April 1, 2016 |
Longtime labor leader Henry Nicholas breathed a sigh of relief Tuesday, when the U.S. Supreme Court deadlocked, thereby retaining public unions' abilities to collect mandatory fees in many states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. It was a sigh, but not a deep one. Waiting to exhale might be a better description - for both unions and their management foes, as they shift their focus from the legal landscape to the political. "The next president of the U.S. will appoint four judges for life," said Nicholas, president of the National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees District 1199C.
February 29, 2016 |
Just a month before the Philadelphia mayoral primary last year, the Carpenters' union in New Jersey used a circuitous route to funnel $725,000 to a group supporting Jim Kenney's candidacy. The donation baffled local political observers, who did not know what to make of the out-of-state branch openly challenging Ed Coryell Sr., the longtime leader of the Carpenters in Philadelphia who was backing Kenney's chief rival, State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams. Now, given Coryell's unexpected ouster from union leadership, last year's primary plot twist highlights a power struggle involving unseen political forces, the movement of campaign funds from New Jersey to Washington, D.C., to the Philadelphia mayor's race and a simmering civil war between unions at the Convention Center.
April 29, 2015 |
It is the physics of Philadelphia politics: For every new sign of campaign strength, there is an equal and opposite attempt to weaken that candidate. "I must be doing good in the polls, because the attention seems to be focused on me," former City Councilman James F. Kenney quipped Monday morning after three of his five opponents in the May 19 Democratic primary election for mayor took aim at him during a feisty candidate forum. Two polls last week - one by Kenney's campaign, the other by Forward Philadelphia, a group supporting him - showed him opening up a lead in the race.
April 2, 2015 |
The city's two nonuniform unions, representing 15,000 active workers, endorsed James F. Kenney for mayor Tuesday, giving the former city councilman a clean sweep of municipal organized labor. Kenney had previously been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Fire Fighters Local 22. The latest endorsements, while not unexpected, provide another boost for Kenney, who has garnered support of the majority of the city's major unions, including the AFL-CIO, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees District 1199C.
February 25, 2015
THE FIRST TIME he ran for City Council at-large, in 2011 when he was 26, Isaiah Thomas introduced himself to an old head committeeman who smiled and said, "You don't have a snowball's chance of winning. " With a rueful smile, Thomas says recently over lunch at a pub, "He knew what I didn't know. " The seasoned citizen knew you need more than good looks, good education, good parents, good intentions and earnest volunteers. You need endorsements and more than a pitiful 10 grand.
January 24, 2015 |
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.
October 18, 2014 |
Furious over the Philadelphia School Reform Commission's move to unilaterally cancel its teachers' contract, 3,000 people shut down North Broad Street on Thursday, vowing more disruptive action if the panel's action is not undone. The eyes of the nation are on Philadelphia, said American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, in town for a massive rally held before an SRC meeting. "Philly is ground zero for injustice," Weingarten told the crowd of sign-waving teachers, counselors, nurses, and supporters.
December 13, 2013 |
AFTER threatening a strike, the leader of Philly's prison-healthcare-workers union has reached a tentative agreement with the company that manages treatment for the city's roughly 9,000 inmates, sources with knowledge of the negotiations said. Henry Nicholas, president of the National Union of Hospital & Health Care Employees District 1199C, is expected to present to his 270 prison workers a compromise that will include wage increases and less-generous health-care plans. If approved, the agreement would avert a strike threatened in an op-ed by Nicholas in yesterday's Inquirer . Nicholas and representatives of Corizon, a Tennessee company that the city pays $42 million per year to manage the city's prison health care, spent hours yesterday in the offices of Everett Gillison, Mayor Nutter's chief of staff.
September 14, 2013 |
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, got what she wanted Thursday at Abraham Lincoln High School in Northeast Philadelphia - even though she was stopped just past the metal detector. Told that a tour of the building would be disruptive, Weingarten instead convened outside Lincoln after the 2:55 p.m. dismissal bell with members of her union's local and students to discuss budget cuts in city schools. "Obviously they said no today because they don't want us to see the conditions," Weingarten said, TV cameras rolling.
August 23, 2013 |
THEY ARE old now, those still living who were among the hundreds of thousands on the National Mall that August afternoon in 1963 when the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. energized a movement. But they do not forget. Here are memories from three Philadelphians who attended the March on Washington. Henry Nicholas The president of the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees was a 27-year-old attendant at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City in 1963. He led the charge to bring 5,000 members of his hospital workers union, AFSCME's District 1199C, by train to Washington, the largest turnout of any single group.