This Sunday, individuals filing for unemployment benefits in the District of Columbia will see the first increase in their weekly Unemployment Insurance benefits in over ten years. “At a time when more and more people are struggling to get by in the District, we know just how scary suddenly finding yourself without employment can be for working people,” said Metro Washington Labor Council Executive Director Carlos Jimenez. “Critical programs like Unemployment Insurance were created so that no working person will be thrown off the ‘economic cliff’ when they find themselves without a job.” In addition to increasing the maximum weekly UI benefit amount, individuals with part-time earnings are now able to receive a larger portion of their weekly benefits, and seasonal workers and those with inconsistent work histories are now eligible to get up to 26 weeks of benefits. Along with recent increases to the DC minimum wage and other policy proposals like paid-family leave, Jimenez says the UI improvements “will go a long way to making our economy one that allows working families to work and live in the District.”
On today’s labor calendar, author Rana Foroohar will discuss her book “Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business” today at noon at the AFL-CIO; complete details on our website at dclabor.org, click on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1899, seventy-year-old Mother Jones organized the wives of striking miners in Arnot, Pennsylvania to descend on the mine with brooms, mops and clanging pots and pans. They frightened away the mules and their scab drivers and the miners eventually won their strike.
In 1919, black farmers met in Elaine, Arkansas to establish the Progressive Farmers and Householders Union to fight for better pay and higher cotton prices. They were shot at by a group of Whites, and returned the fire. News of the confrontation spread and a riot ensued, leaving at least 100, perhaps several hundred, Blacks dead and 67 indicted for inciting violence.
And in 1962, Cesar Chavez, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later was to become the United Farm Workers of America.
Today’s labor quote is by Dolores Huerta
“Professional farmworkers who know how to do a number of different jobs, whether it be pruning or picking or crafting, they see themselves as professionals, and they take a lot of pride in that work. They don't see themselves as doing work that is demeaning.”
Metro Washington Labor Council Executive Director Carlos Jimenez; author Tula Connell; The Case of the Missing Evidence and American Worker by The Bus Boys. Chris Garlock and David Stephen host; produced by Peter Pocock, engineering by Michael Nassella.
Guests: Metro Washington Labor Council Executive Director Carlos Jimenez on the increase in Unemployment Insurance benefits in DC; Tula Connell discusses her new book "Conservative Counter-Revolution" and also reports on how a million nurses, teachers, students and state employees in Uzbekistan are forced, through systematic coercion, to leave clinics and classrooms and toil for weeks picking cotton.
Labor Song: American Worker - The Bus Boys
FROM THE CAP FILES: The Case of the Missing Evidence
With Lolita Martin of the Claimant Advocacy Program.
They say that honesty is the best policy but it cost a housekeeper at a major DC hotel her job. Find out how an attorney for the Claimant Advocacy Program won unemployment benefits for the housekeeper.
Black women voters are the key to electing Hillary Clinton president in November, according to data released Tuesday by the AFL-CIO. The data reveal that black women turn out to vote in higher numbers than other women and, just as they helped President Barack Obama win in 2008 and 2012, can secure the presidency for Hillary Clinton. "Black women cannot afford to sit this election out," said Carmen Berkley, AFL-CIO director of civil, human and women’s rights. "A loss for Secretary Clinton is a loss for the black family, from the White House to the Supreme Court,” said Berkley. “We need to let our communities know what's at stake if we let a divisive fear monger like Donald Trump make decisions that affect everything from our families to our jobs." The AFL-CIO plans large-scale outreach to women union members across the country in key states where black women made the difference in the past presidential election. The new AFL-CIO data indicates that black women participate in leadership in America’s unions at a greater percentage than their actual unionization rates, making these women a force and the foundation for political change.
On today’s labor calendar, check out this week’s edition of “Your Rights At Work” at 1pm here on WPFW, when we’ll take your calls about worker rights, plus we’ll visit with Rana Foroohar – author of “Makers and Takers: The Rise of Finance and the Fall of American Business” and Tula Connell – author of “Conservative Counterrevolution: Challenging Liberalism in 1950s Milwaukee” -- and we’ll hear about the power of black women’s vote from Carmen Berkley. It all starts here on WPFW 89.3 FM at 1pm; get complete details on our website at dclabor.org; click on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 2010, tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Europe, striking against government austerity measures. Workers in more than a dozen countries participated, including Spain, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia, and Lithuania, protesting job losses, retirement deferments, pension reductions, and cuts to schools, hospitals, and welfare services.
Today’s labor quote is by Petee Talley
"Black women are born organizers. We know what our families and communities need to thrive, and we vote for candidates who can deliver."
Petee Talley is secretary-treasurer of the Ohio AFL-CIO, the first black woman to hold that position.
Nearly 300 janitors who clean and maintain the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center have ratified a new contract that maintains their employer’s contributions into the workers’ pension fund. A week ago, the workers – members of SEIU 32BJ -- voted to authorize a strike to protest Ace Janitorial Services’ previous proposal to undermine retirement security for cleaners, many of whom have worked at Walter Reed for decades. “Protecting the health and safety of our nation’s veterans is a job we take very seriously,” said Helen Ávalos, a janitor at Walter Reed. “We are happy to put this ordeal behind us knowing that we can someday retire with dignity.”
Read more on our website at dclabor.org, where you can also find out about the latest local labor events and actions by clicking on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1864, the International Workingmen’s Association was founded in London. It was an international organization trying to unite a variety of different left-wing, socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and unions. It lasted for about 12 years, growing to a membership of eight million, before disbanding at its Philadelphia conference in 1876, victim of infighting brought on by the wide variety of members’ philosophies.
Today’s labor quote is by Karl Marx
“The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.”
Marx was a somewhat obscure 46-year-old émigré journalist when he attended the 1864 founding of the International Workingmen’s Association, but he soon come to play a decisive role in the organization.
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