Friday, April 22, 2016
During April, Autism Awareness Month, we want to increase OPEIU Local 2 members and their families knowledge of autism and the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. Additionally, it is important to celebrate the unique talents and skills of persons with autism.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.
Did you know?
Health insurance to support the growth and care of people with autism is not available in every state. Some form of coverage is provided in DC, Maryland and Virginia with coverage in Virginia being effective as of Jan. 2012, DC effective as of Jan. 2014 and Maryland effective as of Jan. 2015. All pretty recent developments in light of the need for this coverage for decades.
Watch OPEIU Local 2 member Caniesha's video talking about her son and supporting his growth and safety by voting and staying engaged in the electoral process.
40K Union Members Strike at Verizon!
Friday, April 22, 2016
Just over a week ago, 40,000 thousand union brother and sisters went on strike at Verizon. CWA and IBEW union members and supporters have picket lines set up daily in front of Verizon facilities and wireless retail stores from Virginia to Massachusetts.
Locally, OPEIU Local 2 staff and executive board members joined a huge rally in Silver Spring last Wednesday, where U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen and MD/DC State Fed president Fred Mason spoke. Activists and many community leaders were also there, showing the power of solidarity.
It’s vital as union members to continue supporting our union brothers and sisters: Sign this petition and show the power in a united voice! And check out this moving video as CWA members tell their stories. Plus, The Nation asks Can the strike at Verizon help kick start the American Labor Movement?
Join Local 2 for May Day
Friday, April 15, 2016
Join hundreds of local activists standing in solidarity with working families all around the globe by celebrating the international holiday of the working class on Sunday, May 1st. The rally begins at 2p at Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, located on 16th St & Euclid St, NW. Click here for more information and updates.
Also, on Saturday, April 30, at 1:00 p.m. at 3166 Mt. Pleasant St, NW, there will be an open forum on ‘Workers Say No to War’ contingent of the May Day march to the White House. For more information on why workers should oppose this country's endless wars, contact Bruce Wolf at email@example.com.
Rainbow Survey: Local 2 Needs Your Feedback
Friday, April 1, 2016
As OPEIU Local 2 continues to engage members around issues impacting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) folks in the workplace we're looking for your feedback. Please complete this short questionnaire about your role in the local, how you identify, and what topics you'd like covered in resource documents you can use to represent workers and know your rights on the job. Please complete the short survey by midnight, Friday, April 15. Everyone is encouraged to participate!
Click here to complete the survey!
Employment Opportunity at OPEIU Local 2
Friday, March 18, 2016
OPEIU Local 2 is seeking qualified applicants to fill a Staff Representative/Organizer position with the Local Union. Among the responsibilities of this position are the negotiation and renegotiation of Collective Bargaining Agreements, representing members in grievance and arbitration hearings, and general organizing - both external and internal organizing in shops already under contract with the Local. Candidates for this position should possess experience as a shop steward and extensive contract negotiating, servicing experience and a general familiarity with labor law and labor/management relations. Applicants should possess good communication and writing skills, the ability to relate to people, and the ability to perform general research. Some experience in organizing is preferred.
The successful applicant will be responsible for negotiating and servicing between 12 and 20 collective bargaining agreements. This is a salaried position and regularly requires evening and weekend work. Applicants must have a car and be able to travel in the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia environs. The Local Union provides comprehensive health and welfare coverage, participation in the OPEIU Pension Plan and a car allowance.
Members interested in being considered for this position should direct their application and resume by April 20 at 5p to the Local Union office to: Dan Dyer, OPEIU Local 2, 8555 16th Street, Suite 550, Silver Spring, MD 20910
OPEIU Local 2's First Racial Justice Stewards Forum
Friday, March 11, 2016
In our ongoing efforts to expand the conversation around racial justice Local 2 held its first racial justice stewards forum. The four-hour session centered around the unique challenges facing people of color in the workplace and the labor movement, the impact of the Black Lives Matter Movement on the fight for collective change, the personal stories of union members and how Local 2 can be a part of the discussion of racial justice in our shops.
Participants from shops including APWU, AFGE, WMATA, the Solidarity Center and the Bakery and Confectionery Trust Fund discussed how the construct of race plays a part in their personal lives and their experience on the job. Attendees watched a powerful video from the AFL-CIO that outlined recent struggles facing the black community and discussed why it is important for labor to be involved. Key pieces of the forum focused on dog whistle politics, coded racism and combating racism in the labor movement. Attendees also discussed the current political landscape and how Local 2 can be involved.
This discussion series will continue to take place at the end of executive board meetings and the Local 2 Racial Justice Working Group plans to have additional forums open to all members.
Pictures courtesy of O. Michael Leslie
OPEIU Local 2 Member Elected as Co-Chair of AFL-CIO Young Worker Advisory Council
Thursday, February 25, 2016
OPEIU Local 2 executive board member Caniesha Seldon has been elected to serve a one-year term as co-chair of the AFL-CIO Young Workers Advisory Council (YWAC). YWAC was founded in 2009 and is compromised of 35 young workers from various AFL-CIO affiliates across the United States.
Read the rest of the article here!
Remembering Roger Newell: OPEIU Local 2 Black Labor Leader
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Longtime local labor activist Roger Newell, a third-generation Washington native, was involved with a wide variety of community activities and a leader in struggles for economic and social justice since the 1960’s. An award-winning labor journalist, Newell served as an instructor at the National Labor College in Silver Spring (MD), and a longtime member of our own Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 2 and the DC chapter of the National Writers Union.
Newell, a Senior Campaign Communications Specialist on the national staff of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was involved in the labor movement for over 25 years. He served as the Director of the Washington, D.C. office of the National Jobs With Peace campaign and Chair of the Jobs With Justice DC chapter for its first decade, leading DC JWJ’s Workers’ Rights Board committee.
"There are few people I have met who shared such deep commitment to the struggles of working people,” said racial justice, labor and international activist Bill Fletcher, Jr.
OPEIU Local 2 member Bruce Wolf first met Newell at a Creative Organizing Conference, part of the annual Great Labor Arts Exchange. “We were sitting on a bench waiting for the afternoon session, and in a short time Roger was giving me a terrific lesson on internal organizing as utilized by the Teamsters. In a matter of minutes I had learned more than any conference I ever attended.”
Newell passed unexpectedly on November 14, 2014 and is sorely missed by OPEIU Local 2 and the local labor community.
Excerpts from dclabor.org
The Importance of Filling the Supreme Court Vacancy
Friday, February 19, 2016
On Feb. 13, the American people learned of the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, one of the nine current Justices sitting on the Supreme Court. OPEIU Local 2 joins the nation in expressing their condolences to his family at his unexpected passing. President Obama has vowed to fulfill his constitutional responsibility of nominating a successor to Justice Scalia and expressed his expectation that the Senate will fulfill its responsibility to give the nominee a fair hearing and a timely vote. Unfortunately, many Republicans have said that they don’t intend to cooperate in this process.
Delay would be damaging to our democracy and the institution of the Supreme Court. The Court has decided many important cases that have had a lasting impact on the American people…for good or bad, such as voting rights, marriage equality, pregnancy accommodations, upholding the Affordable Care Act and many other important cases. There continues to be important business in front of the court right now.
Delay will potentially have a huge impact on the Friedrich's case which affects public sector unions as well as many other cases in front of the Supreme Court. There is no reason for delay. Six Justices have been confirmed in presidential election years, including three Republican appointees; the longest confirmation process took 99 days and there are more than 300 days left in the current Administration; and there has never been a vacancy longer than 4 months while the Court has been in session.
We support the President’s commitment to making sure that the Supreme Court continues to function as the beacon of justice that it was designed to be.
Sign the petition now to tell McConnell and Senate Republican leadership to do their job and work to fill the Supreme Court vacancy without delay.
Black History Month Event at the AFL-CIO
Friday, February 19, 2016
In recognition and celebration of Black History Month, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionist (CBTU) and the AFL-CIO hosted a symposium on February 4 to discuss the report “A Future for Workers: A Contribution from Black Labor”. This report offers a perspective that is timely and unique, blunt but hopeful, progressive and yet tempered by the horrific grip the wealthy and global elite hold on this country speaking for the nearly 2.1 million African Americans in labor unions.
Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre and CBTU President Rev. Terry Melvin opened the program where panelists and attendees discussed how to expand the labor movement by talking about issues black workers care about like the economy, health care, education, good jobs and the plight of young workers. The purpose of the symposium was to engage Labor leaders, Community Activists, and vested parties in a dialogue on the state of Black Workers in America, as well as to develop an action plan to address these issues.
The attendees heard from our very own Executive Board member and Chair of the OPEIU Local 2 Rising Stars Committee Caniesha Seldon that with blacks and 18-30 year olds being the most unemployed race and age demographic, cultural stereotypes and the disparity in pay for women it is almost impossible for young women of color to easily find good jobs. And until we center the issues of women of color in all of our conversations regarding worker issues then we’re leaving a substantial number of people unassisted.
We heard from Dr. William Spriggs, Professor at Howard University, that no matter how “financially literate” you think you might be…it is a farce. The economic rules of our society were designed for low income and people of color to fail. We heard from Dr. Toni Lewis, Chair of SEIU Healthcare, that racism is bad for your health. Anything that contributes to constant stress takes a physical and mental toll on the body. And we herd from President Fred Mason of the Maryland State Federation of the AFL-CIO that union jobs have played a huge role in helping people of color to reach the middle class. Attacks on union and public sector jobs is an attack on black prosperity.
After panelist started the conversation, attendees broke into discussion groups to talk about next steps to address criminal justice reform, education, the environment, healthcare and jobs/the economy.
You can find the report here.
Black Labor History Month
During the second week in February in 1926 Negro History Week was celebrated for the first time. February was appropriate since Frederick Douglass' and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays are celebrated. In 1976, Negro History Month became Black History Month and the rich history of African Americans began to receive special attention during the entire month of February.
As historians take a closer look at the many facets of black history in this country, they often find themselves documenting not only the struggle of oppressed people in this country, but how that struggle was part of a larger social and economic movement to improve the lives of the working class and their role within the American labor movement.
There are many rich resources available to workers, organizers, teachers and students to help explore this aspect of black history during February and throughout the year.
Subscribe by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Shop Steward Corner
Local 2 Shop Stewards play a vital role in building a strong workplace and protecting our members. Stewards represent workers in meetings with management, help mobilize co-workers to take action, introduce the union to new employees and more.
Handling Disciplines for Poor Performance
Dealing with Workplace Bullying
The Charge: Stealing Time
Begins April 29
Full Schedule of events
"Workers Say No to War"
Saturday April 30, 2016 1:00p
3166 Mt. Pleasant St, NW
May Day Parade/Rally
Sunday, May 1 2:00 pm
Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park
16th St & Euclid St, NW
Click here for more information
APALA Asian Pacific Heritage Month Event
APALA Community & Labor Reception in Washington, DC
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
1201 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
RSVP Link: http://bit.ly/APALA-CLRDC
Saturday, May 7 2016
DC Young Trade Unionist
& Baltimore Young Trade Unionist
Saturday, May 7 4:00 pm
Greene Turtle in Hanover, MD
DC Labor Newsfeed