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IBEW Local 659
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LCTT Examing Board Members:
Roger Thalacker, Dan Kallai & Shawn Harlan
BJ Owens and John Hutter @ the Careers In Gear Fair in Medford
BJ Owens with some students @ the Careers In Gear Fair
Kurt Schneider, Luke Vargas and Roy Morgan Jr., taking their obligations @ K. Falls Meeting
Your 2017-2020 Executive Board
Not pictured: Kathy Joy
Nicholas Hall and Andrew Smith being swore in at the Medford Unit Meeting
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Competition Day
The Competition was fierce and Mike Represented our Local very well!
2017 Local Union 659 Annual Picnic

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STEWARD UPDATE WEEKLY 4/4/18
Posted On: Apr 04, 2018

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Wednesday April 4, 2018

In the current Steward Update newsletter
Past Practice Recognized in Successor Contract
An arbitrator ruled that a past practice that had been recognized by an employer would have to be also accepted by a new owner, as part of the continuing union contract. The case involved a firefighting and security business that had recently been purchased and had refused to recognize sick or vacation leave in considering eligibility for overtime pay. He noted that the wording of the labor contract—that had been accepted by the successor firm—was vague, but the practice had been fully recognized by the previous owner. He ruled that any employees who lost overtime pay should be made whole and that the new owner must continue to count such leave until the existing labor contract is re-negotiated.

Labor Quote
Union Membership
"Union membership numbers aren’t a popularity poll, nor a reflection of a declining need for unions—just a sad reflection of how incredibly difficult it is for workers to form unions in our modern corporate environment."
—AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Schuler

Labor Cartoon
Ken Benner

Steward Tip
Insubordination
Cases involving suspension or discharge for refusal to follow instructions—insubordination—can be especially difficult.  However, enough have been brought to arbitration that previous decisions provide some guidelines for how to best deal with this problem. Here are a couple:
• As a general rule, if repeated failure of a worker to follow instructions causes harm to others, or interrupts production of goods and services basic to the employer’s operation, the discipline is likely to be upheld.  Still, the employer must follow due process and regular, agreed-upon steps when disciplining.
• Even when there’s no question the worker screwed up, a steward will still want to consider whether the punishment was excessive.  The union will want to urge that a worker’s previous years of loyal, effective service be taken into account.  Is the employer inconsistent in applying standards of behavior?  Asking for lighter punishment in specific cases is the standard system for handling borderline cases involving good employees.

—Excerpted from The Union Steward’s Complete Guide (2nd Edition, Updated)

Today in Labor History
April 04
The first issue of The Labor Review, a "weekly magazine for organized workers," was published in Minneapolis. Edna George, a cigar packer in Minneapolis, won $10 in gold for suggesting the name “Labor Review.” The Labor Review has been published continuously since then, currently as a monthly publication - 1907
 
Unemployed riot in New York City’s Union Square - 1914
 
Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, where he had been supporting a sanitation workers’ 
strike.  In the wake of this tragedy, riots break out in many cities, including Washington, D.C. - 1968
 
Some 1,700 United Mine Workers members in Virginia and West Virginia beat back concessions demanded by Pittston Coal Co. - 1989
 
April 05

Columnist Victor Riesel, a crusader against mob infiltration of unions, was blinded in New York City when an assailant threw sulfuric acid in his face. He was also an FBI informer for decades, a proponent of the McCarthy era blacklisting that weakened unions for over a generation, and a crusader against unions connecting with anti-war student activism in the 1960's and 70's - 1956
 

Some 14,000 teachers strike Hawaii schools, colleges - 2001
 
A huge underground explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, W. Va., kills 29 miners. It was the worst U.S. mine disaster in 40 years. The Massey Energy Co. mine had been cited for two safety infractions the day before the blast; 57 the month before, and 1,342 in the previous five years. Three and one-half years after the disaster Massey’s then-CEO, Don Blankenship, was indicted by a federal grand jury on four criminal counts - 2010

April 06

The first slave revolt in the U.S. occurs at a slave market in New York City’s Wall Street area. Twenty-one Blacks were executed for killing nine Whites. The city responded by strengthening its slave codes - 1712
 
Birth of Rose Schneiderman, prominent member of the New York Women's Trade Union League, an 
active participant in the Uprising of the 20,000, the massive strike of shirtwaist workers in New York City led by the Int’l Ladies Garment Workers' Union in 1909, and famous for an angry speech about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire: “Every week I must learn of the untimely death of one of my sister workers…Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement” - 1882
 
A sympathy strike by Chicago Teamsters in support of clothing workers leads to daily clashes between strikebreakers and armed police against hundreds and sometimes thousands of striking workers and their supporters. By the time the fight ended after 103 days, 21 people had been killed and 416 injured - 1905
 
What was to become a two-month strike by minor league umpires begins, largely over money: $5,500 to $15,000 for a season running 142 games. The strike ended with a slight improvement in pay - 2006


—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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