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Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire endorses Jay Kahn for State Senate

Jay KahnCONCORD, NH – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Jay Kahn (D – Keene) to represent State Senate District 10 in Concord, in an open race to represent the city of Keene and the towns of Alstead, Chesterfield, Gilsum, Harrisville, Hinsdale, Marlborough, Nelson, Roxbury, Sullivan, Surry, Swanzey, Walpole, Westmoreland, and Winchester.

“Jay will bring a much-needed perspective to Concord,” stated David Lang, President of PFFNH. “Jay is committed to producing an effective and efficient government just as he did at Keene State College for many years. We believe that Jay is the right choice in this election to bring coordinated leadership to the opioid epidemic. We believe that Jay is the best choice for District 10 to make Concord work again.

“We have been proud to work with Jay in the City of Keene,” said Ron Clace, President of IAFF Local 3265. “Working families must continue to have a voice in Concord, and Jay Kahn is the right choice for this November.”

“Firefighters, public safety officers and emergency responders put their lives on the line to protect New Hampshire’s residents every day,” said Kahn, Keene City Councilor and retired Keene State administrator. “I’m proud to receive the endorsement of the PFFNH. I look forward to working with them to ensure we have the resources to preserve the safety of all our residents.”

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The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

National COSH Hosts Webinar On Chemicals In Food Manufacturing Facilities

Join National COSH on Thursday, October 13 at 12 Noon ET for a free webinar on flavoring chemical hazards for workers in manufacturing facilities. 

webinar-graphic1-1Attorneys Anne McGinness Kearse and Scott Hall of Motley Rice are helping workers learn more about these potential dangers. They also represent workers who may have developed diseases as a result of harmful exposure. They will discuss how workers who work in facilities that process coffee, candy, microwave popcorn, and other products can be exposed to flavoring chemicals linked to dangerous lung diseases. 

Robert Harrison, MD, MPH, director of the University of California, San Francisco Occupational Health Services and director of the worker tracking investigation program for the California Department of Public Health will discuss the medical issues involved in flavoring exposures and his involvement in the development of California’s regulations for flavoring chemicals.” 

Mark Nicas, PhD, MPH, CIH, is an adjunct professor and director of the Industrial Hygiene Program in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California Berkeley. He will discuss some of the specific job tasks and conditions that expose workers to flavoring chemicals. 

The flavoring industry has stated that flavoring ingredients have the potential to be respiratory hazards due to their possible volatility and irritant properties. Despite this, workers are exposed to flavoring chemicals on a daily basis with few or no safeguards in place.

To date, there are no federal regulations in place to protect workers who are exposed to these chemicals. This is a unique opportunity to learn the risks and how workers can protect themselves on the job.

More information is available here: bit.ly/FlavoringChemicals

AFL-CIO Report Shows Black Women Voters Are The Key To Electing Hillary Clinton President

AFL-CIO data reveals Black women voters
are pivotal voting bloc in 2016 election

(Washington, DC,) – Yesterday on a press call held in honor of National Voter Registration Day, the AFL-CIO released new data revealing Black women voters as the key to electing Hillary Clinton president in November. The data reveals that Black women turn out to vote in higher numbers than other women and, just as they helped President Obama win in 2008 and 2012, can secure the presidency for Hillary Clinton.

Image from report, Black Girl Magic:The Power of Black Women in Elections

Image from report, Black Girl Magic:The Power of Black Women in Elections

“Black women cannot afford to sit this election out,” said Carmen Berkley, AFL-CIO Director of Civil, Human and Women’s Rights. “A loss for Secretary Clinton is a loss for the Black family, from the White House to the Supreme Court. We need to let our communities know what’s at stake if we let a divisive fear monger like Donald Trump make decisions that affect everything from our families to our jobs.”

The AFL-CIO plans to do large scale outreach to all women union members across the country this election cycle in the key states of Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.  Many of these states are where Black women made the difference in the last presidential election.

“Black women are born organizers,” said Petee Talley, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ohio AFL-CIO, the first Black woman to hold that position. “We know what our families and communities need to thrive and we vote for candidates who can deliver.”

“Black women do more than vote; they are active in their unions, acting as an engine of organizing and mobilization. A recent survey done by Lake Research Partners (LRP) illustrates that regardless of union affiliation, black people, regardless of gender, are very supportive of unions and collective bargaining,” the report states.

Image from report, Black Girl Magic:The Power of Black Women in Elections

Image from report, Black Girl Magic:The Power of Black Women in Elections

The new AFL-CIO data indicates that Black women participate in leadership in America’s unions at a greater percentage than their actual unionization rates. The benefit of this leadership is spread across Black communities, making these women a force and the foundation for political change.

The report continues, “Given the black community’s commitment to unions, it’s no surprise that black women take on leadership roles in their unions. While black women are 7% of all union members, 8% of them are stewards and local leaders.”  On top of taking leadership roles, black women are generally more active in their unions. Over 24% call themselves “very active” in their local unions.

Read the full report here.

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire backs Dr. Tom Sherman for State Senate

pffnh-tom-shermanHAMPTON, NH – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Dr. Tom Sherman (D – Rye) to represent State Senate District 24 in Concord, which includes the towns of Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, New Castle, Newton, North Hampton, Rye, Seabrook, South Hampton, and Stratham.

“Firefighters and paramedics every day evaluate emergency situations to ensure the best outcome for property, lives and livelihoods in New Hampshire,” said David Lang, PFFNH President. “It is time the Seacoast have representation that will consider the issues facing working families and address them in a comprehensive manner. Versed in healthcare administration, emergency management and effective governing, Tom Sherman is the best candidate to bring the right vision and approach to Concord as District 24’s next State Senator.”

“Having started in health care as an EMT in 1974, I have worked alongside firefighters and paramedics throughout my career,” said Sherman, a two-term State Representative from Rye. “I have the deepest respect for these men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line in service to their communities. I am profoundly moved by their endorsement of my candidacy for State Senate.”

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

Federal Workers Union: Presidential Debate Shows Why Hillary Is Our Candidate

AFGE president says Secretary Clinton has the vision, leadership, and temperament to serve

vcsprasset_525404_87186_aed74c87-68ef-43e1-a190-721b7ca4c71f_0WASHINGTON – Last night’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump proves that Secretary Clinton is the only candidate with the experience, temperament, and competence to be our next Commander-in-Chief, the head of the nation’s largest federal employees union said today.

“The choice Americans face this November could not be more clear, and last night’s debate shows why we’re with Hillary,” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

“Hillary Clinton understands that the top priority for the nation is rebuilding our middle class and creating an economy that works for everyone, not just wealthy individuals and corporations. Donald Trump wants to take us back to the same failed trickle-down economic policies of the past.

“Donald Trump would run the country like he has run Trump Enterprises – shortchanging working people, failing to honor his agreements, and putting his own self-interest ahead of everything else. He has promised to slash the government workforce, eliminate federal departments and agencies that are vital to our security and prosperity, and gut workplace rights that protect taxpayers from a politicized federal civil service.

“Hillary’s a fighter for working families who won’t back down to anyone. She has the tenacity and temperament to hold the highest elected office in the world. She’s precisely the leader we need in Washington to make the tough decisions and keep our economy moving forward.

“When the going gets tough, Donald Trump simply walks away – leaving a path of failed businesses, broken contracts, and personal destruction in his wake. The American people deserve better than a bankrupt businessman peddling quick-fix remedies to some of our world’s most difficult challenges.”

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire endorses Scott McGilvray for State Senate

 

firefighters-for-mcgilvery

MANCHESTER, NH – Today, the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Scott McGilvray to represent State Senate District 16 in Concord, representing the towns of Bow, Dunbarton, Hooksett, Candia and the City of Manchester’s Wards 1, 2 and 12.

“Scott will bring the type of leadership to Concord that New Hampshire needs,” said David Lang, President of PFFNH. “Scott is committed to working across party lines to address the problems of working families and supporting coordinated leadership in the opioid epidemic. We believe that Scott is the right choice in this election and will fight to better the lives of all Granite Staters.”

“Scott stands up for working families every day, as a former teacher in Manchester’s public schools to now representing teachers across the state. We are proud to put our weight behind a tried and tested voice for working families,” stated Jeff Duval, President of Manchester Local #856.

“Our state is at a turning point,” said McGilvray. “Firefighters and paramedics are on the front lines of the opioid epidemic, and I intend to listen to their expertise and bring action as we take this problem head-on in Concord. I am proud to receive the endorsement and support of the PFFNH, and look forward to building a stronger, safer New Hampshire by their side.”

The Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire, headquartered in Concord, NH, is a state association chartered by the 43 locals of the International Association of Fire Fighters across the Granite State, representing more than 2,000 active and retired firefighters and paramedics.

NLRB Rules Sports TV Technicians Are Employees And Have Right To Form A Union

NLRB 1NLRB Region 1 Grants Petition by IBEW Local 1228, Orders Union Election for Employees of Green Line Group 

Affected Employees Are Essential to TV Broadcasts of Many Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics Home Games 

In a major victory for union organizing with widespread implications nationwide, Region 1 of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) ruled on Friday, September 16 that a union election can go forward for employees of Green Line Group (“GLG”), a company that supplies crews of technicians for television broadcasts of local sports events and other activities.  Local 1228 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (“Local 1228”), AFL-CIO, which represents employees of numerous broadcasters in New England, petitioned the labor board to organize the numerous technicians employed by GLG, which provides manpower to clients such as New England Sports Network (NESN) and Comcast, which broadcast many local sporting events.

In proceedings before the NLRB in Boston, GLG took the position that the technicians were independent contractors, not employees, and so ineligible to form a union under federal law.  Instead, after a full hearing with numerous witnesses, NLRB Region 1 Director John J. Walsh, Jr. concluded that “GLG has not carried its burden of proving the independent contractor status of its crew members.”

In a detailed 17-page decision, Director Walsh applied the NLRB’s multi-factor test for distinguishing independent contractors from employees to the facts presented at the hearing and found that, while some aspects of the relationship between the technicians and GLG resemble independent contracting, the majority of factors indicate an employer-employee relationship.  These factors included: (1) GLG controls many aspects of pay, including establishing pay rates in most cases; (2) technicians rarely supplied their own equipment; (3) the work done by the technicians furthers the business goals of GLG; (4) many of the workers have worked for GLG for many years; and (5) workers obtain no entrepreneurial opportunity and take on no business risk while for GLG.

The actual number of employees eligible to vote in the upcoming union election is still being determined. Estimates range from 115 to 369 eligible employees. 

IBEW and AFL-CIO leaders expressed their satisfaction in the decision and stressed its importance not just to the employees of GLG, but to workers throughout the country who are classified as ‘independent contractors.’ 

“This important win is a victory for workers everywhere who seek better wages, hours and working conditions,” said Local 1228 Business Manager Fletcher Fischer. “This decision recognizes that new types of employee-employer relationships in this changing economy should not deprive workers of their basic right to organize and form a union.”

IBEW International President Lonnie Stephenson remarked “This NLRB’s decision is a big win for every working person who wants to come together to improve their lives,” said. “The economy may change, but the right to organize should always remain the law of the land.”

“For far too long employers have misclassified employees as independent contractors in order to deny workers the right to form a union. The NLRB ruling is a logical decision and justice has prevailed,” said Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steven A. Tolman. “It levels the playing field not only for workers, but for honest employers who play by the rules. This is not only a victory for IBEW, it’s a victory for all hard working people.”

In light of the small number of NLRB decisions on this important issue, the decision in this case (Green Line Group, Inc., Employer and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1228, AFL-CIO, Petitioner, Case 01-RC-181492) is likely to have a widespread impact.  The decision provides a roadmap to other NLRB Regions, and ultimately to the courts, for analyzing situations in which a mix of employee and independent contractor factors are present.  The message from Region 1 is clear: the burden of proving independent contractor status is a high one, and no one aspect of the relationship is controlling.  If the bulk of the evidence demonstrates that the workers are employees, the presence of a few facts that may be consistent with an independent contractor relationship become irrelevant to the outcome.  

UNIONS MATTER: The American Worker, Labor Day, & the Importance of Unions!

Painting of Lawrence Ma, during the Bread and Roses strink in 1912 by Ralph Fasanella

A painting of Lawrence Ma, during the Bread and Roses strink in 1912 by Ralph Fasanella

By Steven Weiner for Unions Matter

I am a labor activist who loves unions, and was proud to be a Local 2627, DC 37, AFSCME Executive Board member and Shop Steward My union fought for the benefits we now enjoy from the New York City Department of Education, which now include for me, a measure of economic security in retirement that never would have been otherwise.

As I study Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by the great American philosopher and critic, Eli Siegel, I’ve been learning about the tremendous meaning of unions and how much they have done for the American worker. It was Mr. Siegel who explained with compelling evidence: “Labor is the only source of wealth; there is no other source except land, the raw material.” I love this statement, and have seen its truth and its value! I’ve also learned that because of the success of unions over decades, enabling workers to earn increased pay and benefits, there has been a determined effort by corporate America and some state governments to weaken unions and even crush them. The reason: Every additional dollar earned by a union man or woman is that much less in the pockets of shareholders.

My studies include learning about individual men and women who had to do with the rise of the union movement. One such person is Ralph Fasanella (1914-1997), union organizer and painter, whom I admire very much. He fought for economic justice and depicted the struggle of working people in his paintings. He was called “Friend of the Worker, Artist of the People.” In a public seminar titled “A Man’s Dissatisfaction: What Makes It Right or Wrong?” presented at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation in New York, I spoke about the meaning of his life and what he did. His deep-seated dissatisfaction with the conditions under which people were forced to work is part of the true meaning of Labor Day. That holiday recognizes the sacrifices millions of men and women made—some with their very lives—to have unions succeed.

Ralph Fasanella was born to Italian immigrant parents who had to work very hard to support their large family. Witnessing their valiant efforts to survive on meager wages and under brutal working conditions, he became keenly aware of what all workers had to endure. After returning from fighting fascism in the Spanish Civil War, he became part of the American labor movement because, as he said, unions were:

“the beginning of the working man getting a break in this country. For the first time he had a right. He had a right to a holiday, forty-hour week. Vacations with pay. Pension plans. Job security.”

As a United Electrical Workers union representative in the early 1940s, Ralph Fasanella spoke passionately to firefighters, elevator operators, and hospital workers; and he led successful organizing drives at General Electric, Sperry Gyroscope, and AT&T. His life was rich and useful, and I’m glad to have learned about him.

I think Ralph Fasanella would have cared for and benefitted from what Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, has shown about the tremendous importance of unions. For instance, in No. 1348 of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known, titled “Unions and Beauty,” she quotes this central principle of Aesthetic Realism, as stated by Mr. Siegel: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Continuing, she writes:

“There are millions of people in America grateful to unions, and many more should be. And there are persons, including in government, who have been trying to destroy unions. But Aesthetic Realism is that which shows that a union, a true union, is aesthetic: like a concerto, a novel, a painting, it is a oneness of opposites. And its aesthetics is its power.”

And about opposites crucial in every labor union—oneness and manyness—she explains that in a union:

many people become powerful by working as one, in behalf of justice…. A union is based on each single person saying, My well-being depends on trying to have all these other people get what they deserve. It’s based on all people saying, Together we’ll try to have each individual get what he or she deserves.

Painting by Ralph Fasanella

Painting by Ralph Fasanella

I believe oneness and manyness are opposites that Fasanella put together well in much of his work. For instance, here is a detail from one of his numerous paintings about the textile workers strike of 1912 in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

We can see how the artist took multiple elements: buildings, churches, smokestacks, railroad cars, many and varied windows, striking workers, and so much more, and arranged them into a coherent, stirring composition. There are many people showing they have power, working together for one proud purpose: to have their strike succeed!

To read the entire issue of Unions and Beauty:

 

Granite State Teamsters Endorse Chris Pappas

Teamsters LogoManchester – Today, the Granite State Teamsters, Local 633, endorsed Manchester business owner and Executive Councilor Chris Pappas for a third term.

“We’re proud to endorse Chris Pappas for Executive Council,” said David Laughton, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 633. 

“Over his previous two terms, Chris has consistently fought for working families. His record demonstrates a desire to focus on issues instead of ideology – and he has brought people together to find practical solutions that expanded economic security and opportunity for working families across the Granite State,” continued Laughton. 

“Chris Pappas is the only candidate in this race who will continue to move New Hampshire forward towards a future where every hard working family has a chance to succeed.” 

“It’s an honor to receive the endorsement of Teamsters Local 633,” said Executive Councilor Chris Pappas.  

“We’ve made great progress in building a brighter future for New Hampshire – like modernizing the state’s transportation system, improving our infrastructure, and expanding access to life-saving health care. But working men and women across our state know there’s still more work to do – that’s why I’m proud to have their support as we continue the fight to build the future working families deserve.”

Teamsters Local 633 includes thousands of members working for Anheuser-Busch breweries, soft drink production and delivery, beer distribution, bakeries, laundry facilities, power plants, municipalities, public works, airport maintenance, sheriffs, police departments, librarians, school principals and race track employees.

If you’re a union member who might vote for Donald Trump…

Donald trump 5 (Gage skidmore Flikr)…please consider this:

Buried in this week’s document leak to the UK-based Guardian, there is a check from Donald Trump for $15,000 – made payable to Wisconsin Club for Growth – and dated April 3, 2012, the same day that Trump met with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in New York.

Remember what was going on in Wisconsin, back then?  Remember there was a recall election after most of the state’s public employees had their bargaining rights stripped away?

The Wisconsin Club for Growth was one of the “dark money” organizations that supported Walker during that recall attempt.  But because it calls itself a “non-profit” – rather than a political organization – it doesn’t disclose its donors or adhere to contribution limits.

Because of the leaked documents, we now know that Donald Trump was one of the donors who helped Scott Walker stay in office.

Remember what happened next?  In February 2015, Scott Walker pushed “Right to Work” through the Wisconsin Legislature in just days – and then said his experience taking on unions made him qualified to take on ISIS.  (Yep, he said that.)

Photo by Lacrossewi from Wikimedia Commons

Thousands fill the Wisconsin State Capitol rotunda in protest of Gov. Scott Walker’s “Budget Repair Bill.” Photo by Lacrossewi from Wikimedia Commons

Remember the old adage, if you want to know where a man’s heart is, just look how he spends his money?  This “dark money” contribution came from Donald Trump personally — not from the Trump Foundation, or the Trump Organization.

Yes, that’s right.  According to the check image that was leaked to the Guardian, Donald Trump actually spent his own money

to help protect Scott Walker, after Walker stripped union rights away from public-sector employees; and
to help preserve Scott Walker until Walker could strip rights away from private-sector employees.

So, if you’re angry about the economy and just looking for some sort of radical change… well, I get that.  There’s lots to be angry about.

But before you decide who to vote for…

…please consider how Donald Trump spends his money.

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