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AFGE Rallies to Stop Delays in Veteran Benefits Claims

AFGE - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 16:00
The Veterans Benefit Administration has implemented new rules that have already delayed benefits for many veterans and could potentially reduce their benefits even further. They are also unfairly targeting the claims processors. Here's what we're doing about it. Read More
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Philadelphia Feds Hit the Sweltering Streets to Protest Budget Cuts

AFGE - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 16:00
It was 90 degrees out on this Thursday afternoon, but the heat couldn’t stop these AFGE activists from gathering at Independence National Historic Park to protest massive cuts to important programs that protect our lives, health, and jobs. Read More
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Unions Provide Checks and Balances against an Abuse of Power

AFGE - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 16:00
There’s a reason there are three branches of government – to create a check and balance system in which no one branch of our government could become too powerful. Our founding fathers had several goals, but the most important of all was to avoid tyranny and defend democracy. This concept is central to the creation of labor unions. Unions provide checks and balances in the workplace against bad management and an abuse of power. Read More
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Affordable Housing Under Siege at HUD

AFGE - Sun, 06/25/2017 - 16:00
The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s mission is “to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.” But looking at the Trump administration’s budget proposal for 2018, the department is no longer interested in doing all that. And HUD employees are not taking it laying down. Read More
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Labor Radio Host Interviews Teamsters On XPO Campaign

Teamsters - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 12:28

Nationally syndicated radio host Leslie Marshall interviewed Teamsters Organizing Department Director Jeff Farmer about the XPO freight, warehouse and port workers’ ongoing struggle for justice.

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Don't forget to register for the 2017 ISO Conference!

IBB - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 10:43
For more information, visit the website below.
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UAW Chaplains Highlight 30th Anniversary with Community Outreach that Makes a Difference

UAW - Fri, 06/23/2017 - 04:15

One Voice

It was clear that the 20 choir students waiting for their visitors to arrive at the front entrance of Inland Lakes School in northern Michigan had no idea what to expect. It was the same for the six students from Detroit’s Martin Luther King Jr. High School who were arriving for a visit on June 6.

However, in 10 minutes, their uncertainty was transformed into genuine excitement about an opportunity to make new friendships that might last a lifetime.

The teens said hello, told their ages and practiced singing a few tunes in the school band room. Then they exchanged Snapchat information and laughed, realizing they had some things in common. Before long they were all disappointed that the time for their first meeting just was not long enough.

The students had been invited to meet first and later eat dinner and perform during an evening program celebrating the 30th Annual International UAW Chaplaincy Conference. This year’s theme: We’re Stronger Together, One Voice.

“This is an extraordinary experience to have both sets of students come together like this and to have it facilitated by these wonderful chaplains,” said Kaye Smith-Clay, King High community school coordinator.

For UAW chaplains, the encounter meant a vision set in place for the UAW Chaplaincy program had now come to fruition.

“We have a long and beautiful relationship with band and choir members at Inland Lakes, and this year we wanted to do something different,” said Herb Taylor, chaplain committee chair and a member of UAW Local 31 in Kansas City, Kansas.

“We wanted these students to have a chance to meet other students from a different part of the state. It was a chance for them to talk about things they have in common and the things that are different, and maybe create some friendships along the way,” said Taylor.

The chaplaincy program is nondenominational. Where some worksites have EAP (Employee Assistance Program) representatives, chaplains work in conjunction with them to assist members. From divorce to bankruptcy, depression to substance abuse, chaplains are a key part of helping our UAW family through hard times. The chaplains also help others in need and have faithfully reached out to the young people in the Inland Lakes music program.

In 2011, the chaplains heard that the young musicians needed band uniforms and raised $2,500 for the new outfits. Chaplains later raised about $1,500 for electronic equipment for the band room and, after the youngsters saw some T-shirts at the 2016 conference and said they liked them, the chaplains ordered 120 new T-shirts for the students. When the students returned to school in September, those new T-shirts were waiting for them. This year, the chaplains are donating $5,000 to the school.

“The relationships that have been created between the chaplains and the students from Inland, and now from King High in Detroit, are great examples of why community outreach is so important to UAW members,” said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles, who directs the union’s chaplaincy program. “Our union is not solely about contracts and negotiations. It is also about communities in need and about reaching out to young people. What happens at Black Lake each year with the chaplains and the young people is a strong example of how UAW members make a difference.”

At the end of the night, the students joined to lead a standing-room-only crowd in the center’s auditorium in singing “Solidarity Forever.” Afterwards, the chaplains treated the students to ice cream, seeing how much they cherished this time for fellowship with each other and the UAW chaplains.

“That is a beautiful thing,” said Taylor. “This makes it all worthwhile. Their faces and their smiles tell us all we need to know.”

Sandra Davis

The post UAW Chaplains Highlight 30th Anniversary with Community Outreach that Makes a Difference appeared first on UAW.

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Strike Continues At Ports Of Los Angeles/Long Beach

Teamsters - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 15:35

Port truck drivers continued the 24-hour a day strike at the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach today.

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San Francisco UPS Day of Remembrance Details

Teamsters - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 12:09

Please join family, friends, co-workers and the greater community of San Francisco in a Day of Remembrance for Wayne Chan, Michael Lefiti and Benson Louie, drivers at UPS who tragically lost their lives at the San Francisco UPS Center on June 14.

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Teamsters Appoint Local 25 Business Agent John Murphy as UPS Freight Director

Teamsters - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 10:41

International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa has appointed John A. Murphy as UPS Freight Director in the Teamsters Package Division. 

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Labor Heritage Foundation honra a IP Jones

IBB - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:00


IP NEWTON Jones recibe el “Solidarity Forever Award” 2017 de Labor Heritage Foundation por preservar la historia y la cultura laboral. De izquierda a derecha: James Boland, Bricklayers IP; IP Jones; Eric Dean, Ironworkers GP y Elise Bryan, directora ejecutiva de LHF.

Reconocimientos otorgados por el Bank of Labor, iniciativas de justicia social

EL PRESIDENTE INTERNACIONAL Newton B. Jones recibió el “Premio Solidaridad para Siempre” (Solidarity Forever Award) 2017, de la Fundación Herencia Laboral (Labor Heritage Foundation) en ceremonias en la sede de la AFL-CIO en Washington, D.C., el 19 de mayo por apoyar la historia y la cultura laboral a través del Departamento de Preservación de Historia Boilermaker (Boilermaker History Preservation Department o BHPD, por sus siglas en inglés).

Elise Bryant, directora ejecutiva de Labor Heritage Foundation (LHF), entregó el reconocimiento.

Hablando sobre los logros de Jones estuvieron, A. Philip Randolph, presidente nacional de Clayola Brown; Eric Dean, presidente general de los Ironworkers; James Boland, presidente internacional de los Bricklayers; Saul Schniderman, presidente de LHF y Bridget Martin, vicepresidente de mercadeo del Bank of Labor.

Jones recibió elogios no sólo por establecer el BHPD, sino también por volver a visualizar el banco regional de 93 años de los Boilermakers como el Bank of Labor (Banco del Trabajo), que ahora ofrece servicios a través de todo el Movimiento Laboral de Estados Unidos. También, se refirieron a él por su valentía al abordar la histórica injusticia de las logias locales segregadas (común durante la era de Jim Crow de los años cuarenta) ofreciendo una disculpa pública en nombre del sindicato de los Boilermakers y poniendo en marcha una película que describe esa época a través de los ojos de la ex miembro Betty Soskin. A los 95 años, Soskin es la guardabosques de tiempo completo más antigua del Servicio de Parques de los Estados Unidos y trabaja en el Parque Histórico Nacional Rosie la Remachadora (Rosie the Riveter National Historic Park) en Richmond, California.

“Este premio tendrá un lugar especial en mi oficina y en mi vida como un recordatorio diario de nuestra lucha conjunta y nuestro compromiso inquebrantable de continuar el trabajo crítico de aquellos que estuvieron antes que nosotros en nuestro gran Movimiento Laboral”, dijo Jones.

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Labor Heritage Foundation honors IP Jones

IBB - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:00
Accolades given for Bank of Labor, social justice initiatives

INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT NEWTON B. Jones received the 2017 Labor Heritage Foundation “Solidarity Forever Award” in ceremonies at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C. May 19 for supporting labor history and culture through the Boilermaker History Preservation Department (BHPD).

LHF Executive Director Elise Bryant presented the honor.

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NABTU blasts right-wing smear of Davis-Bacon

IBB - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 07:11

WHEN CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST George Will called Davis-Bacon (the prevailing wage act) “racist” and claimed it would result in billions of dollars in needless spending for Trump’s promised infrastructure plan, NABTU’s

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Four Million Miles and Counting: UPS Teamster Walter Beasley

Teamsters - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 05:51

Walter Beasley, a member of Teamsters Local 191 in Bridgeport, Conn., began driving for UPS in 1967. He has logged more than four million miles without even a fender-bender.

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Standing Committee: Conservation and Recreation

UAW - Thu, 06/22/2017 - 04:15
Any member can pitch an idea to the Local 2209 Conservation and Recreation Committee, but they should be prepared to see their idea through.

Respecting our Planet and Having a Little Fun Along the Way

On a Saturday in June, members of Local 2209 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, will mount their own bikes, rent a surrey bike, or maybe even rent a seat on The Pedal Pub, which is a specially built contraption where riders can responsibly imbibe while providing the pedaling necessary for movement while a non-drinking rider steers.

The Pedal Poker Run is a fun event for the local and open to the public. Proceeds benefit the Fort Wayne Trails so it perfectly blends the responsibilities of the local’s Conservation and Recreation Committee. Local 2209 represents about 4,000 members, most of whom work at the General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly plant in northeastern Indiana.

“Anytime you bring members together outside those four walls, it builds solidarity,” said Local 2209 President Brian Hartman.

Having a local where a few people do the work and are seen by fellow union members as “the union” doesn’t build solidarity. If you have a local with thousands of members, but only a handful are involved, how does that build the power needed to win strong contracts and protect gains made in previous agreements?

The local produces a variety of events throughout the year to keep members engaged, build solidarity and just for some good old fun.

Obviously, it doesn’t. It translates into a weak local union.

“When you get the same 10 people, they get burned out,” Hartman said.

The local understands that to be strong it has to have many members who participate. From the highly popular annual Christmas Party, the Easter Egg Hunt, its wild game dinner to raise funds for hunter safety and the Halloween Monster Dash 5k to clearing and mowing trails at the Acres Land Trust and many other events, it’s filling its constitutionally mandated requirement to have an active Conservation and Recreation Committee. It plays a critical role in building solidarity through its many events, but also helps members get to know each other — and the hard work that goes into running their local union. It’s an eye-opener for members just starting to get involved in their union.

“People don’t know how to get involved,” said Amy Houston, the local’s recording secretary and a member of the committee. “They can sometimes feel like it’s a club down here, and it’s not.”

To prevent that feeling, the committee makes sure members who have an idea for an event are the ones charged with putting it together. Adam Clark, the committee chairman, said the goal of the committee is to facilitate, not dictate. The committee wants to make sure the event has enough interest, will be beneficial to the membership in some way, is a responsible use of members’ dues, and fits into the plant production schedule, which is important because people cannot attend if they’re working. But the people who came up with the idea have to own it.

“We never turn anybody down. We’re always up for new ideas,” Clark said. “We will help them remove any roadblocks. That’s how I see it. We don’t want to put on anything half-assed.”

Houston added: “We have a lot of members who will take it and run with it.”

The local works with the company to ensure that its events do not conflict with production schedules. It also participates in joint
projects with the company, such as Fort Wayne’s Three Rivers Festival.

One potential roadblock is the plant production schedule. Hartman deals with this by meeting with management in January to determine how many times the plant is likely to schedule production on a Saturday and which ones. The local, however, makes it clear to the company it needs time for members to attend events.

“We try to make sure we’re not stepping on each other’s toes,” he said. “It doesn’t always happen that way.”

And it works together with the company on certain projects, such as building birdhouses on plant property. They co-sponsor the city’s Three Rivers Festival, a nine-day event in July that includes a race down the St. Mary’s River in specially made rafts. The local and GM made a raft to look like a full-size Chevrolet Silverado, which is made at the plant. The raft won Best Holiday Theme, and members loved it, cheering them on from the river banks.

“They were on the bridges screaming at us,” Houston recalled. “There’s a lot more pride than you know about.”

The committee is justifiably proud of its work. It brings members into the workings of the local union and lets them know they have a part to play. The local faces challenges because 45 percent of its members do not live in the county and many are not originally from Fort Wayne and commute long distances on their days off just to see their families. The membership is getting younger and many don’t have the generations of union membership in their family for reference. Hartman said the local has a union education class so they can understand the local’s role inside and outside the plant.

But the most important thing they can do for members is to ask for help. They operate on the theory that everyone has something to contribute.

“Everyone is willing to help if you ask. You just have to ask,” Houston said.

For instance, launch team member Derek Miller lends his considerable graphic design talents to produce many of the event publicity fliers. Ryan Bultemeier, team leader on the door line, joined the committee recently and started the Monster Mash 5k run, and helps with just about everything else. Body shop electrician apprentice Ben Johnson’s jobs are more specialized:

“He asks me, ‘What’s the crappy job you can’t get anyone else to do?’”

And then, like many other Local 2209 members, he takes the ball and runs with it.

“All it takes is that one person to start it off,” Hartman said.

Vince Piscopo

The post Standing Committee: Conservation and Recreation appeared first on UAW.

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New Hampshire Members Awarded Liberty Mutual’s Firemark Award

IAFF - Thu, 12/11/2014 - 08:46
Durham, NH Local 2253 Secretary David Blatchford is the newest IAFF member to be honored with Liberty Mutual’s Firemark Award for his part in a successful three-year campaign to install the first automated external defibrillators (AEDs) in two University of New Hampshire sorority houses – Alpha Xi Delta and Alpha Phi.
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Connecticut Members Reach Out to Young Cancer Patients

IAFF - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 15:38
Members of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association (UPFFA) of Connecticut are always looking for new ways to be involved in the community, particularly when they can assist young cancer patients.
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Philly Fire Fighter Dies in Line of Duty

IAFF - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 11:50
A Philadelphia fire fighter was trapped in the basement of a burning row home early on December 9, becoming the first female member of the Philadelphia Fire Department to die in the line of duty.
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Fire Fighters Question Governor’s Failed Leadership During Ferguson Unrest

IAFF - Wed, 12/10/2014 - 08:15
IAFF members in Ferguson, Missouri, and other communities surrounding North St. Louis County worked frantically in the days following the November 24 release of the grand jury decision. Emergency calls came in mere minutes after the announcement that Police Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted, and fire fighters worked nonstop to respond to dozens of fires and other reported emergencies.
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