Labor Roundup

CLUW urges local unions to mentor for women in the workplace. Mentoring is a recognized tool for career and union development, particularly for women, and “mentoring circles” – a group of peers (6–10 people) led by a facilitator – offer a powerful variation on the traditional model, according to the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW).

CLUW president Connie Leak said the group is encouraging its chapters and union women’s committees to initiate and sustain them.

“Some of us have been lucky to have had a mentor…to have been taken under the wing of a more senior adviser/mentor — someone who taught us the ropes, the ‘unspoken’ rules, the unwritten politics of the union,” Leak commented. “Unfortunately, for women and minorities, what I have just described is most often the exception rather than the rule, as most mentors are men and we know that men most often seek out a mentee who looks like them or looked like them 25 years ago. That excludes many women and minorities.”

“The Next Generation: A Handbook for Mentoring Future Union Leaders” handbook focuses on the creation of mentoring programs. Available online from www.bergermarks.org, it notes that mentoring circles can be easier to launch and maintain than one-on-one programs.

Nurses union again brings single-payer campaign to Washington. National Nurses United, one of labor’s leading proponents of government-run, single-payer national health care, brought that campaign again to Washington last month, endorsing a comprehensive proposal by the Physicians for a National Health Plan.

Karen Higgins, RN, one of four NNU co-presidents, championed single-payer in remarks at the National Press Club. NNU, the Steelworkers and 19 other unions actively support single-payer, also named Medicare For All, and polls show huge backing for it.

“NNU enthusiastically supports the PNHP proposal for ‘Moving Forward from the Affordable Care Act to a Single-Payer System,’” Higgins stated. “This updated approach to achieving guaranteed healthcare for all is an essential for the health of our country, and to provide the health security our patients desperately need.

“Nurses work on the front lines with doctors within our dysfunctional healthcare system, which is dominated by private insurers, drug companies and corporate hospital chains that put their bottom line ahead of patient needs,” she continued. “Under the PNHP proposal, the healthcare system would be the opposite of an industry devoted to revenue. “

Sen. Bernie Sanders, Ind.-Vt., the Democratic presidential hopeful NNU endorsed, is the prime single-payer Senate sponsor, while veteran Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., pushes it in the U.S. House. But whether the Republican-run Congress or the Democratic Obama administration will listen is another matter.

Obama pushed the Affordable Care Act, minus a single-payer provision or even the weaker “public option,” through a then-Democratic Congress in his first term. And the GOP wants to repeal ACA without replacing it, throwing Americans to insurance company wolves.

NLRB rules for UAW in win at Volkswagen in Chattanooga. The National Labor Relations Board has ruled 2-1 for the United Auto Workers in their successful campaign to unionize 160 skilled trades workers at Volkswagen of America’s Chattanooga, Tenn., plant. The board majority rejected the company’s attempt to add more workers before the vote last December.

Teamsters add big group of San Diego nurses. By a 70 percent-30 percent margin, nurses at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego have voted to merge their independent, 1,700-member union into the Teamsters.

Katie Langenstrass, RN and director of United Nurses of Children’s Hospital, said, “This was a clear choice that our members made to reaffirm their commitment to the mission of Children’s Hospital, while voicing their need for a better future for themselves and their families.”

News briefs courtesy of The Labor Paper 



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