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October 20, 2017
STEWARD UPDATE WEEKLY 10/4/17
Posted On: Oct 04, 2017

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

In the current Steward Update newsletter
Talking About Trade with Solidarity
Donald Trump promised to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and end unfair trade deals. Then one of his first acts as President was to pull the US out of TPP negotiations! A few months later, his administration launched a renegotiation of NAFTA.
     At first glance, this is a victory for workers in the US, Canada and our trading partner countries. The evidence is clear: trade deals have hurt workers in all countries, giving employers more power to move jobs and investments across borders and drive down wages and working conditions.

Labor Quote
A Good Organizer...
"A good organizer delegates responsibility but is always ready to jump in and do the job himself if necessary."
—Saul Alinsky, community organizer, 1947

Labor Cartoon
Martha Campbell

Steward Tip

Looking for Leverage
Never stop looking for leverage in your fight for justice. Even if arbitration has already been scheduled on a case, if a good piece of leverage comes along that can be used, don’t hesitate to use it if there’s an advantage to be gained. There is no restriction on picking up an unsettled grievance at any time. So look for leverage. Remember as well that smart is not everything–organization is. Neglecting the basic elements of good internal organizing while waiting and hoping for a lucky break will leave you doing just that–looking and hoping.
—Excerpted from The Union Steward’s Complete Guide (2nd Edition, Updated)

Today in Labor History
October 04
Work begins on the carving of Mt. Rushmore, a task 400 craftsmen would eventually complete in 1941.  Despite the dangerous nature of the project, not one worker died - 1927
 
President Truman orders the U.S. Navy to seize oil refineries, breaking a 20-state post-war strike - 1945
 
The United Mine Workers of America votes to re-affiliate with the AFL-CIO after years of on-and-off conflict with the federation. In 2009 the union’s leader, Richard Trumka, becomes AFL-CIO President - 1961
 
Distillery, Wine & Allied Workers Int’l Union merges with United Food & Commercial Workers Int’l Union - 1995 


October 05
A strike by set decorators turns into a bloody riot at the gates of Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, Calif., when scabs try to cross the picket line. The incident is still identified as "Hollywood Black Friday" and "The Battle of Burbank" - 1945
 
The UAW ends a 3-week strike against Ford Motor Co. when the company agrees to a contract that includes more vacation days and better retirement and unemployment benefits - 1976
 
Polish Solidarity union founder Lech Walesa wins the Nobel Peace Prize - 1983
 
Some 2,100 supermarket janitors in California, mostly from Mexico, win a $22.4 million settlement over unpaid overtime. Many said they worked 70 or more hours a week, often seven nights a week from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. Cleaner Jesus Lopez told the New York Times he only had three days off in five years - 2004

(Mobilizing Against Inequality: Unions, Immigrant Workers, and the Crisis of Capitalism: Are immigrant workers themselves responsible for low wages and shoddy working conditions?  Should unions expend valuable time and energy organizing undocumented workers?  Unions in Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States have taken various approaches to confront the challenges of this significant segment of the workforce.  As U.S. immigration policy is debated, readers will gain insight into how all workers benefit when wages and working conditions for immigrant workers are improved.)
 
October 06
First National Conference of Trade Union Women – 1918


The first “talkie” movie, The Jazz Singer, premiers in New York City.  Within three years, according to the American Federation of Musicians, theater jobs for some 22,000 musicians who accompanied silent movies were lost, while only a few hundred jobs for musicians performing on soundtracks were created by the new technology - 1927
 
Some 1,700 female flight attendants win 18-year, $37 million suit against United Airlines. They had been fired for getting married - 1986
 
Thirty-two thousand machinists begin what is to be a successful 69-day strike against the Boeing Co. The eventual settlement brought improvements that averaged an estimated $19,200 in wages and benefits over four years and safeguards against job cutbacks - 1995
 

October 07
Joe Hill, labor leader and songwriter, born in Gavle, Sweden - 1879
 
The Structural Building Trades Alliance (SBTA) is founded, becomes the AFL’s Building Trades Dept. five years later. SBTA’s mission: to provide a forum to work out jurisdictional conflicts - 1903
 
Hollywood’s "Battle of the Mirrors." Picketing members of the Conference of Studio Unions disrupted an outdoor shoot by holding up large reflectors that filled camera lenses with blinding sunlight. Members of the competing IATSE union retaliated by using the reflectors to shoot sunlight back across the street. The battle went on all day, writes Tom Sito in Drawing the Line - 1946


—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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