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January 23, 2018
STEWARD UPDATE WEEKLY 12/20/17
Posted On: Dec 20, 2017

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

In the current Steward Update newsletter
Strategic Grievances: Uniting a Workplace
In these troubled times, a steward’s main goal must be building solidarity among members to strengthen your union. A movement to build this strength is also the opportunity to sign up non-members, now an urgent campaign as the U.S. Supreme Court plans to hear Janus v AFSCME in the spring.
     Other articles in the upcoming issue include: Stewards as Cultural Change Agents; The Most Famous Union Grievance in the Country; Union Affinity Groups Build the Movement; and a great summary of recent arbitration decisions!

Labor Quote
Progress
"You only make progress by fighting for progress.”
—George Meany; President, AFL-CIO, 1955-1979

Labor Cartoon
H.L. Schwadron

Steward Tip

Helping Newer Stewards:
Intervene as Gently as Possible
On some occasions, when working with new stewards, you will want to step in with advice or direction. Try to remember that adults learn best if they figure things out for themselves, not when someone simply tells them the answer. The more you tell new stewards what to do, the more dependent they become on you.
—Excerpted from The Union Steward’s Complete Guide (2nd Edition, Updated)

Today in Labor History
December 20
Delegates to the AFL convention in Salt Lake City endorse a constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote - 1899
 
The first group of 15 Filipino plantation workers recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association arrive in Hawaii. By 1932 more than 100,000 Filipinos will be working in the fields - 1906
 
Thousands of workers began what was to be a 2-day strike of the New York City transit system over retirement, pension and wage issues. The strike violated the state’s Taylor Law; TWU Local 100 President Roger Toussaint was jailed for ten days and the union was fined $2.5 million - 2005


December 21
Powered by children seven to 12 years old working dawn to dusk, Samuel Slater’s thread-spinning factory goes into production in Pawtucket, R.I., launching the Industrial Revolution in America. By 1830, 55 percent of the mill workers in the state were youngsters, many working for less than $1 per week - 1790
 
Supreme Court rules that picketing is unconstitutional. Chief Justice (and former president) William Howard Taft declared that picketing was, in part, "an unlawful annoyance and hurtful nuisance..." - 1921
 
December 22
A group of building trades unions from the Midwest meet in St. Louis to form the National Building Trades Council. The Council disbanded after several years of political and jurisdictional differences - 1897
 

Twenty-one Chicago firefighters, including the chief, died when a building collapsed as they were fighting a huge blaze at the Union Stock Yards.  By the time the fire was extinguished, 26 hours after the first alarm, 50 engine companies and seven hook-and-ladder companies had been called to the scene. Until September 11, 2001, it was the deadliest building collapse in American history in terms of firefighter fatalities - 1910
 
Amid a widespread strike for union recognition by 395,000 steelworkers, approximately 250 alleged “anarchists,” “communists,” and “labor agitators” were deported to Russia, marking the beginning of the so-called “Red Scare” - 1919

(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.)

—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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