Mine Workers (UMWA) President Cecil Roberts and nine other union members were arrested in front of Peabody Energy’s corporate headquarters in St. Louis yesterday, as more than 750 members and retirees sang Amazing Grace and held signs calling for fairness. Several of those arrested had oxygen tanks, and many in the crowd were brought to tears as the arrested protesters were peacefully loaded into the sheriff’s van while Which Side Are You On played on the loudspeakers. The protesters arrived at Peabody after marching from federal bankruptcy court, where Patriot Coal’s lawyers were inside. Those arrested were released later in the day, according to the St. Louis City Division of Corrections.
Today marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA). The organization is celebrating by launching a new website, SMART 125, that will help chronicle the history of America's sheet metal workers by allowing site visitors to upload their own job site photos.
“I certainly admit going in with an attitude of let’s-see-what-this-is-about,” Johnson & Johnson Vice President Donald Bohn says about cooperating with labor unions. “It turns out we have a lot more in common than you might think.”
And that’s why, about four years ago, Johnson & Johnson joined the Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA), a growing coalition of pharmaceutical industry giants and the major building trades unions. Its goal is to foster good jobs in the domestic pharmaceutical industry while increasing access to affordable medicines.
This is a cross-post from the California Labor Federation’s blog, Labor’s Edge, by Communications Director Steve Smith.
We’ve seen a lot of big numbers this election. The Koch brothers' super PAC spent $4 million to back the deceptive Prop 32. Billionaire Charles Munger Jr. kicked in $35 million against Prop. 30 and for Prop. 32. A shady Arizona group that refuses to disclose its donors funneled $11 million into our state to attack California schools and workers. But now, there’s only one number that matters: 35,000. That’s the number of union volunteers fanning out across the state, in communities big and small, to fight the big-money interests behind the attacks on Prop. 30 and the fraudulent ads backing Prop. 32.
AFL-CIO Media Outreach fellow Luis Santoyo sends us this report from the battleground state of Virginia.
People started lining up outside the nTelos Wireless Pavilion in Charlottesville, Va., three hours before the start of the rare concert Monday. By 1:30 p.m., the two lines leading up to the small outdoor concert venue stretched more than two blocks through the city’s historic downtown mall.
The local Obama for America office was giving away tickets for a live performance of Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen—whose band played at the much-larger John Paul Jones Arena later that day.
Mycle Wastman, a member of Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA) Local 66 in Seattle, certainly made his voice heard this week. In the “blind audition” portion of the NBC show, “The Voice,” his performance of the Al Green classic “Let’s Stay Together” drew a rousing ovation and a chance to go on to the next round.
Tributes continue to come in for Mark Ayers, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD), who died unexpectedly April 8 at age 63. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka calls Ayers an “extraordinary leader and friend.”
On this week’s episode of “Brotherhood Outdoors,” Lee Hengsteler, a member of Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA) Local 359 in Arizona, gets to realize a dream he’s had since he was 6 years old: He heads to Montana to hunt elk.
When it comes to actually implementing green technologies, the building trades unions are in the vanguard. In St. Louis, Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA) Local 36 is seeking the highest ranking, LEED Platinum, from the U.S. Green Building Council for the local’s new 95,000-square-foot headquarters and training center building. (LEED stands for “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.”)
Tonight’s episode of “Brotherhood Outdoors,” the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA‘s) hunting and fishing television series, features Philadelphia Sheet Metal Workers (SMWIA) Local 19 member Doug Bachman. The show airs at 8 p.m. EDT on the Sportsman Channel.