32BJ SEIU, the nation’s largest property service workers union on Thursday called on the Trump Administration and Republican-controlled Congress to avoid a partial government shutdown on Friday, and AFGE, the nation’s largest union representing federal and D.C. government workers, said government shutdowns negatively affect their ability to do their jobs for the American people. AFSCME President Lee Saunders also weighed in on the potential federal government shutdown, saying “It’s time for the president to come to the table and end the brinkmanship that is already wreaking havoc on hundreds of thousands of dedicated public service workers, their families and their communities. It is irresponsible to head down this path, especially around the holidays, all to pursue a divisive partisan agenda that voters have flatly rejected. Congress has already reached bipartisan agreement on every element needed to fund the federal government, so this is entirely avoidable. The ball is in the president’s court.” 32BJ SEIU represents 163,000 cleaners, security officers and other building service workers across the East Coast, the majority of who are immigrants. Almost 2,000 of these members work in federal buildings that could be impacted by a shutdown. “The impending shutdown could be devastating for the men and women who keep our federal buildings safe and clean,” said 32BJ SEIU Vice President Jaime Contreras. Meanwhile, 86.2 percent of AFGE members responding to an internal poll say they have not been given direction on what to do during a shutdown and 79.4 percent say their ability to do their work as normal is impacted when the government is about to run out of money.
Registered nurses with National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United said they were “deeply disappointed” by the DC Superior Court’s decision to deny an emergency temporary restraining order prohibiting Ascension from closing Providence Hospital. According to court documents, Dr. LaQuanda Nesbitt, the director of the District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH), said DOH renewed Providence Hospital’s license on Dec. 7 with the understanding that Ascension would “operate a fully-functioning hospital.” However, on Dec. 8, DOH received a copy of a press release from Ascension indicating it would only continue to operate an emergency department. Nesbitt notes that the district does not issue licenses for freestanding emergency departments and that, furthermore, the reduction in staff and acute-care services by Ascension has made it so EMS providers are not bringing patients to Providence, even when it is the closest hospital. “These court documents show clearly this has been a game of smoke and mirrors by Ascension, they are laying off doctors, nurses, caregivers, and closing beds. They are no longer operating what anyone would call a hospital and they are not serving the needs of our community,” said NNU's Curry. “We will continue to fight to see the restoration of services including a fully-functioning emergency room, staffing for an appropriate number of acute-care beds to serve the community, and the necessary support services to care for the hospital’s patients.”
photo by Chris Garlock/Union City
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Dulles Rally for Airline Catering Workers
Thu, December 20, 12pm – 2pm; Dulles International Airport, 1 Saarinen Cir, Dulles, VA 20166, Main Terminal, Departures Level outside United Airlines check-in counters
Your Rights at Work
Thu, December 20, 1pm – 3pm; WPFW 89.3 FM or listen online
Monthly NoVA Labor Meeting (& Holiday Party)
Thu, December 20, 7pm – 9pm; NoVA Labor, 4536 B John Marr Drive, Annandale VA
Metro Washington Council and Community Services Agency offices will be closed for the holidays, December 24-Jan 1
Raymond "Jack" Jackson has been elected president of ATU Local 689, taking the reins from retiring president Jackie Jeter, who has led Local 689 for 12 years. “I am grateful to the membership of Local 689 for entrusting me to lead our union at this critical time for the labor movement,” Jackson told Union City. “I am looking forward to making positive changes and preparing our membership for the fight ahead to get and protect safe, affordable and reliable public transportation.” Also elected to lead Local 689 were Carroll "Popeye" Thomas (First Vice-President), Derrick A. Mallard (Second Vice-President), Keith M. Bullock (Financial Secretary-Treasurer) and Brenda A. Thomas (Recording Secretary). Click here for complete election results.