In This Issue:
- Digital Theft Costs Jobs: AFL-CIO Executive Council Speaks Out
- Arts, Entertainment & Media Unions Confer
- April 15: RNs, Social Workers & Patient Care
- May 11: Whistleblowers & OSHA
- DPE Signs On
DIGITAL THEFT COSTS JOBS: AFL-CIO EXECUTIVE COUNCIL SPEAKS OUT
– On March 2, 2010, the AFL-CIO Executive Council unanimously adopted a new statement, “Piracy Is a Danger to Entertainment Professionals.”
Proposed by DPE on behalf of its nine affiliated Arts, Entertainment and Media Industries (AEMI) unions, the statement underscores the threat that digital theft poses to entertainment workers and their jobs. At stake, in a vibrant sector of the U.S. economy that is a leader of U.S. exports, are hundreds of thousands of union jobs, union compensation, and union benefits.
The statement concludes:
- The AFL-CIO strongly supports the efforts of the AEMI unions and the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO to combat piracy. It commends their work with government and industry to develop workable solutions to protect the interests of their members. The AFL-CIO urges its affiliate unions to educate their members about the adverse impact of piracy; to support efforts to insure that government officials and lawmakers are aware of, and support the protection of, entertainment industry jobs that will be lost to online theft; to encourage their members to respect copyright law; and to urge their members, as a matter of union solidarity, to never illegally download or stream pirated content or purchase illegal CDs and DVDs.
International President Matthew D. Loeb (left) of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes (IATSE) introduced the topic at an AEMI Industry Coordinating Committee (AEMI ICC) meeting in October 2009, developed a list of principles, and led the effort through DPE to achieve consensus on the statement that
DPE proposed and the AFL-CIO Executive Council adopted. (For an account of the October 2009 AEMI ICC meeting, see “Arts, Entertainment And Media Unions Convene in Big Apple” in the November 2009 DPE NewsLine.) Other speakers supporting the statement in the AFL-CIO Executive Council meeting included National President Roberta Reardon of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and President Ken Howard of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).
Besides AFTRA, IATSE, and SAG, unions in the AEMI ICC – all affiliated with DPE – include the Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE).
Policy statements adopted by the AFL-CIO Executive Council are posted here.
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ARTS, ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA UNIONS CONFER
– In a bi-coastal video conference between New York and Los Angeles, the Arts, Entertainment and Media Industries (AEMI) unions met on February 23, 2010. Convened by DPE and hosted by SAG, the meeting was chaired by DPE President Paul E. Almeida. Leading the agenda was a proposed statement opposing piracy, “Piracy Is a Danger to Entertainment Professionals,” that the AFL-CIO Executive Council just adopted (see “Digital Theft Costs Jobs: AFL-CIO Executive Council Speaks out” above).
Also on the agenda were a proposed merger that could reshape the industry and its labor relations; a planned organizing campaign; and a discussion, led by AFM Secretary-Treasurer Sam Folio, about the obstacles facing Canadian musicians who seek visas to perform in the United States. Other topics included an invitation to participate in the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council (see www.unionveterans.org) from AFL-CIO Staff Coordinator Gordon Pavy, a U.S. Navy veteran; a report about the National Endowment for the Arts Cultural Workforce Forum on November 20, 2009 from DPE Executive Director David Cohen and Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo (for an account in the December 2009 DPE NewsLine, click on “DPE Addresses National Endowment for the Arts“); and an invitation to participate in developing forums around free speech and press with Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI) from David Cohen (for more about PftPI, see the next two items and click here).
APRIL 15: RNs, SOCIAL WORKERS & PATIENT CARE
– Hold April 15, 2010 for a first.
From 2 to 4 pm on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at the Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI) will sponsor the first PftPI Forum, “Defending Patient Care Against External Pressures: Dilemmas and Possibilities for RNs and Social Workers in Hospitals.”
Hospitals employ registered nurses and social workers. Both groups strive to offer professional care to their patients and clients. Both groups define professional integrity through multiple means: codes of professional ethics and standards, licensure, and law.
When a hospital responds to financial or political pressures in ways that adversely affect professional care and integrity, how should the professionals respond? What measures might policymakers, administrators, professionals, associations and unions take to protect professional integrity against external pressures?
Putting together the panel of nationally known experts to respond to these questions are representatives from AFT, the American Public Health Association, the National Association of Social Workers, and DPE. The PftPI Forum will precede the opening later that day of the AFT Healthcare Professional Issues Conference, also at the Washington Court Hotel.
PftPI brings together 19 national and global organizations around a common focus: defending professional integrity against external pressures in the interests of the public. PftPI addresses that focus with the members of these organizations, policymakers, and the public. The organizations include eight professional associations; 10 national unions; and DPE, which collectively represent more than four million professionals in disciplines from the sciences and engineering to human services.
For more information about the April 15 Forum, please contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320 extension 113, or Researcher and Representative Alexis Spencer Notabartolo, email@example.com, 202-638-0320 extension 119. For information about PftPI, visit its website, www.pftpi.org. For information about the second PftPI Forum on May 11, see “May 11: OSHA & Whistleblowers” below.
MAY 11: WHISTLEBLOWERS & OSHA
– Hold May 11 for a second PftPI Forum. Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health David Michaels will address and discuss “Whistleblowers and OSHA: Strengthening Professional Integrity Against External Pressures.” (For information about the first PftPI Forum, see “April 15: RNs, Social Workers & Patient Care” above.)
The Whistleblower Protection Program in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces whistleblower provisions in 17 federal statutes. The provisions aim to protect workers outside the federal government who disclose illegal practices in industries from nuclear power to securities to consumer products and others. Agencies other than the Department of Labor enforce the basic provisions of 16 of those 17 statutes.
A January 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report noted the “increasing caseloads” and “case complexity” confronting the whistleblower program at every level. It cited “two key challenges” for OSHA: maintaining the quality of investigations and providing adequate resources for investigators. It did not directly question, however, whether the statutory structure makes sense.
How is the Whistleblower Protection Program working now? How do its challenges relate to its responsibilities across so many complex and specialized statutes and industries? How could other approaches strengthen the protections for whistleblowers in the interests of the public?
IEEE-USA and DPE will host and moderate the program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 1200 New York Avenue, NW. Light refreshments from 11:45 am to 12:30 pm will precede the speech and discussion from 12:30 to 2 pm.
For a biography of David Michaels, click here. For the GAO report, go here. For more information about this Forum, contact DPE Executive Director David Cohen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-638-0320 extension 113.
DPE SIGNS ON
– DPE joined a letter of December 2, 2009 calling on Congressional leaders to extend through 2010 unemployment insurance benefits and other supports under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Other signatories included DPE affiliated unions AFSCME, AFT, IFPTE, and USW; the AFL-CIO; and other unions, professional associations, and advocacy organizations. To read the letter, click here.
On behalf of Professionals for the Public Interest: Associations and Unions Defending Professional Integrity (PftPI), DPE President Paul E. Almeida co-signed a letter to U.S. Representative William Lacy Clay about his bill introduced in 2009, “The Federal Advisory Committee Act Amendments of 2009” (H.R. 1320). To see the letter, go here.