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Week ending July 1, 2022

Welcome to This Week in Labor Education!

The purpose of this newsletter is to provide education, information, and resources to members on labor issues and labor education trainings/workshops offered by the Education and Training Department. If you haven’t subscribed, but would like to receive this publication directly to your inbox, please click here to subscribe.

Upcoming representation and union-building webinars

The Education and Training Department staff continues to provide opportunities for members to gain and enhance their skills through our online trainings. These trainings are open to members in all Regions. Workshop descriptions and registration for all current offerings are available online on our website.

Participants must use their own time or have approved release time to attend trainings if attending during their normal work hours. Grievance Representation Training and Representing Members in Discipline and Interrogation Training are both required for all officers as per the CSEA Constitutions.

Here are our upcoming offerings:

  • July 11 – The 7 Test of Just Cause – 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • July 12 – An Overview of The Family and Medical Leave Act – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • July 12 & 13** – Representing Members in Discipline & Interrogations 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  
  • July 13 Labor History – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • July 14 – How to Conduct A New Member Orientation  12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • July 14 – How to Conduct A New Member Orientation – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
  • July 19 & 20** – Grievance Representation Workshop – 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • July 19 & 20** Steward  – 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • July 19 & 20** – State Government Grievance Representation – 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
  • July 20 & 21** – Representing Members in Discipline & Interrogations 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.   
  • July 21 – Representing Members in Discipline & Interrogation Recertification  12 p.m. to 2 p.m.

**Must attend both days

Activist Word of the Week

Impact Bargaining: An employer is permitted to make changes in the nature and quality of services that it provides without bargaining with its employees. However, if the changes have an impact upon the terms and conditions of the employees’ work, the employer must negotiate how to relieve the impact on them when their unions demand.

AND

Power: The word “power” is often given a negative connotation, but it simply means the ability to get something done. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political, and economic change.” Every worker wants dignity and respect at work, but each of us alone has very little power in relationship with our boss. We form unions because collectively we have much more power to win better workplaces and better lives.

This Week in Labor History

Federal Bureau of Labor Created
In June 1884, Congress created the Federal Bureau of Labor, driven by organized workers’ growing numbers and political power and decades of advocacy by labor leaders. Created within the Department of Interior, the Bureau became the independent US Department of Labor (DOL) in 1913 and rose to prominence in the 1930s under the leadership of two New Yorkers: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet. Catalyzed by powerful movements of organized workers and the unemployed, Perkins and the DOL helped craft and implement landmark programs such as Social Security, unemployment insurance, overtime pay, and the minimum wage. While the Department’s focus and effectiveness has waxed and waned amidst the political attacks on organized labor, it continues to offer vital information and support to workers across the country and is currently in the friendly hands of Secretary Marty Walsh, a former labor leader in the Massachusetts building trades.

 Learn more about the Department of Labor here:

 Sources:

https://www.bls.gov/bls/history/timeline.htm

https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/history/dolorigabridge

https://www.dol.gov/general/aboutdol/history/perkins

 ————————————————————————————————————

Congress Passes Taft-Hartley Act

75 years ago, on June 23rd, 1947, Congress overrode President Truman’s veto to pass the Taft-Hartley Act, the most damaging anti-union law of the twentieth century. The legislation was supported by recently elected Republican majorities and by conservative Southern Democrats concerned that labor organizing would disrupt Jim Crow racial hierarchy. Big business appealed to the broader public by blaming price increases on workers and their pesky demands for living wages. (Sound familiar?).

Taft-Hartley banned sympathy strikes, mass pickets, and other tactics workers had used in the 1930s to force huge anti-union companies like the Big 3 automakers to recognize unions and bargain with them. It also allowed states to ban union and agency shops in the private sector, meaning that workers benefiting from union contracts could not be required to pay dues. Over time most of the South and Mountain West became “Right to Work” (for less), severely limiting unionization in those regions labor’s national political power. This Right-to-Work tide eventually hit even the most labor-friendly states with the Supreme Court’s 2018 Janus decision banning agency shops in the public sector.

Learn more about Taft-Hartley and its consequences:

https://www.lawcha.org/2017/01/12/origins-right-work-vance-muse-anti-semitism-maintenance-jim-crow-labor-relations/

Murolo, Priscilla, and A. B. Chitty. 2001. From the folks who brought you the weekend: a short, illustrated history of labor in the United States. New York: New Press.

https://www.nlrb.gov/about-nlrb/who-we-are/our-history/1947-taft-hartley-substantive-provisions                                       

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This Week in Labor Education is published by the Education and Training Department of CSEA, AFSCME, Local 1000, AFL-CIO.

Mary E. Sullivan, President