This is Chris Garlock, with the latest labor news, updates and history from the Metro Washington Labor Council.
The American Federation of Teachers has charged the leadership of Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools with violating federal labor law by retaliating against its own workers for unionizing and then closing its doors without consulting them. The union filed a complaint Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board. Chavez workers voted to join the AFT in June 2017 and have been attempting to negotiate a first contract ever since.
In January, management abruptly announced it was closing Chavez Prep. “When we unionized, we did so because we wanted to be teammates whose voices were heard and valued in decisions regarding our school,” said Mateo Samper, an eighth-grade English and language arts teacher. “Yet they made this decision without any communication or effort to engage any of us.” "Chavez Schools has become Exhibit A in how unregulated charters routinely ignore the transparency and accountability that public schools are bound to uphold,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten.
In today’s labor history, on this date in 1926, New York members of the Fur and Leather Workers Union, many of them women, struck for better pay and conditions. They persevered despite beatings by police, winning a 10-percent wage increase and five-day work week.
Today’s labor quote is by Rose Omamo, general secretary of the Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers and national Women’s Committee chair of the Congress of Trade Unions–Kenya.
Rose Omamo, who said:
“Once you are elected a leader, and especially a women leader, you need to make sure you are at forefront of campaigning for gender issues, make sure there is no gender-based violence at work. and make sure women are working in a safe environment.”
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