Site Map Icon
RSS Feed icon
March 23, 2018
Posted On: Feb 28, 2018

View this email in your browser

Wednesday February 28, 2018

In the current Steward Update newsletter
Love, Union Style
With Valentine’s Day a recent memory, I have the unromantic duty to throw a little caution on any existing or anticipated workplace romances. Although all love involves some danger and complication, love at work often means navigating a minefield of work regulations, employment law, union rules and gender issues, as well as the usual manners and feelings.
    Other articles in the upcoming issue include: U.S. Supreme Court Case: A Threat to Workers and Communities; Alternative Approaches to Discipline; What If: Answers to Some of a New Steward's Most Common "What If?" Questions; and a great summary of recent arbitration decisions!

Labor Quote
What Does Labor Want?
"What does Labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails; more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures.”
—Samuel Gompers; American labor leader; 1850-1924 (used frequently, with slight variations)

Labor Cartoon
Bob Vojtko

Steward Tip
Steward-Member Confidentiality: Defending Against Accusations by Management
Stewards, when they’re defending members against an accusation by management, can almost feel like lawyers. So here’s the question: do stewards have with members the same confidentiality protections that lawyers have with their clients? The answer is almost always “yes.” These legal protections exist because there are good reasons to shield confidential communications. A union member facing a disciplinary action or seeking to enforce provisions of the union contract needs to be able to “tell all” to the union rep, without worrying about whether the steward will later be forced to betray those confidences.
—Excerpted from The Union Steward’s Complete Guide (2nd Edition, Updated)

Today in Labor History
February 28
U.S. Supreme Court finds that a Utah state law limiting mine and smelter workers to an 8-hour workday is constitutional - 1898
(Actually Leap Year Feb. 29) The minimum age allowed by law for workers in mills, factories, and mines in South Carolina is raised from 12 to 14 - 1915
Members of the Chinese Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in San Francisco’s Chinatown begin what is to be a successful four-month strike for better wages and conditions at the National Dollar Stores factory and three retail outlets – 1938

(Actually leap year Feb. 29) Screen Actors Guild member Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African-American to win an Academy Award, honored for her portrayal of “Mammy” in “Gone with the Wind” - 1940
In response to the layoff of 450 union members at a 3M factory in New Jersey, every worker at a 3M factory in Elandsfontein, South Africa, walks off the job in sympathy - 1986

March 01
The Granite Cutters National Union begins what is to be a successful nationwide strike for the 8-hour day. Also won: union recognition, wage increases, a grievance procedure and a minimum wage scale - 1900
Joseph Curran is born on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. At age 16 he joined the Merchant Marines and in 1937 went on to lead the formation of the National Maritime Union. He was the union’s founding president and held the post until 1973, when he resigned amidst corruption charges. He died in 1981 - 1906
IWW strikes Portland, Ore., sawmills - 1907
An article in the March 1936 edition of the magazine Popular Science lists what it terms “the world’s craziest jobs,” all of them in Hollywood. Included: Horse-tail painter (to make the tails stand out better in the movies); bone-bleacher (for animal skeletons in Westerns); and chorus-girl weigher, whose function the article did not make terribly clear - 1936
Sailors aboard the S.S. California, docked in San Pedro, Calif., refuse to cast off the lines and allow the ship to sail until their wages are increased and overtime paid. The job action lasts three days before the secretary of labor intervenes and an agreement is reached. The leaders were fined two days’ pay, fired and blacklisted, although charges of mutiny were dropped. The action marked the beginnings of the National Maritime Union - 1936
After five years of labor by 21,000 workers, 112 of whom were killed on the job, the Hoover Dam (Boulder Dam) is completed and turned over to the government. Citizens were so mad at President Herbert Hoover, for whom the dam had been named, that it was later changed to Boulder Dam, being located near Boulder City, Nev. - 1936

CIO president John L. Lewis and U.S. Steel President Myron Taylor sign a landmark contract in which the bitterly anti-union company officially recognized the CIO as sole negotiator for the company's unionized workers. Included: the adoption of overtime pay, the 40-hour work week, and a big pay hike - 1937
The federal minimum wage increases to $1 per hour - 1956
March 02
Postal workers granted 8-hour day - 1913

More than 6,000 drivers strike Greyhound Lines, most lose jobs to strikebreakers after company declares “impasse” in negotiations - 1990

—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

Copyright © 2018 Union Communication Services—Worker Institute at Cornell ILR, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a current subscriber to the Steward Update newsletter.

Our mailing address is:

Union Communication Services—Worker Institute at Cornell ILR

36 W. Main St., Suite 440

Rochester, NY 14614

Add us to your address book

IBEW Local 659
Copyright © 2018, All Rights Reserved.
Powered By UnionActive™

267646 hits since Dec 29, 2008

Top of Page image