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Showing blog posts tagged with Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO

The Art of Labor

The Art of Labor

Hanging on the wall above my desk as I write is a poster of Diego Rivera’s sumptuous painting, “The Flower Carrier,” with a peasant bent double, an overfilled, oversized basket on his back, packed with splendid pink and purple flowers, capturing the burdens and beauty of labor. To me, it’s hard to imagine labor or a labor movement without art—without novels like “The Grapes of Wrath” and “Hard Times,” without songs like “Joe Hill” and “Union Maid,” without paintings like Millet’s “Man with a Hoe” and Van Gogh’s “The Potato Eaters,” without films like “Norma Rae,” “On the Waterfront” and “Harlan County U.S.A.”

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Get Ready for DC Labor and Film Fests

Get Ready for DC Labor and Film Fests

The second annual DC LaborFest begins May and runs the entire month and includes the 15th annual DC Labor FilmFest, as well as labor arts, including music, theater, poetry, books, art and history. The DC LaborFest features one of the most well-established film festivals in the world dedicated to showcasing labor art and screening films featuring workers and workers’ issues.

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Maryland Taxi Drivers Join National Taxi Workers Alliance

Photo by Chris Garlock

The newly formed Montgomery County Professional Drivers Union (MCPDU) will affiliate with the National Taxi Workers Alliance (NTWA). The group signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday to affiliate by Aug. 10. NTWA President Bhairavi Desai said:

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First Annual D.C. LaborFest Celebrates Labor Arts

First Annual D.C. LaborFest Celebrates Labor Arts

The first annual D.C. LaborFest kicks off on May 1 with a May Day wreath-laying in honor of legendary labor organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones’ 184th birthday.

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Action: Tell Marion Barry to Keep the D.C. Minimum Wage and Paid Sick Days Laws Strong

Photo courtesy Tommy Wells

Joslyn Williams, president of the Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO, sent out an action alert on Monday calling on Washington, D.C., residents to call council member Marion Barry and ask him to vote to keep proposed legislation increasing the minimum wage and expanding paid sick days laws strong. The D.C. Council is set to vote Tuesday on increasing the minimum wage and providing tipped workers with paid sick days, but the National Restaurant Association is trying to weaken the paid sick days law by removing protections for workers who speak out when their employers violate the law. Barry has been targeted by the association in hopes that he will push to change the bill to weaken workers' rights, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council. Williams and other working families advocates in the District of Columbia are asking area residents to call Barry's office and urge him to vote in favor of the rights of workers and not extremist corporate interests.

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Veto Override Battle Next Step in D.C. Living Wage Campaign

Respect DC photo via Facebook

Following Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray’s veto Thursday of a living wage bill for workers in big-box stores such as Walmart, backers of Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA) are mounting a campaign to override the veto.

The bill, which sets a $12.50 wage for workers, passed the D.C. City Council in June by an 8–5 vote, and an override requires nine votes. The Metropolitan Washington Council’s e-news Union City reports that LRAA backers are focusing on D.C. Council member Tommy Wells for the ninth vote. 

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5 Reasons Washington, D.C.’s Mayor Gray Should Sign the LRAA

Photo by Chris Garlock Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO

The Large Retailer and Accountability Act of 2013 (LRAA), passed by the Council of the District of Columbia last week, arrived on Mayor Vincent Gray’s desk Wednesday. The bill establishes a minimum wage of $12.50 an hour for workers at retail stores with more than 75,000 square feet and whose parent company makes more than $1 billion in gross revenues annually.

This bill was not controversial until Walmart, with plans to bring six stores into the District of Columbia, threatened to cancel three of those projects if the bill passed. Despite that threat, here are five reasons Mayor Gray should sign the LRAA when it gets to his desk. Are you listening, Mr. Mayor? Here we go:

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D.C. Council Doesn’t Bow to Walmart’s ‘Blackmail’

Los Angeles County Federation of Labor photo

The District of Columbia City Council today didn’t pay Walmart’s “blackmail” demand and instead told the giant retailer that if it wants to operate within the District, it must pay its workers a living wage.

In an 8–5 vote the council approved a measure that sets a $12.50 an hour wage for workers in “big box” stores like Walmart. The vote came the day after Walmart sent squad of high-level executives from its Arkansas headquarters to try and strong-arm council members to defeat the living wage bill.

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Washington Electricians Team Up to Bring the Hungry More Than Food

IBEW Local 26 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC)

cross-post from Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council.

Dave McCord, a 25-year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), is bringing his passion for riding bicycles and changing lives together. As the director of the IBEW Local 26 Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (JATC), McCord joined other electricians and union-organized contractors last April on a bike ride in Southern Maryland to benefit End Hunger in Calvert County.

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D.C. Metro Council: Helping Workers Build Futures

DC Metro Photo

A union construction and building trades career can put workers on the path to the middle class. The Metropolitan Washington [D.C.] Council Community Services Agency's Building Futures pre-apprenticeship construction program can be the first step on that path.

The next course begins in October and applications are due by Sept. 14. Click here for a brochure, or call 202-974-8223 for more information.

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