ATU Local 689 earlier this week announced that it “strongly opposes” the bus service cuts proposed in WMATA’s next budget. “At a time when we need to be expanding public transit offerings and working to get people out of their cars, WMATA seems to be moving in the wrong direction,” the union said. Local 689, which represents transit workers throughout the region, also called for the elimination of WMATA’s “arbitrary” 3% budget cap. “The budget cap pits all riders against each other,” the union said. In addition, the cap prompted WMATA to hire Transdev to run its Cinder Bed Bus Garage as a way to restrict budget growth, and the private contractor “was so cruel in its treatment of the workers there that they went on strike for 85 days, shutting down bus service for thousands of passengers in Northern Virginia.”
Click here to download a sample script and the numbers for your local representatives. photo: WMATA budget hearing
Calling it “just another step toward the administration’s goal of busting unions,” the American Federation of Government Employees – the largest federal union – last week blasted the Federal Labor Relations Authority’s recent decision regarding union-dues deductions. The union said the decision will make it “even harder for rank-and-file federal employees to speak up, defend their rights, and serve the American people” adding that “It’s part of a pattern of behavior by this administration that shows no respect for federal employees’ voluntary choice, their union contracts, or their rights under the law.” “They may try to silence us,” AFGE National Secretary-Treasurer Everett Kelley said, “but they can never stop organized federal employees from standing up and speaking out for a better life for their families and the public we serve.”
photo: at AFGE's recent legislative conference
Coalition of Labor Union Women Executive Director Carol Rosenblatt retired on February 14 “After twenty incredible years fighting for women, families and labor rights.” Rosenblatt’s tenure at CLUW spanned six presidents of the organization, from Gloria Johnson through current president Elise Bryant. “It has been a privilege working with such a dedicated group pursuing economic and social justice,” Rosenblatt said, adding that “I am not leaving my love for the labor movement or the women's community (and) hope we will see each other again.” Reach her at [email protected]. During CLUW's transition, contact Tiana Outram, CLUW's Labor/Women's Rights Advocate at [email protected] or 202-508-6965.
photo: Rosenblatt (center) at a rally in front of the Supreme Court for CLUW, this one having to do with the class action pay discrimination case at Walmart.
In December 1985, Springsteen and Nelson wrote a letter to 3M, the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company, asking them not to shut down the company’s video and audio tape facility in Freehold, New Jersey, Springsteen’s hometown.
″We know that these decisions are always difficult to make,” Springsteen and Nelson wrote, “but we believe that people of good will should be able to sit down and come up with a humane program that will keep those jobs and those workers in Freehold.″
3M went ahead with their plans and on February 28, 1986, in response to the layoff of 450 union members at the factory in New Jersey, every worker at a 3M factory in South Africa, walked off the job in sympathy.