Union rights and solidarity

 

#1 My supervisor told us that they cannot give us a raise because of the union.

As an AFSCME member you can get discounts on entertainment, health plans, auto services, home loans ...

Well, not exactly. Two union members recently came to members of the Local 800 Executive Board, asking for help.

“I was one of those members who never thought I’d need the Union’s help.”

These are the words of Taeko Sakumoto, an employee of Jewish Family Service. Then, after 17 years employment, she was terminated from her position as a Residential Counselor at a JFS Domestic Violence Shelter.

If you are called into a meeting with management, you have the right to request union representation, should you believe discipline might result. You must make this request. Management is not obligated to tell you about your Weingarten Rights. You can make the request before or during the meeting, saying something that conveys the following message:

Members of AFSCME’s law enforcement community take countless risks to keep our communities safe. When those brave heroes make the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty, our obligation is to never forget them.

National Police Week is a time to honor fallen law enforcement officers, as well as a time for the law enforcement community to stand in solidarity with each other.

Elizabeth Hawkins

Pictured: Elizabeth Hawkins. Member-provided photo.

The day after he was released from a hospital, a bruised and swollen Kelvin Chung told a state Senate committee that state employees like him need collective bargaining rights to advocate for safety on the job. “I want you to see my face. We need a voice on the job, so this doesn't happen again to anyone else,” said Chung, a corrections officer.

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy battered the east coast of the United States, causing billions of dollars in damage across 24 states. The hurricane quickly became known in the impacted region as “Superstorm Sandy.”

Shileen Shaw knows firsthand how the storm got that name.

“We had never seen anything like it,” says Shaw, recalling the damage her East Orange, New Jersey, home suffered at the time.

Workers Memorial Day is this Sunday, April 28, when we honor workers killed or injured on the job. On this day in 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed.

For almost half a century, OSHA has been charged with helping to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for men and women across this country. But under the Trump administration, OSHA is failing us. As we observe Workers Memorial Day, it’s clear that we can do more – much more – for worker safety.

Megha Desai is a public defender in Multnomah County, Oregon. In a given week, she might work upwards of 60 hours. Right now, she has about 145 open cases.

“It's like a conveyor belt. Every day you work on your assigned cases, new ones roll in,” said Desai, a member of Local 2805 (Council 75). “There's a joke in the office: If you don't come in on the weekends, you’re screwed for the next week.”

The first weekend of April was an exception: It was her wedding.