2016 Evening with Labor
JC TURNER AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING TRADES UNIONIST:
Joslyn N. Williams has been a mighty voice for Washington-area unions for nearly four decades. Beginning his career at the Library of Congress, where black employees were consigned to “taking books off the shelves to give to the librarians who were white,” he became an activist, then a leader in the library union, increasing membership threefold. As Director of AFSCME Council 26, he broadened his work to represent federal employees. In 1982, Williams was elected President of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO, the organization’s first African American and longest-serving president. He also served as the assistant director of the AFL-CIO Department of Field Mobilization, and is a former regional director of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. A consensus builder and master negotiator, Jos has been hailed as the glue holding together a sometimes scrappy and contentious lot of labor activists. For 34 years as president of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO, he’s championed the right of 150,000 union brothers and sisters to live the American Dream with fair wages, safe working conditions, access to affordable health care and secure retirements.
ORGANIZING AWARDS: WTU 6 & AFSCME 658
Washington Teachers Union Local 6: For the second year in a row, Local 6 has signed up hundreds of new members; over 800 new teachers turned out for the DCPS New Teacher Orientation at the Columbia Heights Education Campus in mid-August and more than 700 took advantage of the opportunity to sign on as full dues paying WTU members.
AFSCME Local 658: Since the beginning of 2015, this local has almost doubled their membership at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center. Members of the local’s “Member Action Team (MAT)” conduct one-on-one workplace conversations with non-members around current contract negotiations and other issues and ask non-members to join. This is part of the nationwide “AFSCME Strong” program that has signed up well over 200,000 members.
GOLDEN PICKET SIGN AWARDS: NNU & UFCW 400
National Nurses United: The metro-area NNU has consistently made it a point to turn out members and staff at Street Heat events for years, and is equally consistent in organizing creative, militant and effective street actions in support of organizing and contract campaigns, going the “extra mile” to involve the Metro Council, affiliates and community and religious allies.
UFCW 400: Local 400 has been conscientious about turning out for DC events throughout the metro area, not only for Council affiliates but allies as well, helping to build and strengthen lasting bridges of solidarity throughout the region. Local 400 has also led the way in use of social media to promote mobilization and organizing efforts, not just for the local, but for affiliates and allies as well.
THOMAS M. BRADLEY COMMUNITY SERVICES AWARDS: SMART 100; OPERATIVE PLASTERERS AND CEMENT MASONS LOCAL 891
SMART Local 100 chose the Community Services Agency as the local charity for giving at the 2015 Business Agents’ Conference in DC which resulted in just over $100,000 in contributions. Local 100 has consistently supported CSA’s fundraising events including Bowling, Golf and Labor Night at the Nats, and has supported the Building Futures Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program with free space.
Operative Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 891: For many years, Local 891 has hosted CSA’s 6-week Building Futures Construction Pre-Apprenticeship program classes which are run four times annually. Not only has the local offered space, but the students have benefited from invaluable instruction and leadership from Rodney Carson, Apprenticeship Director, and 51-year member and instructor extraordinaire Rosella Scott and they have taken many of the program’s graduates into the apprenticeship program providing them with jobs and careers.
SPECIAL RECOGNITION: FRED ALLEN
Fred Allen has served faithfully as Evening with Labor Dinner Chairman for almost the entire 39 years of this event. Fred has taken on the responsibility of coordinating the dinner and dinner committees, as well as hosting the post-dinner reception. Over the years, Fred has worked tirelessly with the committees, hotels, bands, printers and the Labor Council staff and board to ensure an enjoyable event where the community and our labor-friendly politicians can mix and mingle over a nice meal with workers and their unions. Fred also coordinated the post-dinner reception, which allowed great conversation to continue into the wee hours. His dedication to this event on behalf of himself, his local, and the Labor Council for so many years is very greatly appreciated.