Today in Labor History: September 19
Chinese coal miners forced out of Black Diamond, Wash. – 1885
400,000 to 500,000 unionists converge on Washington D.C. for a Solidarity Day march and rally protesting Republican policies – 1981
… click here for complete posting.
Member Tip: Arbitration, The End of the Line
A private organization, the American Arbitration Association, and a federal agency, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, are two organizations that provide lists of qualified arbitrators to unions and employers. Usually a new arbitrator is selected to hear each arbitration case, but sometimes the parties to a collective bargaining relationship will use a set group of “permanent arbitrators” or “umpires,” to hear all arbitration cases. And sometimes an arbitration board hears a case, with one neutral arbitrator joined by two others: one appointed by the union, the other by the employer. Almost always, the arbitrator has the authority to make a final decision that is binding on both parties. This makes the right to go to arbitration an extremely powerful weapon in the union’s arsenal. Unlike the steps of the grievance procedure, in which a series of close-minded employer representatives can “just say no,” the employer knows that at the end of an arbitration proceeding, there will be a final, enforceable determination.
– Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer
Labor Song: Union Song
Recorded at the Avalon in Los Angeles, this concert – which included The Nightwatchman performing “Union Song” — was one in a series of benefits for Axis of Justice, the non-profit organization founded by Serj and Tom Morello in an effort to bring concerned musicians, fans of music and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice. Click here to listen to the song.