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STEWARD UPDATE WEEKLY 5/23/18
Posted On: May 23, 2018

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Wednesday May 23, 2018

In the current Steward Update newsletter
How to Do Right by Someone Screwing Up at Their Job
We all know someone who is always late, never pitches in when things get busy and is just not very good at their job. Often that person is management. When this person is a fellow union member, things can get sticky for a steward. Here are some ideas about what to do when a union member is disciplined and you think they are in the wrong.

Labor Quote
Oops...
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and wish you all the best for the future."
—Part of a termination email, which also spelled out the requirements of the employees' confidentiality agreement, sent by Aviva Investors to some 1,200 panicked workers. The company later apologized, saying it was meant to go to just one person.

Labor Cartoon
Francis Brummer

Steward Tip
Mobilizing Your Members
If you have the authority to file unfair labor practices (ULPs), consider the following: in addition to filing with the labor board, you’re required to serve a copy of the ULP on management. Instead of mailing it, why not deliver it yourself? Take a group of workers affected by the ULP with you. You should see the look on the boss’s face when a group shows up at his office to serve the ULP. And even more important is the look on the faces of the union member participants right after the action. They are glowing with a sense of power.
—Excerpted from The Union Steward’s Complete Guide (2nd Edition, Updated)

Today in Labor History
May 23
An estimated 100,000 textile workers, including more than 10,000 children, strike in the Philadelphia area. Among the issues: 60-hour workweeks, including night hours, for the children - 1903
 

The Battle of Toledo begins today: a five-day running battle between roughly 6,000 strikers at the Electric Auto-Lite company of Toledo, Ohio, and 1,300 members of the Ohio National Guard. Two strikers died and more than 200 were injured. The battle began in the sixth week of what ultimately became a successful two-month fight for union recognition and higher pay. One guardsman told a Toledo Blade reporter: "Our high school graduation is... tonight and we were supposed to be getting our diplomas” – 1934

U.S. railroad strike starts, later crushed when President Truman threatens to draft strikers - 1946
 
The Granite Cutters Int’l Association of America merges with Tile, Marble, Terrazzo, Finishers & Shopmen, which five years later merged into the Carpenters - 1983
 
May 24

After 14 years of construction and the deaths of 27 workers, the Brooklyn Bridge over New York’s East River opens. Newspapers call it “the eighth wonder of the world” - 1883
 
Some 2,300 members of the United Rubber Workers, on strike for 10 months against five Bridgestone-Firestone plants, agree to return to work without a contract. They had been fighting demands for 12-hour shifts and wage increases tied to productivity gains - 1995
 
May 25
Striking shoemakers in Philadelphia are arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy for violating an English common law that bars schemes aimed at forcing wage increases. The strike was broken - 1805
 

Philip Murray is born in Scotland. He went on to emigrate to the U.S., become founder and first president of the United Steelworkers of America, and head of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) from 1940 until his death in 1952 - 1886
 
Two company houses occupied by non-union coal miners are blown up and destroyed during a strike against the Glendale Gas & Coal Co. in Wheeling, W. Va. - 1925
 
Thousands of unemployed WWI veterans arrive in Washington, D.C., to demand early payment of a
bonus they had been told they would get, but not until 1945. They built a shantytown near the U.S. Capitol but were burned out by U.S. troops after two months - 1932
 
The notorious 11-month Remington Rand strike begins. The strike spawned the "Mohawk Valley (N.Y.) formula," described by investigators as a corporate plan to discredit union leaders, frighten the public with the threat of violence, employ thugs to beat up strikers, and other tactics. The National Labor Relations Board termed the formula "a battle plan for industrial war" - 1936
 
The AFL-CIO begins what is to become an unsuccessful campaign for a 35-hour workweek, with the goal of reducing unemployment. Earlier tries by organized labor for 32- or 35-hour weeks also failed - 1962
 
May 26
Men and women weavers in Pawtucket, R.I., stage nation's first "co-ed" strike - 1824
 
Western Federation of Miners members strike for 8-hour day, Cripple Creek, Colo. - 1894
 
Actors’ Equity Assn. is founded by 112 actors at a meeting in New York City’s Pabst Grand Circle Hotel.  Producer George M. Cohan responds: “I will drive an elevator for a living before I will do business with any actors’ union.”  Later a sign will appear in Times Square reading: “Elevator operator wanted.  George M. Cohan need not apply" - 1913

(Coping with Difficult People: Bosses, supervisors, co-workers, friends, family members... difficult people can make your life hell, but you can do something about it. Based on fourteen years of research and observation, Coping with Difficult People offers proven, effective techniques guaranteed to help you right the balance in bad relationships and take charge of your life.)

IWW Marine Transport Workers strike, Philadelphia - 1920
 
Some 100,000 steel workers and miners in mines owned by steel companies strike in seven states.  The Memorial Day Massacre, in which ten strikers were killed by police at Republic Steel in Chicago, took place four days later, on May 30 - 1937
 
Ford Motor Co. security guards attack union organizers and supporters attempting to distribute literature
outside the plant in Dearborn, Mich., in an event that was to become known as the “Battle of the Overpass.” The guards tried to destroy any photos showing the attack, but some survived—and inspired the Pulitzer committee to establish a prize for photography – 1937

—Compiled and edited by David Prosten. Click here to view this week's complete labor history.

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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