• December 11, 2016
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    The Week in Labor History

    December 05
    Unionists John T. and James B. McNamara are sentenced to 15 years and life, respectively, after confessing to dynamiting the Los Angeles Times building during a drive to unionize the metal trades in the city.  They placed the bomb in an alley next to the building, set to detonate when they thought the building would be empty; it went off early, and an unanticipated gas explosion and fire did the real damage, killing twenty people. The newspaper was strongly conservative and anti-union - 1911
     
    Ending a 20-year split, the two largest labor federations in the U.S. merge to form the AFL-CIO, with a membership estimated at 15 million - 1955
     
    AFL-CIO President John Sweeney welcomes the collapse of World Trade Organization talks in Seattle, declaring, "No deal is better than a bad deal." - 1999
     
    The U.S. Department of Labor reports employers slashed 533,000 jobs the month before—the most in 34 years—as the Great Recession surged. The unemployment rolls had risen for seven months before that and were to continue to soar for another 10 months before topping 10 percent and beginning to level off late the following year - 2008
     

    December 06
    African-American delegates meet in Washington, D.C., to form the Colored National Labor Union as a branch of the all-White National Labor Union created three years earlier. Unlike the NLU, the CNLU welcomed members of all races. Isaac Myers was the CNLU's founding president; Frederick Douglass became president in 1872 - 1869
     
    The Washington Monument is completed in Washington, D.C. On the interior of the monument are 193 commemorative stones, donated by numerous governments and organizations from all over the world; one of them is from the Int’l Typographical Union, founded in 1852.  In 1986 the ITU merged into the Communications Workers of America - 1884
     
    A total of 361 coal miners die at Monongah, W.Va., in nation's worst mining disaster - 1907
     
    Int’l Glove Workers Union of America merges into Amalgamated Clothing Workers - 1961
     
    United Mine Workers begin what is to become a 110-day national coal strike - 1997


    December 07
    Heywood Broun born in New York City. Journalist, columnist and co-founder, in 1933, of The Newspaper Guild - 1888
     
    Steam boiler operators from 11 cities across the country meet in Chicago to form the National Union of Steam Engineers of America, the forerunner to the Int’l Union of Operating Engineers. Each of the men represented a local union of 40 members or fewer - 1896
     
    More than 1,600 protesters staged a national hunger march on Washington, D.C., to present demands for unemployment insurance - 1931
     
    United Hatters, Cap & Millinery Workers Int’l Union merges into Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union - 1982
     
    Delegates to the founding convention of the National Nurses United (NNU) in Phoenix, Ariz., unanimously endorse the creation of the largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in U.S. history. The 150,000-member union is the product of a merger of three groups - 2009
     

    December 08
    Twenty-five unions found the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in Columbus, Ohio; Cigarmaker’s union leader Samuel Gompers is elected president. The AFL’s founding document’s preamble reads: “A struggle is going on in all of the civilized world between oppressors and oppressed of all countries, between capitalist and laborer...” - 1886
    (There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America: This thoughtful and highly readable history of the American labor movement traces unionism from the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts in the 1820s to organized labor’s decline in the 1980s and struggle for survival and growth today. Illustrated with dozens of photos, posters and more.)
     
    114-day newspaper strike begins, New York City - 1962
     
    President Bill Clinton signs The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - 1993
     
    Nearly 230 jailed teachers—about one-fourth of the 1,000-member Middletown Township, N.J., staff—are ordered freed after they and their colleagues agree to end a 9-day strike and go into mediation with the local school board - 2001
     
    Faced with a national unemployment rate of 10 percent, President Barack Obama outlines new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals, saying the country must continue to "spend our way out of this recession" until more Americans are back at work. Joblessness had soared 6 percent in the final two years of George W. Bush’s presidency - 2009
     

    December 09
    Ratification of a new labor agreement at Titan Tire of Natchez, Miss., ends the longest strike in the history of the U.S. tire industry, which began May 1, 1998, at the company's Des Moines, Iowa, plant - 2001
     

    December 10
    First sit-down strike in U.S. called by IWW at General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y. - 1906
    (No Contract, No Peace: A Legal Guide to Contract Campaigns, Strikes, and Lockouts is a must-have for any union or activist considering aggressive action to combat management’s growing economic war against workers. No Contract, No Peace! updates information contained in the first edition, entitled Strikes, Picketing and Inside Campaigns, to include reference to recent union activities and NLRB decisions that have affected the labor relations environment. Schwartz’s familiarity with labor and employment law combines with his activist spirit to provide innovative yet practical tips for mounting and maintaining meaningful campaigns designed to build union and workers’ power.)
     
    Int’l Human Rights Day, commemorating the signing at the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, in part: “Everyone has the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” - 1948
     
    American Federation of Teachers Local 89 in Atlanta, Georgia, disaffiliates from the national union because of an AFT directive that all its locals integrate. A year later, the AFT expelled all locals that refused to do so - 1956
     

    December 11
    A small group of Black farmers organize the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Cooperative Union in Houston County, Texas. They had been barred from membership in the all-White Southern Farmers’ Alliance. Through intensive organizing, along with merging with another Black farmers group, the renamed Colored Alliance by 1891 claimed a membership of 1.2 million - 1886
     
    Ten days after an Illinois State mine inspector approved coal dust removal techniques at New Orient mine in West Frankfort, the mine exploded, largely because of coal dust accumulations, killing 119 workers - 1951
     
    The U.S. Department of Labor announces that the nation's unemployment rate had dropped to 3.3 percent, the lowest mark in 15 years - 1968
     
    Forty thousand workers go on general strike in London, Ontario—a city with a population of 300,000—protesting cuts in social services - 1995

    Michigan becomes the 24th state to adopt right-to-work legislation.  The Republican-dominated state Senate introduced two measures—one covering private workers, the other covering public workers—by surprise five days earlier and immediately voted their passage; the Republican House approved them five days later (the fastest it legally could) and the Republican governor immediately signed both bills - 2012December 05

    Unionists John T. and James B. McNamara are sentenced to 15 years and life, respectively, after confessing to dynamiting the Los Angeles Times building during a drive to unionize the metal trades in the city.  They placed the bomb in an alley next to the building, set to detonate when they thought the building would be empty; it went off early, and an unanticipated gas explosion and fire did the real damage, killing twenty people. The newspaper was strongly conservative and anti-union - 1911
     
    Ending a 20-year split, the two largest labor federations in the U.S. merge to form the AFL-CIO, with a membership estimated at 15 million - 1955
     
    AFL-CIO President John Sweeney welcomes the collapse of World Trade Organization talks in Seattle, declaring, "No deal is better than a bad deal." - 1999
     
    The U.S. Department of Labor reports employers slashed 533,000 jobs the month before—the most in 34 years—as the Great Recession surged. The unemployment rolls had risen for seven months before that and were to continue to soar for another 10 months before topping 10 percent and beginning to level off late the following year - 2008
     

    December 06
    African-American delegates meet in Washington, D.C., to form the Colored National Labor Union as a branch of the all-White National Labor Union created three years earlier. Unlike the NLU, the CNLU welcomed members of all races. Isaac Myers was the CNLU's founding president; Frederick Douglass became president in 1872 - 1869
     
    The Washington Monument is completed in Washington, D.C. On the interior of the monument are 193 commemorative stones, donated by numerous governments and organizations from all over the world; one of them is from the Int’l Typographical Union, founded in 1852.  In 1986 the ITU merged into the Communications Workers of America - 1884
     
    A total of 361 coal miners die at Monongah, W.Va., in nation's worst mining disaster - 1907
     
    Int’l Glove Workers Union of America merges into Amalgamated Clothing Workers - 1961
     
    United Mine Workers begin what is to become a 110-day national coal strike - 1997


    December 07
    Heywood Broun born in New York City. Journalist, columnist and co-founder, in 1933, of The Newspaper Guild - 1888
     
    Steam boiler operators from 11 cities across the country meet in Chicago to form the National Union of Steam Engineers of America, the forerunner to the Int’l Union of Operating Engineers. Each of the men represented a local union of 40 members or fewer - 1896
     
    More than 1,600 protesters staged a national hunger march on Washington, D.C., to present demands for unemployment insurance - 1931
     
    United Hatters, Cap & Millinery Workers Int’l Union merges into Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union - 1982
     
    Delegates to the founding convention of the National Nurses United (NNU) in Phoenix, Ariz., unanimously endorse the creation of the largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in U.S. history. The 150,000-member union is the product of a merger of three groups - 2009
     

    December 08
    Twenty-five unions found the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in Columbus, Ohio; Cigarmaker’s union leader Samuel Gompers is elected president. The AFL’s founding document’s preamble reads: “A struggle is going on in all of the civilized world between oppressors and oppressed of all countries, between capitalist and laborer...” - 1886
    (There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America: This thoughtful and highly readable history of the American labor movement traces unionism from the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts in the 1820s to organized labor’s decline in the 1980s and struggle for survival and growth today. Illustrated with dozens of photos, posters and more.)
     
    114-day newspaper strike begins, New York City - 1962
     
    President Bill Clinton signs The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - 1993
     
    Nearly 230 jailed teachers—about one-fourth of the 1,000-member Middletown Township, N.J., staff—are ordered freed after they and their colleagues agree to end a 9-day strike and go into mediation with the local school board - 2001
     
    Faced with a national unemployment rate of 10 percent, President Barack Obama outlines new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals, saying the country must continue to "spend our way out of this recession" until more Americans are back at work. Joblessness had soared 6 percent in the final two years of George W. Bush’s presidency - 2009
     

    December 09
    Ratification of a new labor agreement at Titan Tire of Natchez, Miss., ends the longest strike in the history of the U.S. tire industry, which began May 1, 1998, at the company's Des Moines, Iowa, plant - 2001
     

    December 10
    First sit-down strike in U.S. called by IWW at General Electric in Schenectady, N.Y. - 1906
    (No Contract, No Peace: A Legal Guide to Contract Campaigns, Strikes, and Lockouts is a must-have for any union or activist considering aggressive action to combat management’s growing economic war against workers. No Contract, No Peace! updates information contained in the first edition, entitled Strikes, Picketing and Inside Campaigns, to include reference to recent union activities and NLRB decisions that have affected the labor relations environment. Schwartz’s familiarity with labor and employment law combines with his activist spirit to provide innovative yet practical tips for mounting and maintaining meaningful campaigns designed to build union and workers’ power.)
     
    Int’l Human Rights Day, commemorating the signing at the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, in part: “Everyone has the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” - 1948
     
    American Federation of Teachers Local 89 in Atlanta, Georgia, disaffiliates from the national union because of an AFT directive that all its locals integrate. A year later, the AFT expelled all locals that refused to do so - 1956
     

    December 11
    A small group of Black farmers organize the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Cooperative Union in Houston County, Texas. They had been barred from membership in the all-White Southern Farmers’ Alliance. Through intensive organizing, along with merging with another Black farmers group, the renamed Colored Alliance by 1891 claimed a membership of 1.2 million - 1886
     
    Ten days after an Illinois State mine inspector approved coal dust removal techniques at New Orient mine in West Frankfort, the mine exploded, largely because of coal dust accumulations, killing 119 workers - 1951
     
    The U.S. Department of Labor announces that the nation's unemployment rate had dropped to 3.3 percent, the lowest mark in 15 years - 1968
     
    Forty thousand workers go on general strike in London, Ontario—a city with a population of 300,000—protesting cuts in social services - 1995

    Michigan becomes the 24th state to adopt right-to-work legislation.  The Republican-dominated state Senate introduced two measures—one covering private workers, the other covering public workers—by surprise five days earlier and immediately voted their passage; the Republican House approved them five days later (the fastest it legally could) and the Republican governor immediately signed both bills - 2012

    - compiled/edited by David Prosten at Union Communication Services

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  • List of 2012 Legislation Attacking Federal Employees
    Updated On: Feb 29, 2012

    Here is a good list of how congress is attacking Federal Employees in 2012. These are some of the bills in Congress that ACT is watching on your behalf....we need all members to contact their Congressman / Senator and let them know you oppose this type of legislation.

    FEDERAL PAY

    H.R. 270 would impose a mandatory two-week unpaid furlough for federal employees. This bill remains in the hands of a House subcommittee.

    H.R. 3835 would extend the pay freeze for another year. It passed the House on Feb. 1. 2012

    H.R. 3844 would prohibit step increases. The bill has been forwarded to several House committees with jurisdiction over various parts of the legislation. Action is pending.

    H.R. 235 proposes cuts to the federal workforce and a three-year pay freeze. Subcommittee action is pending on this measure.

    S. 2079 would extend the pay freeze for another year. It has been placed on the Senate calendar.

    S. 2065 would extend the pay freeze through June 30, 2014. A Senate committee has the measure.

    S. 1476 would extend the pay freeze through 2014. It has been referred to a Senate committee.

    S. 178 and H.R. 408 would extend the pay freeze through 2015. The Senate bill is under consideration by a committee; the House bill is in the hands of a subcommittee in the house.

    S. 1936 would extend the pay freeze from its present two years to five years. A committee has the bill.

    PENSIONS

    S. 644 would eliminate the defined benefit portion of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) annuity. A House subcommittee has this measure.

    H.R. 3813 would sharply increase pension contributions, eliminate the FERS supplement and raise pension contributions for new hires. This bill has been cleared for action on the House floor.

    CUTTING THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE

    H.R. 2114 would cut the federal workforce by 10 percent by 2015, while providing a significant loophole for contracting out the work to the private sector. It has been referred to a House subcommittee.

    S. 2065 would reduce the size of government by 5 percent through attrition. This bill is in the hands of the Senate Budget Committee.

    H.R. 657 calls for cuts in the federal workforce. All agencies, other than Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security—which account for 60 percent of the workforce—would be able to hire only one employee for every two who leave federal service. Subcommittee action is pending.

    H.R. 3029, H.R. 3487 and S. 1476 would reduce the size of the federal government through attrition by permitting the hiring of only one employee for every three who left government service.

    H.R. 3029 has been placed on the House calendar; a House subcommittee has H.R. 3487 and the Senate bill remains in committee.

    H. R. 1779 would prohibit the head of any executive branch agency from hiring in any year in which OMB projects a federal budget deficit. It remains in the hands of a House subcommittee.

    S. 1611 would allow the replacement of three employees who leave federal service by one new employee. It is in committee.

    H.R. 3494 would reduce the size of the federal workforce to no more than that of Oct. 7, 2007. The bill is in a House subcommittee.

    H.R. 3662 would allow the hiring of one employee for every three who leave federal service. It is in the hands of several House committees with jurisdiction over various parts of it.

    S. 178 would, among many other actions, limit the size of the federal workforce and extend the pay freeze through 2015.

    OTHER ISSUES

    S. 261 would cut workers’ compensation payments for older federal employees. Senate committee hearings on this bill have been conducted. Further action is pending.

    H.R. 87 and S. 712 would repeal the financial regulatory reform bill. Both bills are pending either in committee or subcommittee. ACT strongly supports these two Bills. 


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