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June 27, 2017
STEWARD UPDATE WEEKLY 6/7/17
Posted On: Jun 07, 2017

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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

In the current Steward Update newsletter
Comment by Sarah Jaffe
This is the first of an occasional series on current issues written by authors of books available at www.laborbooks.com. 
We live in a moment when politics are shifting so rapidly it can be hard to understand what’s happening each day – but what is clear is that union rights are, more than ever, under attack.

     At the same time, union rights are not the only ones in the crosshairs. And this, somewhat counterintuitively, provides the labor movement with excellent opportunities to make new allies and grow its power.

Labor Quote
Industrial Fair Play
Strong, responsible unions are essential to industrial fair play. Without them the labor bargain is wholly one-sided. The parties to the labor contract must be nearly equal in strength if justice is to be worked out, and this means that the workers must be organized and that their organizations must be recognized by employers as a condition precedent to industrial peace.
—Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis (1856-1941)

Labor Cartoon
Ken Benner

Steward Tip
Helping Injured Workers Make a Healthy Return
Workers in the US suffer literally millions of non-fatal injuries and illnesses every year. Making matters worse, many of these men and women risk more serious ailments by returning to the job before they’re ready, often because of severe financial pressure, coercion by employers or intimidation by workers’ compensation insurance carriers. It doesn’t have to be this way. You have the rightand responsibilityto bring unhealthful conditions to the attention of management, and demand appropriate action.
—Excerpted from The Union Steward’s Complete Guide (2nd Edition, Updated)

Today in Labor History
June 07
Militia sent to Cripple Creek, Colo., to suppress Western Federation of Miners strike - 1904

Sole performance of Pageant of the Paterson (N.J.) Strike, created and performed by 1,000 mill workers from the silk industry strike, New York City - 1913

Striking textile workers battle police in Gastonia, N.C.  Police Chief O.F. Aderholt is accidentally killed by one of his own officers. Six strike leaders are convicted of “conspiracy to murder” and are sentenced to jail for from five to 20 years - 1929

Founding convention of the United Food and Commercial Workers. The merger brought together the Retail Clerks Int’l Union and the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcher Workmen of North America - 1979

(Parliamentary Procedure and Effective Union Meetings: You couldn’t have an effective convention if no one knew how to conduct a meeting. This is a very helpful guide for how to run or participate in a union meeting—not just the formal procedures, but the realities, like how to set an agenda, how to deal with people who just love to hear themselves speak and how to boost attendance, for example.)

The United Steelworkers and the Sierra Club announce the formation of a strategic alliance to pursue a joint public policy agenda under the banner of Good Jobs, A Clean Environment, and A Safer World - 2006

June 08
The earliest recorded strike by Chinese immigrants to the U.S. occurred when stonemasons, who were brought to San Francisco to build the three-story Parrott granite building—made from Chinese prefabricated blocks—struck for higher pay - 1852

A battle between the Militia and striking miners at Dunnville, Colo., ended with six union members dead and 15 taken prisoner.  Seventy-nine of the strikers were deported to Kansas two days later - 1904

Spectator mine disaster kills 168, Butte, Mont. - 1917


Some 35,000 members of the Machinists union begin what is to become a 43-day strike—the largest in airline history—against five carriers. The mechanics and other ground service workers wanted to share in the airlines’ substantial profits - 1966

New York City drawbridge tenders, in a dispute with the state over pension issues, leave a dozen bridges open, snarling traffic in what the Daily News described as "the biggest traffic snafu in the city's history" - 1971

June 09

Helen Marot is born in Philadelphia to a wealthy family.  She went on to organize the Bookkeepers, Stenographers and Accountants Union in New York, and to organize and lead the city's 1909-1910 Shirtwaist Strike.  In 1912, she was a member of a commission investigating the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire - 1865
 

—Compiled and edited by David Prosten.

Steward Update Weekly is brought to you by your union and Union Communication Services—Worker Institute at Cornell ILR, publisher of the Steward Update print edition newsletter, which provides union stewards with helpful information and advice. We hope the Steward Update Weekly will be a helpful tool in your important work as a steward for your union; if you have questions or suggestions on how the Weekly can be more useful, please email us at ucs@unionist.com.

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