In This Issue:
- DPE General Board Re-Elects Almeida, Adds Langford
- Senate Passes Immigration Reform Bill, but at What Cost?
- New! DPE Report on the Young Population and Workforce
- American Library Association Convenes, DPE Contributes
- AFGE President Cox Details Sequestration Fallout
- Rock Royalty for Music Royalties: Pink Floyd Takes on Pandora
- AFT Shows Downside to Privatizing Schools
- DPE Joins in as Actors’ Equity Celebrates 100 Years
- DPE Signs On
- DPE In the News
DPE GENERAL BOARD RE-ELECTS ALMEIDA, ADDS LANGFORD – On June 19, 2013, the DPE General Board re-elected Paul E. Almeida as DPE President. It also added D. Michael Langford, National President of the Utility Workers Union of America, to the DPE Executive Committee as a General Vice President.
Also re-elected were:
Chair of the DPE Board: J. David Cox, AFGE National President
First Vice President: David White, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director
Treasurer: Francine Lawrence, AFT Executive Vice President
General Vice Presidents: J. Walter Cahill, IATSE; Tom Carpenter, AEA; Gregory Junemann,
IFPTE; Phil Kugler, AFT; Carol Landry, USW; Mary McColl, AEA; John McGuire, SAG-
AFTRA; Mary Mahoney, OPEIU
The quadrennial General Board meeting began with comments from Chairman Cox. With Treasurer Lawrence abroad on AFT business, President Almeida delivered her financial report, which led the General Board to approve a DPE budget for its fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013.
Unions represented at the meeting – AEA, AFGE, AFM, IAMAW, IATSE, IBEW, IFPTE, IUPAT, RWDSU, SAG-AFTRA, SIU, USW, and WGAE – reported on developments and plans. Several common themes for action emerged, including shared employers and sectors. Then Jon Hiatt, AFL-CIO Executive Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, provided a thoughtful overview of planning for the September 2013 AFL-CIO Convention.
President Almeida (left) presented the DPE Quadrennial Report. He started with the intense negotiations over comprehensive immigration reform, in which he, DPE, and unions affiliated with DPE are fighting to protect U.S. high-tech workers and foreign guest workers against an industry onslaught. At his invitation, Executive Director David Cohen reported on DPE battles to retain and strengthen labor standards and on activities by the DPE arts, entertainment, and media unions involving intellectual property, international developments, and government data. Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning summarized DPE research and publications, outreach to professional associations, and communications including the DPE website. A highlight was a new report using original research about professionals ages 18 to 35, “The Young Population and Workforce.”
SENATE PASSES IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL, BUT AT WHAT COST? – On June 27, 2013, the U.S. Senate voted 68-32 (with 14 Republicans joining all 54 Democrats) to approve the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744). Little or no improvement was made concerning the plight of U.S. high-tech workers (as reported in our last issue of NewsLine). In the last week before passage, Senate Democrats gave Republicans everything they wanted on border security to secure their votes.
Last-minute deals will see the southern U.S. border become militarized including: the hiring of 20,000 Customs and Border Protection personnel; authorizing the National Guard to construct additional fencing totaling 750 miles (including double fencing in high-risk areas); increasing mobile surveillance; deploying aircraft and radio communications; constructing additional Border Patrol stations and operating bases; hiring additional prosecutors, judges, and staff; providing additional training to border officers; and increasing prosecutions of illegal border crossings. The bill also mandates 24-hour surveillance of the border region using mobile, video, and portable systems, as well as unmanned aircraft. The border strategy price tag is in the 30 billion dollar range.
The bill now awaits the House action. The Republican caucus will be meeting July 10 to consider how they will handle immigration. Various parts of immigration reform are moving in the House, which does not appear to have any interest in addressing comprehensive immigration reform.
In his statement on Senate passage, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, “Clearly, no further compromise to the roadmap to citizenship can be tolerated by the labor movement or our allies.”
NEW! DPE REPORT ON THE YOUNG POPULATION AND WORKFORCE – A new DPE report profiles the young population and workforce. The report explores the racial and ethnic makeup, unemployment, education attainment, union membership, and industry employment of people ages 18 through 35. Among the findings:
- Hispanics and racial minorities made up 46 percent of the young population in March 2013;
- Of the 55.5 million young people in the workforce in March 2013, 5.6 million were unemployed;
- Among the 5.6 million unemployed young workers, 60 percent report their highest grade completed was a high school diploma or less;
- The education attainment of young union members has undergone dramatic changes: In March 2013, 54 percent of young union members had earned an associate’s degree in an academic program or higher; in March 1994, just 27 percent of young union members had an associate’s degree or higher;
- Young men tend to work in industries (construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade) that have suffered the largest young worker employment declines; and
- Fifty-seven percent of young union members are employed in public administration and the educational services industry.
The report concluded that unions and young people can be strong allies in the struggle for a stronger economy, a voice in the workplace, better wages, student loan reform, and immigration reform. Vocal union support of issues important to young people is likely why young people are more likely than older Americans to recognize the value of labor unions.
Read the new report at The Young Population and Workforce. For further information, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, (202) 638-0320 extension 114, firstname.lastname@example.org.
AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION CONVENES, DPE CONTRIBUTES – Over 20,000 library workers and advocates flocked to Chicago, on June 27-July 3, 2013 for the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition. DPE made numerous contributions.
DPE works directly with ALA and its companion organization, the American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA); the latter focuses on two areas: certification, and salaries and status of library workers. Since 2005, DPE has also co-chaired the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups. Labor members of the committee include Jannie Cobb, National Labor College; Justin Crossfox, AFT; Julius Jefferson, Jr., IFPTE; Jessica Storrs, AFSCME; and Nick Yovnello, AFT.
Each year, the AFL-CIO/ALA Committee develops and organizes a program for the annual conference. The program this year, “Preserving Labor’s History,” featured Shawn Nicholson, Assistant Director of Digital Information at the Michigan State University Library and Larry Spivack, President of the Illinois Labor History Society. The program had strong turnout.
Shawn talked about what it took to create the Lansing Auto Town Gallery, a collection of interviews of United Auto Workers Local 602 members who worked at auto assembly plants in Lansing, Michigan. In total, there are 167 interviews online for listening. The project cost just under $25,000 and took two years.
Larry described the role of the Illinois Labor History Society (ILHS) in preserving Illinois labor history. Larry described the importance of preserving history and educating all people, young and old, about how labor unions transformed the workforce. The ILHS maintains the Haymarket Martyrs Memorial in Forest Park, IL as well as the Haymarket Martyrs Monument in Chicago.
Larry also led a site tour at the Haymarket Martyrs Monument in Chicago (right) for ALA members. About 15 people turned out to learn about the Haymarket events and how the history of Haymarket is being preserved by the ILHS.
The Committee’s booth in the Exposition Hall featured labor materials, including DPE fact sheets, brochures, pro-labor badge ribbons, resource guides, and a poster illustrating the union difference for library worker salaries.
In addition to its work with the Joint Committee, DPE works closely with ALA-APA and sits on the Standing Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers. This committee focuses on the professional library worker, rather than the patrons they serve. As chair of the union subcommittee, Jennifer Dorning organized a program, “Unions 101 for Librarians and Library Workers.” The program focused on how to start a union and the benefits of organizing a union.
The 2013 John Sessions Memorial Award, named in honor of a former AFL-CIO Education Director and co-chair of the AFL-CIO/ALA Joint Committee on Library Service to Labor Groups, was presented to the Labor Archives of Washington at the University of Washington. This honor, presented annually by the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and supported by a donation from DPE, recognizes a library or library system that made a significant effort to work with the labor community and brought recognition to the contribution of the labor movement to the development of the United States. At the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, Conor Casey, Labor Archivist, accepted the plaque on behalf of the Labor Archives of Washington.
Library workers are represented by several DPE affiliates including AFGE, AFT, IFPTE, OPEIU, RWDSU, and USW.
For information about ALA and the Annual Meeting, see www.ala.org. For more about library workers, read the DPE Fact Sheet on library workers. For information about the meetings of the AFL-CIO/ALA Committee or the ALA-APA Committee on the Salaries and Status of Library Workers, or to learn more about the involvement of DPE, contact DPE Researcher and Representative Jennifer Dorning, 202-638-0320 extension 114, email@example.com.
AFGE PRESIDENT COX DETAILS SEQUESTRATION FALLOUT – On June 26, 2013, AFGE National President J. David Cox, Chair of the DPE Board, presented “Sequestration: A Union Fights Back” to the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association.
President Cox (right) detailed the “real pain” that mindless and arbitrary federal budget cuts will bring to millions of people: homebound Meals on Wheels recipients unable to obtain food, preschoolers thrown out of Head Start, college students losing financial aid, and unemployed people deprived of job search help. Sequestration threatens medical and scientific research, the safety of bridges, and the security of our country. It also compounds the unfair burden that years of pay freezes and benefit cuts have already inflicted on federal employees. AFGE and its members are working hard to bring these consequences home to the public and to Congress. Photo: www.dclera.org.
Executive Director David Cohen represented DPE at the presentation. For more about it, click here. For AFGE materials about sequestration and the campaign to end it, check Sequestration Central.
ROCK ROYALTY FOR MUSIC ROYALTIES: PINK FLOYD TAKES ON PANDORA – In a June 23, 2013 op-ed in USA Today, Pink Floyd pushed back against the efforts by online music streamer Pandora to profit at the expense of singers and musicians.
Pink Floyd members Roger Waters, David Gilmour, and Nick Mason denounced the “less than scrupulous” tactics Pandora is using to push Congress toward reducing the royalties it pays. They highlighted efforts by Pandora supposedly seeking musicians’ support for Internet radio that would, in fact, bring an “85% artist pay cut.”
In 2012, Pandora prompted both chambers of Congress to introduce the so-called Internet Radio Fairness Act, which would have pumped up Pandora profits by slashing its royalty rates. With AFM, SAG-AFTRA, and the AFL-CIO, DPE joined the opposition. In an unexpected turn, opposition came from all sides of the political spectrum, as right-wingers denounced the attempt by Pandora to undermine a free market. (See “AFL-CIO Opposes Proposed Cut in Internet Royalties” in the November 2012 DPE NewsLine and “Proposed Cut in Internet Music Royalties Opens Unexpected Discussion” in the January 2013 issue. To see the NewsLine issues, click here.)
AFT SHOWS DOWNSIDE TO PRIVATIZING SCHOOLS – Chile offers a case study in privatizing schools. AFT President Randi Weingarten led a delegation to investigate the results. A 15-minute AFT video, “Chile’s Market Education: How Choice and Competition Fail the Neediest,” gives you a chance to see for yourself: Privatizing education subsidizes already well-off families, contributes to deprivation for families without means, and makes inequality and education outcomes worse.
DPE JOINS IN AS ACTORS’ EQUITY CELEBRATES 100 YEARS – On June 17, 2013, Actors’ Equity Association hosted a black-tie Centennial Gala in New York City to honor its first century. The party followed parallel celebrations in Chicago and Los Angeles and preceded 27 more events in AEA cities around the United States. In addition to some 400 AEA members, the evening drew representatives from other arts, entertainment, and media unions as well as DPE.
For an historical overview of AEA, go here. See also “Actors’ Equity Book Marks 100 Years” in the November 2012 DPE NewsLine. From left: DPE Executive Director David Cohen, AEA President Nick Wyman, AEA Executive Director Mary McColl, DPE President Paul E. Almeida; photo: Kristina Bumphrey.
DPE SIGNS ON – On June 5, 2013, DPE President Paul E. Almeida wrote to all U.S. Senators urging that they support amendments providing greater protections for U.S. workers in the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). To read the letter, go here and scroll down.
On June 6, DPE joined a letter to U.S. Representative James Matheson (D-UT) supporting his reintroduction of the Strategies to Address Antimicrobial Resistance (STAAR) Act (H.R. 2285). To read the letter, go here and scroll down.
On June 21, DPE joined a letter to the Majority and Minority Leaders of the U.S. Senate urging adoption of the Student Loan Affordability Act (S. 953) and opposing measures that would give student borrowers a bad deal. On June 28, DPE joined a second letter to the two leaders supporting the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act of 2013 (S. 1238). Among the many signing organizations were several DPE affiliates, including AFT, which organized the letters. To read the letters, go here and scroll down.
On June 24, DPE signed on to the American Library Association (ALA) “Declaration for the Right to Libraries,” which outlines the important role that libraries play in lifelong learning in schools and our communities. The Declaration kicks off ALA President-Elect Barbara Stripling’s campaign, called America’s Right to Libraries, to increase public support and awareness of the value of libraries, especially in our current anti-government climate. For more about the Declaration and campaign, click here.
DPE IN THE NEWS – A June 21, 2013 Politico report by Jessica Meyers and Michelle Quinn, “Tech a big-time cheerleader of immigration bill,” quoted DPE President Paul E. Almeida. See the article here.
On June 25, the AFL-CIO Now blog featured the DPE analysis The Young Population and Workforce (see “New! DPE Report on the Young Population and Workforce” above). To read the report, click here.
A July 1 Huffington Post article by Dave Jamieson, “Senate Immigration Bill’s Visa Rules A ‘Landslide’ For Tech Lobby,” quoted President Almeida. See the account here.