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Labor Leaders

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NEWS
June 10, 1988 | By EDWARD MORAN, Daily News Staff Writer
Heads of the four labor unions representing city employees held a "unique gathering" in a deteriorating Kensington playground this morning to call attention to the lack of recreation services and to announce a march on City Hall to protest Mayor Goode's intended layoffs. Standing amidst broken glass, beer bottles and trash in the Tip Top Playground, Front and Allen streets, the labor leaders vowed they will not tolerate any layoffs within their indivudual unions. "We won't accept any cutbacks at all, because it hurts the people of Philadelphia," said Thomas Cronin, president of District Council 47, which represents the city's white-collar workers.
NEWS
September 2, 1989 | By Robert DiGiacomo, Special to The Inquirer
On the last working day before the annual celebration of America's working people, New Jersey labor leaders and officials gathered yesterday in Pennsauken to pay homage to Peter J. McGuire, the labor leader from Camden who in 1882 first proposed the idea of Labor Day. "We can take a great deal of pride in what Peter J. McGuire did in helping the labor movement and the AFL-CIO," George Norcross, president of the AFL- CIO's Central Labor Union Office...
NEWS
July 8, 1998 | By Maria Panaritis and Elisa Ung, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS This article contains information from the Associated Press
Local labor leaders pledged solidarity with the beleaguered president of the Transport Workers Union at a boisterous rally yesterday, after which TWU and SEPTA negotiators held their first face-to-face bargaining session in a week. The two-hour meeting ended with both sides reporting no progress toward ending the 37-day strike. No date was set for further talks, but officials said they would stay in contact with the state mediator. Hours earlier, nearly 1,000 members of the TWU and other area unions attended the noon rally at City Hall, cheering calls by TWU president Steve Brookens and other labor leaders to stage crippling protests in the days to come.
NEWS
September 27, 2002 | By Clea Benson INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
City Councilman David Cohen, a self-described Roosevelt Democrat who came of age in the 1930s when unions were just winning the right to organize, has a message for the labor leaders squabbling over jobs at the Convention Center. "Those of us who sought to build the labor movement to improve the lot of ordinary people in this country never dreamt that labor would pursue the kind of practices that were followed by big employers," the lively 87-year-old said yesterday in City Council, condemning the Convention Center fight and expressing a wish to return to the days when "the organizing of unions was a crusade.
NEWS
March 12, 1997 | By Dan Hardy, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Mother Jones, the revered and feared labor organizer who told her followers to "pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living," died in 1930 at age 100. But every once in a while, with the help of Media resident Margaret A. Orner, she rises and speaks again, railing against injustice and telling the story of her life. Her latest resurrection took place Saturday, when Orner, adopting Mother Jones' persona, talked about women and the labor movement at an International Women's Day celebration.
NEWS
April 29, 1993 | By Sandy Bauers, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Steve Fortune, electrocuted while installing a transformer . . . Charles Pitchett, trapped in a tractor and drowned . . . Genaro Gonzales, crushed by a reversing trailer . . . Lawrence Blythe, struck by a tree limb . . . Each of these men died on the job. They were among 102 workers who were killed in 1992 in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware while they strung wire, loaded trucks, trimmed tree limbs, cut metal ....
BUSINESS
March 6, 1995 | By Henry J. Holcomb, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
After a sluggish start, Mayor Rendell's campaign to save 4,000-plus jobs by reviving shipbuilding at the soon-to-be-closed Philadelphia Naval Shipyard is picking up steam. Over the last week, engineers stepped up planning, business executives huddled, labor leaders got organized, and hundreds of potential suppliers and would-be subcontractors made phone calls. And research continued on the bottom-line question: How much does it cost to build a ship in Philadelphia? A proposal announced by Rendell on Feb. 15 would bring Meyer Werft, of Papenburg, Germany, one of the world's top shipbuilders, to Philadelphia.
LIVING
May 14, 1998 | By Lini S. Kadaba, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
While much of the city still slumbered at 6:30 on a recent rainy morning, union organizer Vermanuel "Vickie" Milhouse huddled outside Children's World Learning Center on the campus of Community College of Philadelphia. Not bothering with coffee or breakfast, she spent the next two hours greeting the trickle of day-care teachers, her hands filled with fact sheets about workers' rights, about meager wages paid to those entrusted with the care of children, and about a union in its infancy.
NEWS
September 3, 1991 | By Dale Mezzacappa, Inquirer Staff Writer
Harriet Rubenstein of Mount Airy walked up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway yesterday, following the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union members, because she believes it's important for all Americans to acknowledge the debt they owe to organized labor. "We're here because people who are not in unions need to show support for them," she said. "We all need to show support for what they fought for that we take for granted now, like the eight-hour day. " Rubenstein, who used to work for the Philadelphia Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PhilaPOSH)
NEWS
September 5, 1995 | GEORGE MILLER/ DAILY NEWS
Members of the American Postal Workers Union march up Franklin Parkway as part of the city's Labor Day parade. Labor leaders including Joe Rauscher, president of the Philadelphia Council of the AFL-CIO, and Godfrey Sithole of the African National Congress spoke at 15th Street and JFK Boulevard before the marchers set off for the Art Museum. Festivities continued there with a train ride for kids, drill teams and dunk tanks.
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BUSINESS
July 13, 2016 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
Black lives matter, no doubt. But what will often make a crucial difference in those black lives are good jobs. "Anytime there is economic insecurity, you see racial tensions like we have now," Derrick Johnson, president for the Mississippi State Conference for the NAACP, told about 75 workers, labor leaders and activists gathered at City Hall on Monday. Monday's conference, sponsored by two of the nation's largest labor unions, follows six days of local protests over fatal shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana.
NEWS
April 28, 2016 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
Samuel Staten Sr., 80, a longtime leader of the Philadelphia Laborers union and an ally to top Democratic politicians, died Tuesday, April 26. "Sam Staten was nothing less than a giant in the world of Philadelphia labor for more than a half-century, and I'm tremendously sorry to learn of his passing," Mayor Kenney said in a statement. "I counted Sam as a friend, and I will miss his wisdom and guidance. My condolences go out to the entire Staten family, including Sam Staten Jr., the current business manager of Laborers Local 332, as well as to all union members whose lives he worked to improve," Kenney said.
NEWS
April 16, 2016 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Staff Writer
Patrick D. Finley, 64, of Morrisville, head of the 45,000-member Operative Plasterers' and Cement Masons' International Association, died Sunday, April 10, of complications from diabetes at home. Secretary-treasurer Earl F. Hurd marked Mr. Finley's passing in a statement on the labor organization's website. The union, which covers workers in the United States and Canada, "is better off because of Mr. Finley's vision, dedication and hard work," Hurd wrote. Born in Philadelphia, the son of Margaret and Daniel Finley, he grew up in Levittown.
NEWS
April 7, 2016 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
MAYBE THE Democrats are the party of working people, said Richard Trumka, leader of the nation's largest federation, the AFL-CIO. But "look how easy it has been for Donald Trump to tap into the justifiable anger" of Americans living paycheck to paycheck, unable to cover a $500 car repair, he told 700 Pennsylvania labor leaders Tuesday at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO's convention in Philadelphia. "But we can't be fooled," he added. "Trump isn't interested in solving our problems. " And so it began Tuesday, three weeks from Pennsylvania's primary, as the state's top union leaders exhorted each other - with help from Trumka - to double down on their efforts to elect politicians who "create an economy that works for everybody," he said.
NEWS
December 16, 2015 | By Maria Panaritis, STAFF WRITER
E.T. Thorpe was giddy. On the same day last week, at two different corners in one of Philadelphia's most distinguished neighborhoods, he came face-to-gut with a creature of mystifying proportions. "Did you know," Thorpe said, with artful eyeglasses and a bemused smile as he teased from the doorway of a Pine Street framing shop, "there were two dueling rats?" Scabby the Rat, the two-story-tall inflatable rodent of labor-movement legend, was on double duty in Center City, serving as a monstrous prop of protest that labor leaders say is an essential ploy in hostile times.
NEWS
July 19, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Patrick Eiding, head of Philadelphia's largest federation of labor unions, found himself facing a terrible dilemma. Should he attend a Monday morning rally to support fellow labor leader Joseph Dougherty? Dougherty, 73, has been convicted of racketeering, and on Monday will be sentenced by a federal judge. He could get 15 to 25 years in prison. Or should he stay clear of public association with Dougherty? For Eiding, the predicament placed him at the crossroads of friendship and marketing, where public image challenges personal loyalty.
NEWS
June 12, 2015 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
ORGANIZED LABOR is lining up behind the teachers union to oppose a plan by the School District of Philadelphia to potentially privatize health services. Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan, joined yesterday by activists and union supporters, said the district's request for a private company to provide health services is a risky bet for students and families, and could lead to eliminating experienced school nurses. Jordan was also armed with a leader from local power broker Pat Eiding, head of the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO, expressing "grave concerns" about the district's plan.
BUSINESS
May 29, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Solar advocates in Pennsylvania, including John Hanger, Gov. Wolf's policy chief, and labor leader John "Johnny Doc" Dougherty, called on the legislature Wednesday to boost support for renewable power. At a rally, Hanger and Dougherty asked supporters to pressure the legislature to approve Wolf's budget proposal to spend $225 million on renewable energy and efficiency programs. The package includes $50 million to relaunch the Pennsylvania Sunshine Program, which ran out of money for solar rebates in 2013.
NEWS
January 24, 2015 | By Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
City Councilman James Kenney said Thursday that he would decide "in the next week or so" whether to enter the Democratic primary race for mayor. Kenney, who has vacillated for months on the question, appears more likely now to enter the field. And he may have strong support from a coalition of labor unions. "It feels more real," Kenney said. Three recent events have influenced Kenney's thinking: City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, first choice for mayor among some union leaders, last week said he would instead seek a fifth term on Council.
NEWS
October 16, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Outraged by the School Reform Commission's decision to cancel its collective bargaining agreement with Philadelphia public school teachers, city labor leaders contemplated calling for a general strike. In two meetings, last Thursday and Sunday, labor leaders debated the wisdom of asking members of all area unions - laborers, electricians, communications workers, janitors, nurses, bus drivers, city employees - to walk off their jobs to protest the SRC's decision. "If there is going to be a fight, we have to fight about the future, and the kids are the future," said Henry Nicholas, president of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, headquartered in Philadelphia.
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