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June 25, 2017
STEWARD UPDATE WEEKLY 5/24/17
Posted On: May 24, 2017

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In the current Steward Update newsletter
Employer Must Post Overtime Assignments in a Timely Manner
An employer was told to cease and desist in assessing points on workers’ absentee records when they missed weekend overtime work because they were absent on the day management posted the assignment. The points that accumulate in workers’ records could lead to discipline and even discharge. An arbitrator said the contract clearly required proper notice of mandatory overtime assignment and further ordered the rescinding of any previous actions taken against the workers.

Labor Quote
Without Unions, Gloom and Despair
"Without unions, workers will lose many of the protections against abusive employers. Wages for all will be depressed, even as corporate profits soar. The American Dream will be destroyed for millions. And we will have a government of the corporations, by the already powerful, for the wealthy."
—Kenneth Bernstein, CNN Opinion Piece

Labor Cartoon
Jack Corbett

Steward Tip
Laugh A Lot!
Stewards can be under a lot of pressure, but no situation is so solemn or serious that you can’t find a way to poke fun at it if you try. Stretch your sense of humor with joke books, cartoons and videotapes. And for the final word on stress relief, consider this philosophy of life, offered by legendary pitcher Satchel Paige, who stayed in the major leagues until he was forty-seven years old: Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood. If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts. Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move. Go very lightly on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain’t restful. Avoid running at all times. Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.
—Excerpted from The Union Steward’s Complete Guide (2nd Edition, Updated)

Today in Labor History
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.

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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