From Metro Washington Labor Council AFL-CIO <[email protected]>
Subject CWU announces first union in U.S. Senate office
Date March 10, 2023 10:47 AM
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CWU announces first union in U.S. Senate office

44th Evening With Labor: Voices & Acknowledgments

With Unions, Women App-Based Drivers Steer Toward a Fair Future

Labor Quote

Today's Labor History


Today's Labor Calendar

[link removed] Click here for the complete calendar and details. Got something to add or update? Email us at mailto:[email protected] [email protected].

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2-minute audio version of the Metro Washington Labor Council's Union City newsletter.

Transit Strike Picket Lines in Leesburg, Woodbridge and Manassas: Mar 6 - 10, 2023
Prince William County Transit - Teamsters Local 639, 14700 Potomac Mills Rd, Woodbridge,VA. (3:30 am to 5 pm); 7850 Doane Drive, Manassas, VA ( 9 am - 5 pm)
Loudoun County Transit - ATU Local 689; 43031 Loudoun Center Place, Leesburg - 3:30 am to 3 pm

Donate to the [link removed] Local 689 Loudoun County Transit Strike Fund by clicking here.

[link removed] George Mason University Coalition for Worker Rights: Fri, March 10, 12pm - 1pm

The GMU Coalition for Worker Rights unites faculty, students, alumni, campus staff, custodial and food service workers, and construction workers.
NOTE: Union City will be on hiatus next week.

CWU announces first union in U.S. Senate office

The Congressional Workers Union (CWU) on Wednesday announced that staff in the Office of Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) are seeking voluntary recognition to form the first staff union in United States Senate history. "On Team Markey we don't agonize--we organize," said the Markey Unit. "As members of the staff of the Office of Senator Markey, we are honored to work everyday on behalf of the people of Massachusetts and this nation. And now, we couldn't be more proud to announce that we have signed a petition to form a union, and request voluntary recognition." On February 9, CWU urged Senate leadership in a letter to expeditiously pass a resolution to extend labor rights to Senate congressional staff. "Following Senate leadership's failure to heed the union's call to action, the workers in Senator Markey's office are bravely seeking voluntary recognition of their union," said CWU.

If you are a Senate congressional staffer interested in unionizing your office, you can email [email protected]. To learn more about CWU, visit

44th Evening with Labor: Voices & Acknowledgments

Some 800 metro-area union leaders, members and their supporters turned out for the 44th Evening with Labor on March 3, 2023 ([link removed] CLICK HERE for our album of photos). The annual event celebrates exceptional leaders in the labor movement.

"When I first received the call saying that I was going to be receiving an award, I honestly said `Oh, 689 is getting an award?'" said Raymond Jackson, ATU 689 President and Business Agent and the Trade Unionist of the Year awardee, who was joined on stage by leaders and members from his local, as well as John Costa, ATU International President, as he accepted the award on behalf of his union and then led the delegation in a chant of "Who moves this region? We move this region!"

Moments of silence were observed for former AFL-CIO President Tom Donahue, DC CLUW's Donna Brockington, and ATU 689 member Robert Cunningham, who "was killed last month protecting a woman on the Metro," noted Father Brian Jordan, OFM, who delivered the evening's fiery invocation.

Prince George's County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks welcomed the attendees, saying "You've endured the changing tides and you have risen together, and it's because you stay true to your mission in stressful times. It's easy to splinter and go your own way or get swept away by feelings of hopelessness, but you have continued to do what you've always done; you band together even tighter, and you continue seeking fairness and dignity for working people, and you provide the work that is the backbone of our country."

"Politics are personal," said Kayla Mock of UFCW 400, which won an Organizing Award. "It's personal to workers who want to organize for better wages and to keep food on the table and the lights on. It's personal to workers who are bargaining with their employer for better access to wages and retirement with dignity. It's personal to people who work full-time and are homeless and it's personal to workers who are facing gun violence in their stores."

"During COVID, when everybody was sitting home trying to figure out how to get work done," said Michael Spiller from OPEIU Local 2, which won an Organizing Award, "Local 2 said `there's a new group of people out there that we need to organize...and over the past two and a half years we've organized 15 nonprofits in the DC area."

"We are excited to start negotiating our first contract with the Shakespeare Theater, after we have just signed a contract with the Signature Theater, where we saw double digit increases for our workers in the first year," reported Nick Arancibia, IATSE 22 Vice President, another Organizing Award winner. "We would not be here without the enthusiasm of our unrepresented brothers, sisters, and kin who stand up and are joining with Local 22 to fight for representation and a better way of life after a global pandemic that has shut down our entire industry overnight."

Even though hotel and restaurant workers were hit hard by the pandemic, "What I know about our workers is that they are resilient," said Sam Epps, Political Director UNITE HERE 25, accepting a COPE Award. "We are coming back, and coming back stronger. We have workers who are now organizing, who want to organize other workers into the union. And so I certainly share this award with our workers at Local 25."

"We are healthcare workers and as many of you know, we are dealing with short-staffing in all of our facilities from hospitals to long-term care facilities," said Ricarra Jones, SEIU 1199 MD/DC Political Director, accepting a COPE award. "Yet the people on this stage knew how important the general election was, and they took time from their jobs, they took time from their families to make sure they went out and knocked over a hundred thousand doors."

ATU 689 also won a COPE Award, "We are honored and will keep up the hard work for the working class.", said Derrick Nabors of ATU 689.

The final COPE Award went to AFSCME Maryland Council 3, "From Garrett County all the way to Worcester County, these are the people that make Maryland happen," said Pat Moran, President, AFSCME Maryland Council 3.

"We are deeply grateful for this recognition, representing our commitment to supporting and collaborating with our fellow labor unions in our community," said PGCEA President Donna L. Christy, Ph.D., ABSNP, accepting the Outstanding Ally Award, "We all play a critical role in advocating for workers' rights, promoting economic security and ensuring that everyone has access to safe and dignified working conditions."

"Anyone who knows me knows that community service is near and dear to my heart," said Thomas M. Bradley Community Services Award-winner, Ottis Johnson Jr., National Vice President, AFGE District 14, "But let me tell you, this award may have my name on it, but none of this would have been possible without the members of the mighty AFGE Fighting 14th!"

Joslyn N. Williams Vanguard Award-winner Chuck Clay (IATSE 22) said that "the power of unionism is in its members and its members standing boldly together to support each other in the cause of trade unionism. Solidarity forever, for the union makes us strong." Added UNITE HERE 25 John Boardman, who also won a Vanguard Award added "I leave you with three words: organize, organize, organize!"

Special thanks to our sponsors for their support ([link removed] CLICK HERE to view/download the EWL program book): Gold Sponsors: AFGE District 14 * AFSCME Maryland * ATU * ATU 1300 * Nuclear Powers Maryland * IAFF 36 * IAM * IBEW 26 * Regan Associates * SEIU 722 * SEIU1199 United Healthcare Workers East * Steamfitters 602 (UA) * Teamsters 639 * UFCW 400 * UNITE HERE 25. Silver Sponsors: ATU 689 * IATSE 22 * NAGE. Bronze Sponsors: APWU Baltimore/Washington Construction & Public Employees, Laborers' District Council, LiUNA! * Kaiser Permanente * MD State and DC AFL-CIO * Murphy Anderson PLLC * NoVA Labor * O'Donoghue & O'Donoghue * PILMA * Plumbers Local 5 * UFCW (IU).

We were honored to be joined by the following political leaders: Maryland Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller and Second Gentleman David Miller; Maryland Secretary of Labor Portia Wu; Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown; Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks; Prince George's County State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy; Prince George's County Council Member District 8 Edward P. Burroughs III; Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich; Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne Jones; Metropolitan Baltimore Council President Courtney Jenkins; Maryland State and DC AFL-CIO President Donna S. Edwards; Maryland Democratic Party Chair Yvette Lewis; Maryland Democratic Party Vice Chair Everett Browning; DC City Council Chair Phil Mendelson.

Click here for the [link removed] Evening with Labor photobooth.

With Unions, Women App-Based Drivers Steer Toward a Fair Future

App-based drivers worldwide work long hours for often minimum wages while facing safety risks every day--and these issues are compounded for women platform workers, according to speakers at a March 7 Solidarity Center panel, Women Workers Organizing: Transforming the Gig Economy through Collective Action. "Not just in Colombia, but worldwide, women are always the ones that are the most vulnerable and paid the worst," said Luz Myriam Fique Cardenas, president of Unión de Trabajadores de Plataformas (UNIDAPP) in Colombia. "We suffer harassment. We don't have security in the streets because we're women." Cardenas joined three women app-based drivers from Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria and the Philippines who are mobilizing platform workers to form unions and stand up for their rights. The panel was part of a United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (#CSW67) side event. [link removed] Find out more at Solidarity Center.

Labor Quote: César Chávez

On this date in 1968, United Farm Workers leader César Chávez broke a 24-day fast, by doctor's order, at a mass in Delano, California's public park. Several thousand supporters were at his side, including Sen. Robert Kennedy. Chavez called it "a fast for non-violence and a call to sacrifice."

Today's Labor History

This week's Labor History Today podcast: [link removed] The Tractor Princess. Last week's show: [link removed] Buffalo Soldier turned revolutionary.

March 10
New York City bus drivers, members of the Transport Workers Union, go on strike. After 12 days of no buses - and a large show of force by Irish-American strikers at the St. Patrick's Day parade - Mayor Fiorello La Guardia orders arbitration - 1941

March 11
Luddites smash 63 "labor saving" textile machines near Nottingham, England - 1811

March 12
The Lawrence, Mass. "Bread and Roses" textile strike ends when the American Woolen Co. agrees to most of the strikers' demands; other textile companies quickly followed suit - 1912

David Prosten


Material published in UNION CITY may be freely reproduced by any recipient; please credit Union City as the source.

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

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