• December 11, 2017
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    The Week in Labor History

    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

    December 12
    A U.S. immigration sweep of six Swift meat plants results in arrests of nearly 1,300 undocumented workers - 2006
     
    December 13
    Death in San Antonio, Texas, of Samuel Gompers, president and founder of the American Federation of Labor - 1924

    December 14
    Some 33,000 striking members of the Machinists end a 69-day walkout at Boeing after winning pay and benefit increases and protections against subcontracting some of their work overseas - 1995
     
    December 15
    AFL convention passes a 1¢ per capita assessment to aid the organization of women workers (Exact date uncertain) - 1913
     
    The Kansas National Guard is called out to subdue from 2,000 to 6,000 protesting women who were going from mine to mine attacking non-striking miners in the Pittsburg coal fields. The women made headlines across the state and the nation: they were christened the "Amazon Army" by the New York Times - 1921
     
    Eight days after the attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, the AFL pledges that there will be no strikes in defense-related plants for the duration of World War II - 1941
     
    Meeting in its biennial convention, the AFL-CIO declares “unstinting support” for “measures the Administration might deem necessary to halt Communist aggression and secure a just and lasting peace” in Vietnam - 1967
     
    The U.S. Age Discrimination in Employment Act becomes law. It bars employment discrimination against anyone aged 40 or older - 1967
    (The Essential Guide To Federal Employment Laws, 4th edition: This is a well-indexed book, updated in 2013, offering the full text of 20 federal laws affecting workers’ lives, along with plain-English explanations of each. An entire chapter is devoted to each law, explaining what is allowed and prohibited and what businesses must comply.)
     
    California's longest nurses’ strike ended after workers at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo and Pinole approved a new contract with Tenet Healthcare Corp., ending a 13-month walkout - 2003
     
    Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers union organizer Clinton Jencks, who led New Mexico zinc miners in the strike depicted in the classic 1954 movie Salt of the Earth, dies of natural causes in San Diego at age 87 - 2005
     
    December 16
    The National Civic Federation is formed by business and labor leaders, most prominently AFL president Sam Gompers, as a vehicle to resolve conflicts between management and labor. Not all unionists agreed with the alliance. The group turned increasingly conservative and labor withdrew after Gompers’ 1924 death - 1900
     
    New York City’s Majestic Theater becomes first in the U.S. to employ women ushers - 1902
     
    The Bagel Bakers of America union is continuing a work slowdown at 32 of New York’s 34 bagel bakeries in a dispute over health and welfare fund payments and workplace sanitation, the New York Times reports.  Coincidentally—or not—lox sales were down 30 percent to 50 percent as well.  The effect on the cream cheese market was not reported - 1951
     
    Four railway unions merge to become the United Transportation Union: Trainmen, Firemen & Enginemen, Switchmen, and Conductors and Brakemen - 1968

    Eight female bank tellers in Willmar, Minn., begin the first strike against a bank in U.S. history. At issue: they were paid little more than half what male tellers were paid. The strike ended in moral victory but economic defeat two years later - 1977
    (United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism: At the turn of the twentieth century, American factory workers were often segregated by sex—males did heavier, dirtier, and better paid, work while women might be employed in a separate area performing related, lighter work. Men might cut bolts of fabric, for example, while women stitched cuffs onto sleeves. How this division of labor played out when an occupational group comprised of one sex went on strike is the subject of this book.)
     
    December 17
    Int’l Union of Aluminum, Brick & Glass Workers merges with United Steelworkers of America - 1996

    - compiled/edited by David Prosten at Union Communication Services

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    31
  • Wounded Warrior Leave Act
    Posted On: Aug 05, 2016

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

                 Contact: OPM Office of Communications

           August 4, 2016

              (202) 606-2402 or media@opm.gov

    Newly Established Leave Policy Gives Disabled Veterans

    More Time to Address Medical Issues

    WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will be issuing final regulations on August 5th to implement the newly created disabled veteran leave category.  Established under the Wounded Warriors Federal Leave Act of 2015 (Wounded Warriors Act), disabled veteran leave will be available to any Federal employee hired on or after November 5, 2016, who is a veteran with a service-connected disability rating of 30 percent or more.  The Wounded Warriors Act established the effective date of implementation one year after passage of the Act, which will be November 5, 2016. 

    “This rule ensures the Federal Government supports our service members who have sacrificed their own health and well-being to serve our country.  We know this is something they need,” said Acting OPM Director Beth Cobert.  “We want these veterans to have sufficient leave during their first year of Federal service in order to take care of any medical issues related to their service-connected disability,” added Cobert.

    Disabled veteran leave is available as a one-time benefit during a 12-month period beginning on an eligible employee’s “first day of employment” and may not exceed 104 hours for a regular full-time employee.  Disabled veteran leave can only be used for undergoing medical treatment of a qualifying service-connected disability, which was incurred or aggravated in the line of active duty.

    Eligible employees must be “hired” on or after November 5, 2016. OPM regulations define the term “hired” to include:

    • Newly hired with no previous Federal service;
    • Reappointed with at least a 90-day break in service; and
    • Military reservists or members of the National Guard who return to duty in their civilian positions after a period of military service

    While current Federal employees who were hired before November 5, 2016 are not eligible for disabled veteran leave, the Federal Government offers a wide range of leave options and workplace flexibilities to assist employees who need to be away from the workplace, including disabled veterans who must take time off from work to receive medical treatment for their service-connected disabilities.   

    In the coming weeks, OPM will be providing an information session to all agencies to ensure they are prepared to implement this new leave category.

    - end -


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