HARRISBURG, Pa. – More than 100 AFSCME Council 13 activists and staff gathered here for AFSCME Strong coaches training, spending two and a half days learning the art of the one-on-one conversation and pledging to take the steps to make their locals and district councils AFSCME Strong.
At the outset, members and council staff walked through the AFSCME Strong coaches training to learn the components of a house call, how to engage members in one-on-one conversations, the importance of PEOPLE and how to reengage members.
“We need to stand together for the strength and future of the labor movement,” said Linda Wise, a 21-year clerk at the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency. “If we don’t do this, it will come down to the rich and the poor – the middle class is being torn apart.”
On the second day of training, participants took turns practicing the teaching techniques on one another, preparing themselves to go back to their locals and district councils with the AFSCME Strong message. Following the morning session, 58 teams broke out to hit the doors and put their training to practice, 184 one-on-one conversations. They signed up 94 new activists, got 19 to join the union and signed up 29 new PEOPLE members.
“AFSCME Strong eliminates the complacency that we have seen,” said Shaun Abel, an eight-year veteran diesel mechanic at Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. “This is a good opportunity to dive more into our union and share how important it is to get everyone involved.”
On the third day, members shared stories of conversations on the doors. Acknowledging that it was nerve wracking to knock on the door of a stranger, participants agreed that it got easier because people were excited to have someone from their union show up on their doors. “No one ever asked,” was the common theme. Before leaving, the new coaches developed their plans, mapped their worksites and recommitted themselves to take the campaign to their locals and district councils.
“We are talking to our members, reengaging them in what’s important,” said Dave Fillman, AFSCME Council 13 executive director and also an AFSCME International vice president. “The labor movement, the middle class and Pennsylvania will be stronger for the work that started this week. This is just the beginning.”
Joining Council 13 were 10 staff members from AFSCME DC 37, who were getting a head start on their AFSCME Strong training next week.
The International Headquarters in Indianapolis was a modest building with only a few employees, including General President Tobin and General Secretary-Treasurer Hughes. Tobin and Hughes worked in lockstep to grow the union nationwide.
(PHOENIX) – The country’s two leading proxy voting advisors, ISS and Glass Lewis, recommend that shareholders of Swift Transportation [NYSE: SWFT] vote for a shareholder proposal sponsored by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters that calls on the company to pursue a plan to recapitalize the company and replace the current dual class stock structure with one that ensures equal voting rights for all shareholders.
Unions are standing up and shouting “hell no!” to a trade agreement that can only be voted up or down, preventing lawmakers from ensuring that good-paying American jobs are not lost to countries offering cheap labor.
The voices of labor are loud and clear. On April 20, hundreds of union members marched from the AFL-CIO to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to press their case against fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a trade deal with a dozen other countries that make up 40 percent of the world’s economy. AFL-CIO Pres. Richard Trumka, testifying before the Senate Finance Committee, and other national labor leaders joined members of Congress in calling on lawmakers to oppose the deal.
The previous week, on April 15, more than 1,000 union members and allies crowded a park near Capitol Hill to voice their opposition to fast-tracking TPP, which the Obama administration wants to push through Congress on what is known on Capitol Hill as the “fast track.” It is a way of crafting trade deals without allowing members of Congress to amend them before they go into effect, even if they are not in our country’s best interest.
AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders recently explained labor’s opposition to TPP, now being debated in Congress. “We cannot create better trade agreements until we get our priorities straight,” he said. “These priorities should include lifting wages, protecting workers, environmental and safety standards, and enforcing workers’ rights. Unfortunately, TPP will be no different than previous trade agreements that ignore these priorities and approach trade the same old way: by focusing on corporate goals and giving special rights to corporations at the expense of workers and consumers.”
A major union-sponsored advertising campaign coincided with this week’s activities. “These ads, which follow months of rallies, congressional meetings and unprecedented grassroots activities, will remind politicians that the trade debate is enormously important to working families,” Trumka said.
On April 30, during the AFL-CIO’s annual May Day Rally, union leaders once again will demand that Congress get off the fast track. Help us spread the word. Tell Congress: Stop the fast-track train wreck!
Here are today's top news stories of interest to Teamsters for April 24, 2015.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2015/04/todays-teamster-news-042415.html
Committees in the House and Senate this week voted the wrong way on the fast track bill. But the biggest fight is still ahead for workers.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2015/04/house-senate-panels-side-with-corporate.html
PERRIS, Calif. — A group of paramedics and EMTs spent the morning of April 21 reading Stewie the Duck to children at Temple Christian School. It was part of their effort to reduce the number of water-related injuries and deaths in Riverside County.
Drowning is a leading cause of death for children under the age of 5 and with education it’s 100 percent preventable, according to Riverside County Injury Prevention Services. The Local 4911 members who respond to these tragic 911 calls recently launched Splash Medics, a nonprofit organization to promote water safety education.
Paramedic Lisa La Russo, who has provided emergency care for 25 years, said that 911 calls involving children are especially difficult. After responding to a call involving a 9-year old patient last year who nearly drowned in a swimming pool, La Russo was inspired to reach out to her community.
“The number of drownings was higher than I’ve ever seen,” said La Russo. “I contacted officials, and due to funding issues there wasn’t a real program in place to educate the public. That’s when we decided to do something ourselves and get those numbers down.”
Fifteen of La Russo’s coworkers volunteered to participate in upcoming Splash Medic events. Her partner, EMT Victor George was eager to get involved, having responded to several water-related emergencies over the years.
“If there is anything I can do to help curb the number of calls, I want to be a part of it.”
Splash Medics will visit Callie Kirkpatrick Elementary School in Menifee, California, on May 5.
Here are today's top news stories of interest to Teamsters for April 23, 2015.http://teamsternation.blogspot.com/2015/04/todays-teamster-news-042315.html