From Union City <[email protected]>
Subject MetroAccess workers win 9-day strike
Date August 12, 2022 9:48 AM
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MetroAccess workers win 9-day strike

AU Staff Union set to strike August 22

Contracted airport workers turn the table on airport authority at job fair

In Memoriam: Roscoe Ridley, Jr.

Walk with labor at Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

Union Voice/Readers Write: Sharing Union City

Labor Quote: Raymond Jackson

Today's Labor History

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Labor Calendar: [link removed] click here for complete and latest listings

[link removed] Union City Radio: 7:15am daily

WPFW-FM 89.3 FM; [link removed] click here to hear today's report

Rally for a Fair Contract for Shoppers workers (UFCW Local 400); Wed, August 17, 4:45pm - 5:45pm
Shoppers College Park, 4720 Cherry Hill Rd, College Park, MD 20740

Union City Radio: Your Rights at Work: Thu, August 18, 1pm - 2pm

WPFW 89.3 FM or listen online.

Union City is taking a summer break; look for our next edition on August 30.

On The Air: [link removed] Click here to catch this week's Your Rights At Work radio show (WPFW 89.3FM, Thursdays 1-2p): Mike Wilson (UFCW 400) with an [link removed] update on contract negotiations at Shoppers; Kentucky AFL-CIO president Bill Londrigan with the latest on [link removed] labor's efforts to provide disaster relief to those impacted by the recent Kentucky floods, plus a chant remix from Tuesday's rally by striking MetroAccess workers.


MetroAccess workers win 9-day strike

After a nine-day strike, ATU Local 689 MetroAccess workers have approved a new contract with private contractor Transdev. The more than 200 paratransit drivers, utility workers, dispatchers, maintenance workers, and road supervisors, who walked off the job on August 1 after months of intense negotiations, overwhelmingly (91%) ratified the contract yesterday. The new three-year contract with Transdev includes substantial wage increases and improved benefits, including better sick leave, a more secure retirement plan, additional holidays, and other improvements. The workers successfully fought off the company's proposal to offer members less than what their counterparts in Baltimore make and their refusal to enter into a three-year agreement. "We must still address the issue of privatization of our most vital services like paratransit," said Local 689 president Raymond Jackson. "WMATA needs to reconsider its relationship with private contractors. It's not working, and transit workers and riders are being left behind." Last year, Local 689 MV Call Center workers went on a one-day strike and were successful in winning a fair contract that helped improve their wages, benefits, and rights on the job. Three weeks ago, Local 689 members at the MetroAccess Hubbard Road facility also voted to strike, if necessary, to win a fair contract. The Local says that privatization is a misguided approach to public transit, especially for vital services like MetroAccess.


AU Staff Union set to strike August 22

The AU Staff Union (members of SEIU Local 500) has just authorized a 5-day strike starting August 22nd, to coincide with AU's student move-in week. Hundreds of staff have been involved in pushing American University (AU) for more than 18 months to get their first contract settled, and 91% voted in support of the strike. "All along we've been fighting for livable wages and to establish pay structures that promote retention by focusing on equity," the union said. Meanwhile, AU has unilaterally denied merit raises "and stuck to its too-little-too-late proposals month after month." The union is urging support via their [link removed] link tree and is accepting donations to their [link removed] hardship fund.


Contracted airport workers turn the table on airport authority at job fair

At the [link removed] Dulles Airport Job Fair on Wednesday, contracted airport workers wearing shirts that read "Jobs with no benefits, are you sick?" peppered Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority reps with questions about why they don't receive the same benefits as MWAA employees. As National Airport ranks [link removed] #3 among U.S. airports and [link removed] #8 worldwide with the most summer cancellations, contracted workers report that they believe they are understaffed and that they think lack of paid sick leave and employer-paid health care is behind the shortage. In 2018, MWAA enacted a policy that requires contractors to provide a living wage for service workers including, baggage handlers, cleaners and wheelchair agents. Likewise, says SEIU 32BJ, "MWAA also has the power to enact a policy requiring contractors to provide paid sick leave and health care benefits, which workers have been pushing for over two years." In July, a prevailing wage law went into effect at Philadelphia International Airport that mandates $4.80 in healthcare benefits and a minimum of 11 days of paid holidays or time off. A dozen airports have requirements for healthcare or other supplemental benefits currently or will soon apply. "Those who lack health insurance can't afford to go to the hospital, often dying as a result," said DCA skycap Almaz Abera. "If I got hit by a car or a stray bullet, I'd tell the ambulance to take me to work, otherwise, I won't have a job when I come back," said Paul Blair, 71, Dulles terminal cleaner.


In Memoriam: Roscoe Ridley, Jr.

Longtime local labor leader Roscoe Ridley Jr. died on August 6 at the age of 71. His funeral is set for Tuesday, August 16 - Viewing at 10a, Service at 11a - at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church, 1600 Morris Road S.E., Washington, DC 20020.

Ridley celebrated his retirement in January, 2014 after more than three decades in the federal government. Ridley's 34-year career included stints with the Department of Labor and the Federal Aviation Administration where he served as a Labor and Employee Relations Specialist. Former president of AFGE 631, Ridley was also active with the Metro Washington Labor Council, CBTU, and a host of other local organizations. Read more [link removed] here.


Walk with labor at Greenbelt Labor Day Festival

A union contingent is being organized for the Greenbelt Labor Day Festival Parade on Monday, September 5. The parade, which began in 1956, runs from 10a to 12p, along Crescent Road, from Greenhill Road to Southway. Union locals and/or individual union members or supporters are invited to join the labor contingent; if interested contact Susan Flashman at mailto:[email protected] [email protected].

Union Voice/Readers Write: Sharing Union City
"How very disappointing we can no longer `email (Union City to) a friend,'" says Judith D. "Please help us try to figure out where else to turn in getting the word out on mission-critical labor matters."

Absolutely! You can use the "Forward to a Friend" button at the top left of Union City; thanks so much for helping spread the word!

Labor Quote: Raymond Jackson

"Our members stood strong and united throughout this process. They braved the heat and the company's tactics to try and divide us. This strike shows that our members are willing to lay it all on the line for justice."

Jackson is president of ATU 689, referring to the MetroAccess workers who struck on August 1 and won a new contract yesterday.

TODAY'S LABOR HISTORY

This week's Labor History Today podcast: [link removed] The St. Vincent Hospital Strike. Last week's show: [link removed] A cold wind and a hot summer sit-down.

August 12

Coal company guards kill 7, wound 40 striking miners who are trying to stop scabs, Virden, Ill. - 1898

With the news that their boss, Florenz Ziegfeld, was joining the Producing Managers' Assn., the chorus girls in his Ziegfield Follies create their own union, the Chorus Equity Assn. They were helped by a big donation from superstar and former chorus girl Lillian Russell. In 1955 the union merged with the Actor's Equity Assn - 1919

The North American Free Trade Agreement--NAFTA-- was concluded between the United States, Canada and Mexico, despite protests from labor, environmental and human rights groups. It went into effect in January, 1994 - 1992

August 13

Newspaper Guild members begin three-month strike of Hearst-owned Seattle Post-Intelligencer, shutting the publication down in their successful fight for union recognition - 1936

August 14

Members of the upstart Polish union Solidarity seize the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk. Sixteen days later the government officially recognizes the union. Many consider the event the beginning of the end for the Iron Curtain - 1980

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Published by the Metropolitan Washington Council, an AFL-CIO "Union City" Central Labor Council whose 200 affiliated union locals represent 150,000 area union members.

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