From LiUNA: After Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Workers Demand ASI Clean up its Act!

Washington, DC – Several current and former asbestos workers protested Asbestos Specialist Inc (ASI) May 23 to demand their employer be held accountable for its dangerous behavior. The workers spoke with passers-by and patrons of National Press Club building businesses to alert them about the company’s history of unsafe working conditions, such as those that led to the carbon monoxide poisonings of almost a dozen workers at the National Press Club Building job site earlier this week. For months, ASI workers have been picketing the company for unsafe working conditions, safety violations, and wrongfully withheld back wages. Now the workers say it is unacceptable that this company’s carelessness has seriously injured almost a dozen employees at the building of the National Press Club.   For the last several months, employees have been picketing at worksites across the region to let their ASI co-workers and the company’s clients know that this company has endangered worker and public safety by not following asbestos safety laws. Furthermore, ASI unfairly undercuts its competition by underpaying some workers. The Department of Labor made an initial finding that the company wrongfully withheld $853,000 in wages from employees, but the company has so far refused to return the money to the workers. “What happened to the workers at the National Press Club this week was a tragedy and completely preventable. Safety laws are there for a reason, and there’s no excuse for endangering public or worker safety just to cut corners. We need ASI’s clients to understand exactly who it is that they’re hiring,” said Steve Lanning, organizing director of LiUNA’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing...

DC Jobs with Justice 11th Annual I’ll Be There Awards

Our Eleventh Annual “I’ll Be There” Awards,is  scheduled for Thursday June 27, 2013. As per our local tradition, we will celebrate at the AFL-CIO Samuel Gompers Room located at 815 16th Street NW, Washington, DC  20006.  The Awards will take place from 6:30pm to 8:30pm.  This year DC JwJ is leading the fight with ATU to keep our WMATA transit system public, affordable, and safe. We are also keeping up the battle with UFCW and the community to hold Big Box stores accountable with the passage of the Large Retailer Accountability Act.  In addition we are working in solidarity with the Paid Sick Days for All Coalition, and the Wage Theft Coalition to pass critical legislation that will protect our city’s most vulnerable and fastest growing sector of low wage workers. This year we are honored to celebrate the following local heroes who have all contributed their time, talents, and passion to our mission to protect workers’ rights: Ann Hoffman, National Writers’ Guild, The Employment Justice Center, Rabbi Bob Saks, Jews United for Justice, and The George Washington Progressive Student Union.   **And a special tribute to DC Jobs with Justice Board Chair Roger Newell for his endless dedication and his legacy in student organizing. Please consider placing an ad in our ad book to support the event. For more information contact Nikki  at Nikki@dcjwj.org or Lilly at...

Urgent Request for Patient Protection Act

The Patient Protection Act is legislation before the DC Council to ensure that patients get the best care possible when they need it through safe staffing.   Please join DC nurses, patients and community allies to encourage the Council’s Committee on Health to schedule a hearing for May 16 for the Patient Protection Act, and a mark-up soon after.   Please call Health Committee Chairwoman Yvette Alexander’s office to urge her to schedule the hearing on Thursday, May 16. Her number is 202.741.0910.  The message should be:   We appreciate your leadership on the Patient Protection Act.   As you know, NAME OF ORGANIZATION strongly support the Patient Protection Act, and we know that this legislation will drastically improve patient care and save the lives of DC residents.  In order for the bill to get marked up and through the full council by the July 15 recess, we are counting on you to exercise leadership by scheduling the hearing on the bill for May 16, and scheduling a mark-up by early June.  This is a life and death matter for tens of thousands of DC residents who need to have safe patient care when they or a loved one is in the hospital.   Reinforcing calls to Bonds, Grosso and Orange would also be helpful to encourage them to weigh in with Ms. Alexander as soon as possible.   Thank you again for your support for this landmark piece of legislation.  We are going to need to redouble our efforts to make sure our elected officials move swiftly to pass the bill into...

Chavez students ask DC Council not to privatize their ride!

On Friday April 26th, students from Cesar Chavez Public Charter School joined with community leaders, and ATU Local 689 members at a city council hearing asking council members  not to privatize  20 public bus lines.  In the fall of 2012 the District Government submitted a RFI concerning the privatization of 20 city bus lines. Some of the bus lines are used by the students from Cesar Chavez and their families.  Chavez students testified at the hearing  and they also wore badges that said “Please don’t privatize my ride”.  The hearing was for budgetary issues for the environment and public transportation. Research shows public transportation in the hands of private interests, may result in unregulated fares, route changes, changes in the hours of operation and services may be cut for our most vulnerable  brothers and sisters who live in areas deemed “not profitable.”  In other jurisdictions – PG county for example, residents are complaining about their private bus system because it often leaves late night restaurant workers, service workers, cleaning crews, and other “invisible” workers stranded at night and weekends. Show your support for this campaign by tweeting about it. The Chavez students have created the hashtag #dontprivatizemyride. Please use this in support of the...

Victory for Howard Dining Workers: Real Food Real Jobs Movement Picks up Steam

Posted by Erin ODonnell on March 7, 2013 Spurring on the DC food service workers’ fight for greater access to fresh, healthy food and good, sustainable jobs using fresh-cooked ingredients, Howard University workers employed by Sodexo celebrated another victory of DC’s Real Food Real Jobs movement.   Following on the heels of a 400-person rally on U Street last week, workers at Howard University overwhelmingly approved a new contract with food service provider Sodexo yesterday. Similar to the landmark agreement between American University and Gallaudet Univeristy workers and Bon Appetit Management Company, UNITE HERE Local 23 members at Howard will see improved working conditions and have increased input into sustainability efforts. Wage increases and affordable health care, along with greater guarantees of a 40-hour work week, will make jobs more sustainable; but just as importantly, with the support of students, and anti-hunger and sustainability activists, workers won the right to a sustainability oversight committee and worker training. “I am so excited by this agreement! I love real food, and I love these students,” said committee member Dorothy Samuels. “I tell everyone to eat healthy food, and now I have a way of sharing my ideas and experience with real cooking!”Jermaine Gaither, another member of the committee who has worked in Howard’s cafeteria for many years, explained that “this contract gives us even better ways of building our skills to make really good food for students here.” Last week, Local 23 DC food workers and parking workers were joined by university students and community activists from across the city for a 400-person rally themed, “We Feed DC. We Are DC.”...