• November 19, 2017
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    The Week in Labor History

    ovember 13
    A total of 259 miners died in the underground Cherry Mine fire. As a result of the disaster, Illinois established stricter safety regulations and in 1911, the basis for the state’s Workers Compensation Act was passed - 1909
     
    A Western Federation of Miners strike is crushed by the militia in Butte, Mont. - 1914
     
    The Holland Tunnel opens, running under the Hudson River for 1.6 miles and connecting the island of Manhattan in New York City with Jersey City, N.J. Thirteen workers died over its 7-year-long construction - 1927
     
    GM workers’ post-war strike for higher wages closes 96 plants - 1945
     
    Striking typesetters at the Green Bay, Wisc., Press Gazette start a competing newspaper, The Green Bay Daily News. With financial support from a local businessman who hated the Press Gazette, the union ran the paper for four years before their angel died and it was sold to another publisher. The Gannett chain ultimately bought the paper, only to fold it in 2005 - 1972
     
    Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union activist Karen Silkwood is killed in a suspicious car crash on her way to deliver documents to a newspaper reporter during a safety investigation of her Kerr-McGee plutonium processing plant in Oklahoma - 1974

    November 14 
    Women’s Trade Union League founded, Boston - 1903
     
    The American Railway Supervisors Association is formed at Harmony Hall in Chicago by 29 supervisors working for the Chicago & North Western Railway. They organized after realizing that those railroaders working under their supervision already had the benefits of unionization and were paid more for working fewer hours - 1934
     
    The Depression-era Public Works Administration agrees with New York City today to begin a huge slum clearance project covering 20 acres in Brooklyn, where low cost housing for 2,500 families will be completed. It was the first of many such jobs-and-housing projects across the country - 1934
     
    The National Federation of Telephone Workers—later to become the Communications Workers of America—is founded in New Orleans - 1938
     
    Jimmy Carter-era OSHA publishes standard reducing permissible exposure of lead, protecting 835,000 workers from damage to nervous, urinary and reproductive systems - 1978
    (Stayin' Alive: The 1970s and the Last Days of the Working Class: While OSHA was working to preserve people’s health in the ‘70s, other forces were working against labor’s interests.  Stayin’ Alive is a remarkable account of how working-class America hit the rocks in the political and economic upheavals of the 1970s.)
     
    Federation of Professional Athletes granted a charter by the AFL-CIO - 1979
     
    November 15
    Founding convention of the Federation of Trades and Labor Unions is held in Pittsburgh. It urges enactment of employer liability, compulsory education, uniform apprenticeship and child and convict labor laws. Five years later it changes its name to the American Federation of Labor - 1881

    November 16
    A county judge in Punxsutawney, Pa., grants an injunction requested by the Clearfield Bituminous Coal Co. forbidding strikers from speaking to strikebreakers, posting signs declaring a strike is in progress, or even singing hymns. Union leaders termed the injunction “drastic” - 1927
     
    The National Football League Players Association ends a 57-day strike that shortened the season to nine games. The players wanted, but failed to win until many years later, a higher share of gross team revenues - 1982
     
    November 17
    The General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York is founded "to provide cultural, educational and social services to families of skilled craftsmen." The Society remains in existence to this day – 1785

    Martin Irons dies near Waco, Texas.  Born in Dundee, Scotland, he emigrated to the U.S. at age 14.  He joined the Knights of Labor and in 1886 led a strike of 200,000 workers against the Jay Gould-owned Union Pacific and Missouri railroads.  The strike was crushed, Irons was blacklisted and he died broken-down and penniless.  Said Mother Jones: "The capitalist class hounded him as if he had been a wild beast." - 1900
     
    To the huge relief of Post Office Department employees, the service sets a limit of 200 pounds a day to be shipped by any one customer.  Builders were finding it cheaper to send supplies via post than via wagon freight. In one instance, 80,000 bricks for a new bank were shipped parcel post from Salt Lake City to Vernal, Utah, 170 miles away.  The new directive also barred the shipment of humans: a child involved in a couple’s custody fight was shipped—for 17¢—from Stillwell to South Bend, Ind., in a crate labeled “live baby” - 1916
     
    With many U.S. political leaders gripped by the fear of communism and questioning citizen loyalties in the years following World War II, the Screen Actors Guild votes to force its officers to take a “non-communist” pledge.  A few days earlier the Hollywood Ten had been called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities - 1947
     
    November 18
    Seattle printers refuse to print anti-labor ad in newspaper - 1919
     
    Thirty-one men died on Lake Michigan with the sinking of the Carl D. Bradley during one of the worst storms in the lake’s history. The 623-foot ship, carrying limestone, broke in two. Four crewmen survived - 1958
     
    November 19
    Joe Hill, labor leader and songwriter, executed in Utah on what many believe was a framed charge of murder. Before he died he declared: “Don’t waste any time mourning. Organize.” - 1915
     
    The nation’s first automatic toll collection machine is used at the Union Toll Plaza on New Jersey's Garden State Parkway - 1954
     
    The National Writers Union is founded, representing freelance and contract writers and others in the trade. In 1992 it was to merge into and become a local of the United Auto Workers - 1981

    - 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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