Workers Memorial Day 2016

Every year in late April, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew our efforts for safe workplaces. This year the struggle continues to create good jobs in this country that are safe and healthy and to ensure the freedom of workers to form unions and, through their unions, to speak out and bargain for respect and a better future. It’s time for our country to fulfill the promise of safe jobs for all.

 

Please join the Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation as we commemorate Workers Memorial Day with our annual dinner on Thursday April 28th, 6pm at the Machinist Hall – 3830 S. Meridian, Wichita. We will have a free catered dinner from Stroud’s Fried Chicken as we remember those Kansas Workers who lost their lives on the job and renew our commitment to fight for good, SAFE, jobs.

Click on the image below to download a high-resolution PDF that you can print. Help fight for safe jobs by promoting this event at your union hall, workplace, and community gatherings.

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Working Kansas Alliance: KS Legislature Attack on Teachers!

This morning in the Senate Commerce Committee, opponents of SB469 gave testimony.

SB469 is another partisan political attack form the Kansas Legislature directed at teachers. This bill would attack teachers right to freely organize. SB469 would implement annual professional employee organization recertification elections. SB469 calls for professional employee organizations to be treated differently from the rest of public sector unions for partisan political reasons. Its clear that this bill is an act grounded in petty political revenge and its goal is to undermine professional employee organizations. There is no reason for this bill to pass especially when there is already a decertification process in place that works.

This bill is not backed by a single teacher or a school board. Its backed by big money special interests like the Kochs, Americans for Prosperity, Kansas Policy Institute, and ALEC. The bill is actually based off ALEC model legislation known as the “Election Accountability for Municipal Employee Union. Representatives Act”.

For the hearing there was scheduled two days of testimony. On Wednesday the proponents of SB469 testified and on Thursday (today) there was opponent testimony.

The proponents who testified in favor of SB469 were the usual suspects; ALEC backed big money anti-worker organizations such as KS Policy Institute, Americans for Prosperity, etc. The chairwoman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Lynn, stated on Wednesday that she intended for this bill to be passed out of the Commerce Committee as-soon-as-possible. This was before she even listened to opponent testimony! She chose to ignore the entire education community before deciding on what to do with the proposed bill! This shows whose interest Senator Lynn has in mind, and its not the students, the teachers, and the citizens of Kansas, its her big money corporate donors.

Today (Thursday) opponents gave testimony on SB469. Opponents were the Kansas Association of School Boards in partnership with the KNEA. Other opponents were AFT, KS AFL-CIO, Teamsters Local 696, and Christina Polansky (a private citizen). Testimony mainly focused on how not a single teacher wants this, the school boards dont want this and how unprecedented this is. It seems completely irrational to impose this unique burden on a voluntary organization. Lets suppose we applied the same approach to elections for legislators. Assume that all eligible voters who don’t vote should be counted as a “no” vote, the votes for “no” would win virtually every time the election is held. It’s unclear (and hypocritical) why a voluntary organization of employees with minimal bargaining rights would need annual recertification under hypocritical voting regulations that would undermine our democracy if applied to government elections.

There were two amendments offered by Senator Baumgardner. The first amendment would makes the recertification elections happen every three years instead of annual. The second amendment would switch the certification election from fall to spring. Both amendments passed.

Unfortunately today the bill did move out of the Senate Commerce Committee. It will now go to the Senate floor.

We will keep you updated.

Working Kansas Alliance on the Broken Work Comp System in KS

A recent change in the workers’ compensation appeal process results in a broken system that places workers at a disadvantage, and injured workers are not fairly compensated for injuries they suffer. In 2013 the Kansas Legislature created a committee of seven members to review the appointment of judges to review disputed workers’ compensation cases after…

TPP Is Terrible for U.S. Workers

Art Pulaski, executive secretary-treasurer for the California Labor Federation, wrote a recent op-ed for The Sacramento Bee explaining why the Trans-Pacific Partnership is bad for America’s workers: The notion that a flawed trade deal such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership would create jobs or chip away at widening income inequality is pure fantasy. West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon…

Legislative Update #2 from Working Kansas Alliance

This week the Kansas Legislature was busy and full of controversy. On Tuesday the House Commerce Committee worked HB 2325. HB 2325 states that collective bargaining sessions between a public employer or its agent and labor organizations are public meetings subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act, thus would make collective bargaining sessions for public…

LABOR DAY PICNIC 2015. Please Join Us!

Join us for our annual Labor Day picnic! Free food bingo w/ prizes! Saturday, Sept. 5th Noon – 4pm. Click on the image below to download a full size poster to print and hang at your union hall or workplace. Hope to see you there! RSVP at the form below.

Workers Memorial Day 2015

Every year in late April, the unions of the AFL-CIO observe Workers Memorial Day to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew our efforts for safe workplaces. This year the struggle continues to create good jobs in this country that are safe and healthy and to ensure the freedom…

Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation endorses Jeff Longwell for Mayor

In light of recent comments made by Wichita Mayoral candidate Sam Williams at a candidate forum hosted by the Wichita Pachyderm Club on March 6th, 2015 regarding his intent to undermine the retirement plans of city employees, the executive Board of the Wichita / Hutchinson Labor Federation has endorsed Jeff Longwell for Mayor. Please communicate…