“The labor movement is under serious and immediate attack,” AFSCME Council 26 Executive Director Carl Goldman told Union City Radio in response to the news that House Republicans had reinstated an arcane procedural rule that enables lawmakers to reach deep into the budget and slash the pay of an individual federal worker — down to as little as $1 — a move that threatens to upend the 130-year-old civil service.
Also on Thursday, AFGE president J. David Cox Sr. issued a warning that Congress is going to introduce a new law which, among other things, would make all new federal workers “at will,” completely change the federal pay system and eliminate official time, so that union representatives can no longer work to protect federal worker’s pay, benefits and jobs during the work day.
For their unions to survive, warned Goldman, “thousands and thousands of federal workers have to get involved. If you don’t belong to the union,” he said, “join today. If you already belong, ask your local leaders how you can help. Do it before it is too late.”
For the latest local labor calendar listings, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1918, a Mediation Commission appointed by President Woodrow Wilson found that "industry’s failure to deal with unions" was the prime reason for labor strife in war industries.
In 1954, former Hawaii Territorial Governor Ingram Steinbeck opposed statehood for Hawaii, saying left wing unions had an "economic stranglehold" on the islands. Hawaii would be granted statehood five years later.
And on this date in 2003, the administration of George W. Bush declared federal airport security screeners would not be allowed to unionize so as not to, quote, unquote, "complicate" the war on terrorism. The decision was challenged and eventually overturned after Bush left office.
Today’s labor quote is by Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, when he met with a group of TSA officers in Honolulu last December.
“I want to make sure you are not intimidated out of your job.”
Schatz is the lead sponsor for the Strengthening American Transportation Security Act of 2016, an effort to improve air travelers’ safety by making it easier for officers to do their jobs and boosting their morale.