 miles of tunnels and track.
In 1935, three strikes on works-relief projects in Maryland were underway today, with charges that Depression-era Works Projects Administration jobs were paying only about 28 cents an hour—far less than was possible on direct relief. Civic officials in Cumberland, where authorities had established a 50-cent-per-hour minimum wage, supported the strikers,
And in 1951, the National Labor Council was formed in Cincinnati to unite Black workers in the struggle for full economic, political and social equality. The group was to function for five years before disbanding, having forced many AFL and CIO unions to adopt non-discrimination policies.
Today’s labor quote is by Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, a lawyer who frequently argues on behalf of First Amendment rights, who was worried this week that Donald Trump might use the Secret Service to keep protesters at bay, and, quote, “sanitize their event from the reality of public dissent,” unquote.
Ed Smith and Peter Pocock host; Chris Garlock is out of town.
David Broder, President of SEIU 512 Virginia, talks about Virginia Ballot Question 1, the so-called “Right to Work” constitutional amendment.
Carlos Jimenez, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Washington Central Labor Council, talks about this week's rally at Trump’s new hotel.
Labor Song: Ozomatli, Dos Cosas Ciertas
Ozomatli is a Los Angeles based band committed to social justice and progressive politics. Their music aims to reveal and give voice to the culture and lives of Latinos, and fight for the rights of workers, particularly farm workers.
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