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Update: Thursday, Dec. 29, 2005, 2:03 a.m. PST
Betty J. Barbano
NevadaLabor.com Statewide News Roundup
NevadaLabor.com 2004 Strike Update Pages
Update: Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005, 2:11 a.m. PST Authorities identify worker killed at Sparks water treatment plant
Update: Monday, Dec. 12, 2005, 2:52 a.m. PST Equipment operator killed at Sparks water treatment plant
Update: Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2005, 12:19 p.m. PST On this date in 1886, the American Federation of Labor was founded. On this date in 1980, John Lennon was assassinated. (Courtesy of longtime Nevada journalist Dennis Myers' Poor Denny's Almanac.)
Update: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005, 11:07 p.m. PST TOP GUN STRIKE AVOIDED: On its late newscast, KRNV TV-4 reported that a strike has been averted at the Naval Air Station Fallon Top Gun School. Civilian contract workers will get an 11 percent pay raise over the next four years plus health benefits. A ratification vote will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10. (MORE)
Update: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2005, 8:49 p.m. PST Longtime Culinary Union organizer Kiko Reyes dies in accidental fall.
Update 12-10-2005: Visitation and funeral mass announced
Update: Friday, Nov. 25, 2005, 5:39 a.m. PST CURIOUS LANGUAGE. Sen. Harry Reid either mis-spoke or has new information that Osama bin Laden is dead. We report. You decide.
Update: Thursday, Nov. 24, 2005, 2:49 a.m. PST NAS FALLON TOP GUN STRIKE UPDATE. The parties are talking again, although only by e-mail and phone. Both sides are exchanging proposals and have agreed to face-to-face negotiations the first week in December. Stay tuned.
Update: Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005, 3:21 a.m. PST LAHONTAN VALLEY NEWS REPORTS DEAL NEAR TO AVOID STRIKE AT NAVAL AIR STATION FALLON TOP GUN SCHOOL. Dowload the union's statement in Adobe Acrobat Reader format.
Update: Monday, Nov. 14, 2005, 5:11 p.m. PST STRIKE DEADLINE PASSES AT FALLON TOP GUN SCHOOL. The contract expired at midnight last night. Union leaders will meet with members this evening. Company representatives left the bargaining table and departed for Virginia at 2:04 a.m. The company canceled the agreement under the Service Contract Act. Company representatives stated that they would be available to bargain by phone (an apparently unintentional dig at the Communications Workers union.) The company refused the services of a federal mediator. IUE District 8 people are joining forces with CWA District 9.
Update: Saturday, Nov. 12, 2005, 8:32 p.m. PST STRIKE BREACHES THE THREAT HORIZON AT FALLON TOP GUN SCHOOL
KOLO TV-8 reported this evening that an IUE/CWA strike looms at the Naval Air Station Fallon Top Gun school, about 60 miles east of Reno. Northrup-Grumman and three other contractors who took over from Lockheed-Martin want to cut pay and benefits and erode job security and safety, with which the huge naval base has had serious troubles in the past.
The workers run electronic training for the Top Gun school and carrier wings. A strike vote has been taken and workers can go out on strike at the stroke of midnight on Sunday, lucky Nov. 13. The Channel 8 web story is rather incomplete and incoherent (anybody who knows how many workers are involved, please contact this website), but it adds a few items. Stay tuned.
On this date in 1815, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was born in Johnstown, New York; in 1985, former Nevada assemblymember and senator Mary Gojack died in Reno. (Courtesy of Dennis Myers' online Poor Denny's Almanac). Mary Gojack did the legacy of Elizabeth Cady Stanton proud. Senator Mary holds a special place in the hearts of union members. With the exception of Gov. Mike O'Callaghan, labor loved no one better. No Nevada public official today commands the respect of labor as did Senator Mary and Nevada Mike. AB
Update: Sunday, Oct. 2, 2005, 4:37 a.m. PDT BARBWIRE 10-2-2005: Early Rushes and Timely Reviews
Update: Sunday, Sept. 25, 2005, 10:36 p.m. PDT NEVADA LABOR.COM EXCLUSIVE
Officeholders to address Nevada State AFL-CIO's 49th Annual Constitutional Convention
SOLIDARITY IN NEVADA: A full complement of delegates representing almost all Nevada unions are present, including representatives of all four major internationals which recently left the international AFL-CIO.
NOTABLE SPEAKERS SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, SEPT. 26, 2005, AT THE RENO HILTON PAVILION
Nevada State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, Candidate for Governor
University Regent Jill Derby, Democratic Candidate for Congressional District 2
(statewide save some parts of Clark County in southern Nevada)
Kate Marshall, Democratic Candidate for State Treasurer
Jim Gibson, Mayor of Henderson
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Video Presentation
Assemblywoman Debbie Smith, D-Sparks
Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, D-Las Vegas Video Presentation
Nevada State Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson (UPDATE: Mr. Perkins canceled.)
THE CONVENTION CONCLUDES ON SEPT. 27, 2005.
BARBWIRE 10-2-2005: Special convention report
Update: Friday, Sept. 23, 2005, 10:29 p.m. PDT NEVADA LABOR.COM EXCLUSIVE
Perkins rumored as planning run for southern Nevada congressional seat
Earlier this week, Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, announced abandonment of his long-announced race to replace Republican Gov. Dudley Do-Right. Perkins attributed his stepping down to not wanting to create a divisive Democratic primary, which is already a given with Nevada State Sen. Minority Leader Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, already in the race and conservative Henderson Mayor James Gibson, Jr., soon to announce. A series of polls showed Henderson deputy police chief Perkins as basically unknown statewide despite 12 years in the assembly, the last five as speaker.
The latest hot rumor: Perkins will challenge sophomore Republican congresscritter Jon Porter for the District 3 seat, the largest component of which is Henderson.
The 3rd District seat was created in 2001 based upon the 2000 U.S. Census. A deal was cut to gerrymander it in favor of Democrats, but Nevada State Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, got a call from former Sparks schoolboy Karl Rove's White House, causing Raggio to renege.
He traded a northern Nevada senate seat (that of former assembly speaker and senate president pro-tempore Lawrence Jacobsen, R-Minden) and three or four northern assembly seats in exchange for removal of 8,500 Democrats from the new district. As it turned out, eventual winner Porter didn't need the help, with Democrat Dario Hererra collapsing under corruption allegations and later indictment.
Perkins' caving to Raggio's reversal because of White House orders may now come back to bite him both in the ass and the ballot box.
Perkins is slated to do Sam Shad's statewide Nevada Newsmakers TV program on Sept. 27. I suggest viewing.
More soon. Stay tuned.
Las Vegas Sun Columnist Jeff German: Lack of labor support doomed Perkins run for governer
Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith: Perkins unity act won't play
UPDATE: On the abovenoted ShadminusSamSession, Speaker Perkins was questioned by Reno Gazette-Journal political writer Ray Hagar, who moderated two segments of commentary thereafter. Hagar asked Perkins about any future plans, but was not specific in his questioning, like "are you looking at the District 3 congressional race?" Perkins danced into the "more time with my family" standard retiring pol tango. None of the panelists brought up his chances against Rep. Porter, speculating that Perkins could run for Henderson mayor.
None caught the real news: Perkins told Hagar that he has healed his rift with organized labor, which all the learned heavyweight pundits of Gomorrah South have correctly termed the biggest stumbling block to his political future. If Perkins and the Culinary Union have indeed buried the spatula, Perkins missed his best opportunity to kiss and make up by failing to address the Nevada State AFL-CIO convention in Reno on Sept. 26, where he was confirmed on the agenda.
The Perkins show will be available online for about one week after the original broadcast. Watch the Barbwire and the NevadaLabor.com Breaking News section for more as the dance continues.
BARBWIRE 10-2-2005: Early Rushes and Timely Reviews
LABOR DAY, Monday, Sept. 5, 2005
ON THIS DATE in 1908, James May, who owned casinos both in Reno
and at Moana Hot Springs, was being accused by other Reno casino owners of funding
the Anti-Saloon League in an effort to put all city casinos (including his own)
out of business while still owning a casino out in the county at Moana; in 1933,
a state convention in Nevada ratified the federal constitutional amendment
repealing alcohol prohibition, the only amendment ratified by the convention
process; in 1949, a Labor Day parade
in Las Vegas included 200 carpenters union members marching in white overalls
and bartenders and culinary union members working at a moving bar and lounge;
in 1953, after complaints from bankers in southern states, the Eisenhower
administration made a federal anti-discrimination regulation for farm loans
optional; in 1994, at a U.N. family planning conference in Cairo, Norwegian
Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland was harshly critical of a Vatican/Islam
alliance that prevented any discussion of birth control: "States that do
not have any population problem in one particular case, even no births
at all are doing their best, their utmost, to prevent the world from
making sensible decisions regarding family planning." (The foregoing
courtesy of Poor Denny's Almanac by Dennis Myers); in 2005, actor-producer
and casino developer Max Baer, Jr. (son of the Depression Era heavyweight
boxing champion featured in the recently released Ron Howard-Russell Crowe
film "Cinderella Man"), served as grand marshall of the Virginia
City Labor Day Parade,
the last remaining such event in Nevada. Apparently, no one has yet asked
the man most famous for playing Jethro Bodine if he plans to run his
recently approved Jethro's Beverly Hillbillies Casino in North Las Vegas as
a union shop (updated 9-6-2005); in 2005, the de-unionized Dept.
of Homeland Security and the Bush-gutted Federal Emergency Management Agency
continued to fend off criticism for slow response resulting in multiple deaths
due to Hurricane Katrina. See
the Sept. 4 edition of Barbwire by Barbano for a sad and angering portrait of
how big business ideology lays at the heart of all the darkness. ALSO
a warning about a Tet Offensive in Iraq.
Update: Sunday, Sept. 4, 2005 On this date in 1949 the national convention of the American Legion endorsed the McCarran/Walter Immigration Act co-sponsored by Sen. Patrick McCarran, D-Nev., making entry into the U.S. relatively easy for white western Europeans and progressively more difficult for eastern Europeans, Asians, and Africans. (Courtesy of Poor Denny's Almanac by Dennis Myers)
Update: Friday, Sept. 2, 2005 On this date in 1192, the Third Crusade ended with the defeated Richard Lion Heart receiving the good will of Islam's Saladin (a Kurd), who though victorious in ejecting the Chrisitians from their eighty-year-old "Kingdom" of Jerusalem, granted them access to the city; in 1939, stocks on the New York Stock Exchange soared after Hitler invaded Poland, beginning World War II, but then declined after news reports that French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier was talking about peace negotiations; in 1945, in Hanoi's Ba Dinh Square, Vietnam's Declaration of Independence from France (patterned after the U.S. declaration and written with the assistance of U.S. Army Major Archimedes Patti), was read by the U.S.-admiring President Ho Chi Minh. According to Stanley Karnow's "Vietnam A Television History," when a U.S. aircraft overflew the event, the multitude burst into cheers. (Unlike Baghdad, perhaps they probably would have strewn Americans' paths with flowers.) Less than two months later, the U.S. approved French re-conquest of Vietnam because President Truman caved in to French Pres. Charles deGrandEgo de Gaulle, who acted on behalf of the Michelin Tire and Rubber Co. Thereby were sown the seeds of two Vietnam wars; in 1948, the Thunderbird Casino opened on the Las Vegas Strip; in 1953, 37 days after the armistice in Korea was signed, the American Legion called for all-out war against Korea using "the full military strength and might of our government with every usable weapon at its disposal" if further armistice negotiations failed; in 1953, Las Vegas Desert Inn co-owner Wilbur Clark was indicted on four federal counts of tax evasion; in 1963, President Kennedy helped launch CBS' expansion of its evening newscast from 15 to 30 minutes, the first half hour network newscast, with a live interview in which he limited U.S. support for the Saigon regime; in 1969, Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh died. (Courtesy of Poor Denny's Almanac by Dennis Myers; edited and expanded by NevadaLabor.com)
Update: Thursday, August 25, 2005 On this date in 1950, President Harry Truman torpedoed labor unions planning a strike by ordering the U.S. army to seize U.S. railroads and operate them. (Courtesy of Poor Denny's Almanacby Dennis Myers)
Update: Monday, August 22, 2005, 6:24 p.m. PDT With support from labor, liberal, libertarian and conservative organizations, the Sparks City Council unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Patriot Act. Read NevadaLabor.com's breaking news report.
Update: Sunday, August 21, 2005, 6:40 a.m. PDT FROM NEVADA STATE AFL-CIO EXECUTIVE SECRETARY-TREASURER DANNY THOMPSON: It is with great sadness that I inform our affiliates that Bill Smirk, former business manager and secretary-treasurer of Glaziers Local 2001 (and father of John Smirk), passed away on August 17. Funeral arrangements have been announced for the week of August 21 (Photo herewith). If you have any questions, please call Melody at (702) 452-2140 or Bill Swanson at (702) 480-3425. Bill will be greatly missed by all of us.
Friday, August 12, 2005, 1:53 p.m. PDT
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN: ON THIS DATE in 1947,
faced by the conservative policies of the Truman administration, Teamsters President
Daniel Tobin proposed a third party at the union's national convention.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII released an encyclical on "false opinions"
entitled "Humani Generis (On Human Origin)," which called evolution
"not...fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences" and said
that "communists gladly subscribed to this opinion" and then
approved of teaching evolution and additional research "in conformity with
the present state of human sciences and sacred theology." (As a British
member of Parliament once said, "the distinguished gentleman has proven
himself quite acrobatic he can straddle both sides of the fence while
still keeping an ear to the ground.") In 1954, a bill sponsored
by Republican U.S. Senator Irving Ives of New York and supported by President
Eisenhower, guaranteeing a presumption of innocence in unions accused of
communist influence, was successfully amended by Democrats led by U.S. Senator
Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota to outlaw the communist party (Nevada Democrat
Patrick McCarran voted against the change). (Courtesy of Poor Denny's
Almanac by Dennis Myers; British Pariiament quote added by NevadaLabor.com)
Thusday, August 11, 2005, 3:08 p.m. PDT
On this date in 1960, Las Vegas Culinary Union leader Al Bramlet accused Governor
Grant Sawyer (D), state gambling regulators, and local Clark County officials
of being so anxious to approve new casino licenses that they had reneged on
a promise to force casinos to create "go-broke" funds to aid workers
left in the lurch when casinos closed.
(Courtesy of Poor Denny's Almanac by Dennis Myers)
Update: Sunday, August 7, 2005, 4:08 a.m. PDT JOB ALERTS
Polaris Project Labor Rights Advocacy Intern: Washington, DC. Must apply by August 15, 2005.
Great Basin Primary Care Association (GBPCA) needs an executive director. The job will remain open until September 9, 2005, and is posted on the GBPCA website.
Friday, July 22, 2005, 3:43 a.m. PDT Union
wins election at Quebecor, world's largest printer
Additional update posted at above link on July 24, 2005.
Sunday, July 10, 2005, 4:42 a.m. PDT Union
election slated July 14-15 at Quebecor printing in Fernley, Nev.
Update: Thursday, July 7, 2005, 3:14 a.m. PDT Nevada ranks 51st among 50 states for low quality of jobs
Update: Sunday, July 10, 2005, 4:42 a.m. PDT Columnist Cory Farley: You mean it's not worse anywhere?
Update: Sunday, June 26, 2005, 2:59 a.m. PDT
ON THIS DATE In 1893, Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld announced that, because of fabricated testimony and bias on the part of the trial judge, he would pardon the anarchists convicted in the Haymarket Square bombing in Chicago in 1886. The act, which cost him a U.S. senate seat, gave him a place in John F. Kennedy's "Profiles In Courage;" in 1894, U.S. railway workers went out on strike in sympathy with Pullman workers; in 1946, in California, where members of the governing boards of political parties were elected on a public ballot, Bartenders Union business agent John Brown was elected to the Prohibition Party county central committee in San Diego. (Courtesy of Poor Denny's Almanac; copyright © 2005 Dennis Myers)
Update: Thursday, June 23, 2005, 2:04 a.m. PDT
A day which will live in infamy
(New York Times) On June 23, 1947, the Senate joined the House in overriding President Truman's veto of the Taft-Hartley Act.
Buy the New York Times front page for use on your dartboard http://www.nytimes.com/nytstore/historicpages/frontpages/NSKEEP11.html
How the law, which greatly contributed to cutting organized labor's ranks by two-thirds, impacted Nevada.
Update: Tuesday, June 21, 2005, 12:51 a.m. PDT
CHRONICLES OF THE QUEST FOR HUMAN DIGNITY
In Memoriam: James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner
ON THIS DATE in 1788 the United States Constitution was ratified when the ninth state, New Hampshire, approved it; in 1866 Congress enacted the Southern Homestead Act, a post-Civil War measure to assist newly emancipated slaves by opening public lands in five southern states to settlement by people of all races; in 1877 fourteen labor union miners were hanged in Pennsylvania for murder on the testimony of a private "detective" paid by the mine owners; in 1927 newspapers reported a warning to businesses from Nevada highway engineer Sam Durkee to remove their billboards and signs from along state highways or see them destroyed in compliance with a state law that forbade all advertising alongside highways; in 1932 a phrase entered the language when Jack Sharkey beat Max Schmeling by a decision and Schmeling's manager Joe Jacobs said, "We was robbed"; in 1940 former Marine Corps General Smedley Butler, one of the great American heroes, who received two medals of honor (one of which he refused because he felt he did not deserve it), who came to believe he and other soldiers had been misused by the U.S. government in places like Nicaragua and Haiti, and who exposed the activities of an alleged 1933 right wing coup d'etat against Franklin Roosevelt (whose operatives "including American Legion official Gerald McGuire, DuPont Chemical executive Irenee DuPont, Democratic presidential nominees Al Smith and John Davis, and New York banker Robert Clark" asked him to lead it) died in Philadelphia where he had once been police commissioner (see below); in 1940 at Compiegne Forest, Hitler received the surrender of French officials, while in Paris the U.S embassy was ringed with armed guards and Ambassador William Bullitt was unable to use the telephone; in 1940 the U.S. Census Bureau released a 110,014 population figure for Nevada (32,366 in Washoe, 16,358 in Clark, 12,352 in White Pine, 10,857 in Elko, all other counties in four digits); in 1962, Humboldt County Senator John Fransway said that "the civil rights problem in Nevada has been magnified away out of proportion by outside interests" and objected to the NAACP's "marches, posters, hymn singing, sit ins, ultimatums, deadlines, and threats"; in 1964, three civil rights workers vanished in Philadelphia, Mississippi, their bodies later found in an earthen dam, a case later dramatized in the film "Mississippi Burning" (which gave the FBI a role it did not have in solving the case) and told by William Bradford Huie in his book "Three Lives For Mississippi," a case which also produced one of the unforgettable photographic images of the civil rights era, of laughing deputies being arraigned while chewing Red Man tobacco. Tomorrow evening, David Dennis, who would have been with the three workers if he had not been sick, will be interviewed on the PBS Tavis Smiley television program); in 1966 the Beatles recorded "She Said She Said" by John Lennon for the "Revolver" album; in 1973 the General Services Administration released an audit showing the United States government spent $1.9 million on improving President Nixon's homes (Nixon promised to leave his San Clemente home to the public, but he later sold it and kept the proceeds); in 2005 the "Mississippi Burning" murder case, being tried after four decades, is now before the jury. Courtesy of Poor Denny's Almanac by Dennis Myers
From the 6-21-2005 New York Times ON THIS DAY, three civil rights workers disappeared in Philadelphia, Miss. Their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. Eight members of the Ku Klux Klan went to prison on federal conspiracy charges; none served more than six years.
More from Poor Denny's Almanac by Nevada journalist Dennis Myers General Smedley Butler: "I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested."
"It has been estimated by statisticians and economists and researchers that the war cost your Uncle Sam $52,000,000,000. Of this sum, $39,000,000,000 was expended in the actual war period. This expenditure yielded $16,000,000,000 in profits. That is how the 21,000 billionaires and millionaires got that way. This $16,000,000,000. . . . went to a very few."
Special U.S. House Committee final report: "In the last few weeks of the committee's life it received evidence showing that certain persons had attempted to establish a fascist organization in this country. There is no question that these attempts were discussed, were planned and might have been placed in execution if the financial backers deemed it expedient. MacGuire denied [Butler's] allegations under oath, but your committee was able to verify all the pertinent statements made to General Butler, with the exception of the direct statement suggesting the creation of the organization. This, however, was corroborated in the correspondence of MacGuire with his principle, Robert Sterling Clark, of New York City, while MacGuire was abroad studying the various form of veterans' organizations of Fascist character." (Copyright © 2005 Dennis Myers)
Update: Monday, June 20, 2005, 5:26 p.m. PDT
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
First it was Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, labor-endorsed for the first time in his life in 2004 and promising to be good to working people now that he's got his. Now comes 2002 labor-endorsed Gov. Dudley Do-Right, who has once again demonstrated the wonders to be had by consorting with labor-friendly Republicans. Don't blame me, I voted for Joe Neal. All comments for publication welcome.
Gov. Guinn vetoes prevailing wage bill
Las Vegas Sun 6-20-2005
"Labor-friendly" Republican Guinn administration destroys decades of wage protection with labor commissioner's new rules
Reno Gazette-Journal 7-27-2004
Prevailing wage law prevails in court
How Nevada's labor laws became so oppressive
Update: Sunday, June 12, 2005, 5:10 a.m. PDT
No bus strike this year Teamsters ratify new contract
Reno Gazette-Journal 6-12-2005
Update: Saturday, June 11, 2005, 3:16 a.m. PDT
Reno-Sparks Citifare employees to vote on new offer
Reno Gazette-Journal 6-11-2005
Update: Tuesday, May 31, 2005, 4:39 a.m. PDT
Teamsters in contract talks with Reno muni bus management company
Reno Gazette-Journal 5-30-2005
Memories of 2002 Strike
Update: Sunday, May 22, 2005, 1:16 a.m. PDT
Las Vegas Labor Unions Topic of Public Forum at the POST Modern
The Las Vegas Cultural Affairs Division of the City of Las Vegas Department of Leisure Services and the Las Vegas Centennial Committee host a public forum about the history of labor unions in the development of Las Vegas.
"On the Job The Labor Movement in Las Vegas" brings together a panel of prominent labor leaders in a public dialogue on Wednesday, May 25, from 7 to 9 pm, in the second floor courtroom of the POST Modern, the historic downtown post office located at 300 East Stewart Avenue. The event is free and open to the public. Call City of Las Vegas Public Information Officer Richard Hooker at (702) 229-5431 for more information.
The forum, moderated by local historian and Las Vegas CityLife columnist Michael Green, will include Hattie Canty, former president of Culinary Union Local 226, Terry Greenwald, business manager of Bartenders and Beverage Dispensers Local 165, former Teamsters Union leader Dick Thomas and Ralph Leigon who has been active in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
The forum, a special centennial-sanctioned event, is the last of a series of "Community Conversations" that have explored the social and cultural evolution of Las Vegas.
Update: Sunday, May 15, 2005, 5:25 a.m. PDT
BARBWIRE BY BARBANO (Sparks Tribune 5-15-2005) Ninth Circuit reverses its own three-judge panel, orders en banc 11-judge hearing of Jespersen firing case. Gowabunga! (Darlene Jespersen was fired by Harrah's-Reno for refusing to wear more than base makeup. Her case has received international attention.)
Update: Wednesday, May 11, 2005, 1:17 a.m. PDT
Former Nevada Labor leader Miguel Contreras dies
Los Angeles Miguel Contreras, 52, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor since 1996, died of a heart attack May 6. Contreras served as business manager of Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Local 86 in Reno before relocating to southern California.
Dan Rusnak, retired business manager of Laborers' Union Local 169, said "Miguel was responsible for borrowing César Chávez from the 1986 International Association of Machinists conclave so that we could hold our Reno rally in support of the United Farm Workers union."
The Reno City Council declared July 15, 1986, as Reno's first César Chávez Day, which has become an annual event in recent years.
"Miguel Contreras and American Federation of Musicians Local 368 President Beth Shay took the lead in northern Nevada Central Labor Council efforts to aid the Ohio playing card workers who had their jobs shipped to Reno before U.S. Playing Card finally moved those jobs to Spain. He taught me a lot and also held Local 86 together during the terrible Reagan years," Rusnak added.
"Miguel re-energized our movement by bringing unions and workers together across craft, class and income divisions," AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said. "He gave special pride to Latino workers and fought tirelessly for the rights of immigrants even as he gave voice to all working people in Los Angeles."
The son of a farm worker, Contreras began working in the fields at age five. By 17, he was leafleting supermarkets on behalf of the United Farm Workers, and later he became a national organizer for the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (now UNITE HERE). His former northern Nevada union is now Culinary Local 226 which represents workers at the Reno Hilton.
Contreras is survived by his wife, UNITE HERE Vice President Maria Elena Durazo, and two sons, Michael and Mario. A memorial service is scheduled for May 11 and a funeral service May 12, both in Los Angeles.
July 15, 1986, photo of Contreras, Rusnak and Chávez
Los Angeles Federation of Labor Miguel Contreras Memorial Page
Update: Monday, April 25, 2005, 12:01 a.m. PDT On this date in 1886, the New York Times editorialized that the labor movement for an eight-hour day was "un-American" and that "labor disturbances are brought about by foreigners." (Courtesy of Poor Denny's Alamnac by Dennis Myers)
Update: Saturday, Feb. 26, 2005, 3:39 p.m. PST
Stoneburner private family funeral opened to public.
Update: Monday, Feb. 21, 2005, 7:34 p.m. PST
Pioneering Nevada labor leader Tom Stoneburner dies
Update: Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005, 2:30 p.m. PST
STIFFED WORKERS STRIKE BACK
RENO, NEVADA (Feb. 15) The Alliance for Workers Rights will hold a 2:30 p.m. press conference today to announce new strategies to assist 15 stranded Kansas City construction workers. The workers logged some $96,000 in wages which they say they have not received.
They plan to initiate picketing of the residential complex located at N. Virginia Street and Talus Way, just north of the graveyard at the McCarran ring road. They will also ask Washoe County District Atty. Richard Gammick to look into potential criminal charges against their former employer.
The Nevada Labor Commissioner is investigating the claims, but the workers' needs are immediate. They have no money and no place to live, having been evicted from a residential motel. Some have had to pawn their tools.
The press conference will be held at the Salvation Army, which has been feeding the workers.
The workers charge that Keating Construction and Drywall of KC has not paid them in more than a month.
Keating was working as a subcontractor for Summit Construction, which has discharged Keating, according to Nevada Alliance for Workers Rights Executive Director Tom Stoneburner.
Labor experts say that the general contractor remains liable for the wages. Neither Summit nor Keating are union signatory companies.
Stoneburner says that he has been informed that 300 workers have shown up at Keating's Kansas City offices demanding payment.
Stoneburner may be reached at (775) 333-0201. He is taping two segments for his regular television program about these issues. They will begin running this week on Reno-Sparks community access television. See http://www.sncat.org for times.
Feb. 16 Reno Gazette-Journal: Groups want investigation into workers' pay dispute.
Update: Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005, 1:36 a.m. PST
HITCH-HIKING FROM RENO TO KANSAS CITY IS ESPECIALLY TOUGH IN WINTER
RENO, NEVADA (Feb. 10) The Alliance for Workers Rights will hold a 9:00 a.m. press conference today at the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission, 345. W. Third Street in downtown Reno. Executive Director Tom Stoneburner is trying to assist 15 construction workers imported from Kansas City by a sub-contractor.
The workers charge that Keating Construction and Drywall of KC has not paid them in more than a month, resulting in their eviction from a luxury Fourth Street motel. The workers have filed complaints to the Nevada Labor Commissioner's office which is investigating, "but these men are missing meals," Stoneburner said.
Keating was working as a subcontractor on a Summit Construction housing project near the University of Nevada-Reno campus. Summit has discharged Keating, according to Stoneburner.
Labor experts say that the general contractor remains liable for the wages. Neither Summit nor Keating are union signatory companies. Stoneburner may be reached at (775) 333-0201.
Reno Gazette-Journal followups: 11 Feb. 2005 and 12 Feb. 2005.
THE UNION ANSWER TO STARBUCKS
SPARKS (Feb. 9) At the Feb. 9 meeting of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO, Mark Gagliardi of OPEIU Local 277 called the body's attention to the USA Coffee Company, which has been added to the union label website. The company is signatory with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 101 and specializes in Hawaiian-grown coffee which is roasted and packaged in northern Nevada. For more information go to http://www.usacoffeecompany.com
The above is not a paid advertisement and has been uploaded in support of union coffee drinkers everywhere. In case you're curious as to why this makes union people happy, surf the Starbucks War Room at NevadaLabor.com.
Update: Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2005, 1:46 a.m. PST
CLINGING TO THE LEDGE
From Linda Huff at the State of Nevada Employees Assn.
What: Rally for Collective Bargaining, Health Insurance Reform & Raises
When: Friday, February 11th
During your lunch break - anytime between 11:30 - 1:30
Where: In front of the Legislative Building, 401. S. Carson Street., Carson City, Nevada
Why: Because the voice of the state workers must be heard this Legislative Session
Who: All who believe that the families of state workers deserve better!
Call SNEA/AFSCME Local 4041 for more information, 775-882-3910.
SUCCESS DEPENDS ON THE PARTICIPATION OF EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR LUNCH BREAK ON FEBRUARY 11, 2005. JOIN YOUR FELLOW STATE WORKERS (and all fellow workers) AT THIS RALLY!
Update: Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2005, 3:14 a.m. PST
PRESS CONFERENCES TODAY IN SUPPORT OF NEVADA LEGISLATIVE DEMOCRATS' PROPOSAL TO HIKE NEVADA'S $5.15 PER HOUR MINIMUM WAGE
Assembly Caucus Room
Carson City, Nevada
Magura's Pizza (A much better choice than the legislative petting zoo. Hope it's a union shop. The ledge certainly isn't.)
1325 East Vegas Valley Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada
For more info, call Misti Pena at (702) 459-1414
Slightly stale website: givenevadaaraise.com
Update: Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004, 5:43 p.m. PST
Nevada Alliance for Workers Rights Executive Director Tom Stoneburner, a party to the appeal, responds to 9th Circuit decision in the Darlene Jespersen lipstick lawsuit
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2004 15:26:01 EST
Subject: Re: ex-Harrah's bartender loses lipstick lawsuit
Thanks for following and reporting on this issue. This is not a story about one employee, and not just about a very courageous Darlene. It's one that impacts all women in America that are treated differently in the workplace due to their gender. It's a case of a powerful industry crushing a small sign of rebellion in the servants' quarters. Ultimately this results in women receiving 73 cents to every dollar male workers make. It also impacts women in so many other areas both at home and in the workplace.
We at the Alliance for Workers Rights joined in submitting a brief on this case and are disappointed at the decision but the fight is not over. I guess the court's decision and the "pleasure" expressed by Harrah's management at the plantation workers once again being put in their place tells us how far we have to go in achieving equality. Not just at Harrah's plantation, but the rest of the American workplace as well. Darlene will always be a heroine to us at AWR.
AWR says thanks for your attention on this one.
The world agrees that Darlene's a true heroine. I wasn't exaggerating when I said that my 10-8-2000 column, which has evolved into the Jespersen library over the years, has generated the heaviest traffic ever at NevadaLabor.com. Every time there's a Darlene story anywhere, the needle goes off the dial.
The thing that plays on my mind the most is Judge Ed Reed, a Carter appointee and a fair and honest man. I told Darlene awhile back that Reed's presence on the case was a positive development. This guy had the guts to issue an almost unheard of special opinion chastising the Reno police for executing a citizen in his own home, then destroying the evidence.
I'm sure his decision throwing out Darlene's case was based on the law, which means the law has to change.
Maybe Judge Reed didn't think that some creative writing would pass muster at the 9th Circuit. He was obviously right, based on yesterday's results.
Maybe Darlene's lawyers didn't brief it as well as they might have.
I still find it nonsensical that outright sex discrimination remains legal.
I recall the case of Ha Jenny Ngo, who you may recall was fired at the Reno Hilton for having to leave in the middle of her shift to give birth. The only reason Carpenters Union attorney Tim Sears won her case in federal court was that Hilton had internally created two classes of workers. All women were permanently classified as probationary, where men were not. In other words, men past the probationary period had some job security but no women ever got past temp status.
Unless the employer has royally screwed up like Hilton, workers are royally screwed which probably impelled Ed Reed to rule as he did.
I haven't read the decision thoroughly, but will and may write about it the Sunday Tribune. One paragraph from veteran reporter Geoff Dornan's coverage in the Carson City Nevada Appeal sticks out in my mind: "Justices Tashima and Silverman ruled companies can set appearance standards that apply differently to women and men without discriminating on the basis of sex as long as those standards don't impose a greater burden on one sex than the other." (An interesting aside: The 9th Circuit's website no longer posts biographies of judges. Until fairly recently, the site listed whether they were Republican or Democrat appointees.)
This is a morally obtuse workers' rights twist of Justice Sandra Day O'Conner's "undue burden" test from the court's 5-4 decision which significantly undercut Roe v. Wade a few years ago.
This one may get to the U.S. Supreme Court, which looks favorably upon resolving conflicts between federal jurisdictions. Earlier this year, the 6th Circuit in Ohio ruled that a trans-sexual firefighter was unjustly fired by Salem, Ohio. (Scroll down to the second story at the link.) The court held that she was a victim of gender stereotyping, which is illegal under federal law. Makeup was used as an example by the judges: "...an employer who discriminates against women because, for instance, they do not wear dresses or makeup, is engaging in sex discrimination ." Smith v. City of Salem, Ohio, 2004 U.S. App. LEXIS 10611 (6th Cir., June 1, 2004)
Keep up the good fight. Happy New Year to you and Kathy.
Be well. Raise hell.
Update: Sunday, May 15, 2005, 5:25 a.m. PDT
BARBWIRE BY BARBANO (Sparks Tribune 5-15-2005) Ninth Circuit reverses its own three-judge panel, orders en banc 11-judge hearing of Jespersen case. Gowabunga!
Update: Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004, 3:16 a.m. PST
The politics of lipstick smacks down workers one more time
(AP) By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld Federal District Judge Ed Reed's dismissal of ex-bartender Darlene Jespersen's sex discrimination suit against Harrah's-Reno. A 21-year employee, she asserted that she was unfairly treated by being forced to wear makeup where male employees were not. The dissenting judge said that a jury should decide. Click here for the more detailed story from the Carson City Nevada Appeal. (Shades of Justice Sandra Day O'Conner's undue burden arguments in undermining Roe v. Wade.)
Harrah's has neither confirmed nor denied rumors of a celebratory expansion of its New Year's Eve menu to include a new entree, Gloating Male Chauvinist Piglet. (Gloria Steinem, get your bunny ears out of cold storage and call your office.)
Lawyers plan appeal to the full Ninth Circuit panel. Download the decision in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to access the complete history of the case with photos, the single most-visited worldwide page of this site for the past five years.
Update: Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2004, 4:39 p.m. PST
NEWSBREAK from BallotBoxing.US
EXCLUSIVE NEVADA NOVEMBER ELECTION CHALLENGED IN COURT
Update: Monday, Nov. 15, 2004, 2:06 a.m. PST
Irish Pat Duncan, former No. 7 heavyweight contender and Laborers' Union retiree, dies at 55 in Carson City Nevada.
Fame, if not greatness, was always just beyond Irish Pat's prodigious jab
By Steve Sneddon, Reno Gazette-Journal
Update: Monday, Sept. 6, 2004, 3:21 a.m. PDT
LABOR DAY STRIKE
Teamsters strike major Las Vegas convention service companies
Las Vegas Review-Journal 9-5-2004
Update: Saturday, Sept. 4, 2004, 3:29 p.m. PDT
Teamsters strike looms at Las Vegas Convention Center
Las Vegas Review-Journal 9-4-2004
Update: Friday, August 27, 2004, 3:11 a.m. PDT
DEAR FELLOW UNINDICTED CO-CONSPIRATORS: Here is Susan Voyles' splendid story. Thanks to all for the prompt responses. You done good.
Be well. Raise hell.
8-31-2004 UPDATE: SOME PEOPLE STILL DON'T HAVE THEIR SAMPLE BALLOTS. READ MORE ABOUT IT.
residents havent received sample ballots for early voting
Reno Gazette-Journal 8-27-2004
Update: Thursday, August 26, 2004, 12:24 p.m. PDT
TO NEVADA LABOR LEADERS AND ACTIVISTS:
Longtime Reno Gazette-Journal writer Sue Voyles is looking for Nevada voters who have not received their sample ballots,especially those in Washoe County. Apparently, some people, especially Democrats, are still waiting.
If you have any info, e.g., people who have mentioned that they are still standing by the mailbox like Charlie Brown on Valentine's Day, please call her directly at (775) 788-6403.
I called Tahis Castro at Culinary Union Local 226 in Reno. Guess what? She has not received her Democratic sample ballot. My wife and I got ours on two separate days, last Saturday and last Tuesday.
Rich Houts at the Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada/AFL-CIO says Danny Costella of Iron Workers Local 118 has a similar story. He and his family are waiting for their Democratic ballots while the lone Republican in his household (prolonged adolescent rebellion perhaps?) received his several days ago. (Gotta talk to that boy.)
Even if you've heard of such a delay elsewhere in Nevada, I'm sure Sue Voyles would still like to hear from you.
Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Her phone number is (775) 788-6403.
Please carbon-copy me on anything you send, as I am also quite interested. Any and all info will be helpful.
Be well. Raise hell.
UPDATE: NEVADANS RESPOND EARLY AND OFTEN. KATHERINE HARRIS, CALL YOUR OFFICE. WE'VE GOT A PROBLEM.
KATHERINE HARRIS, PART DEUX
Unions will monitor polls during September 7 Nevada primary
Poll monitors will highlight problems with voter access
Nevada voters must show i.d. to vote for first time
You will show your papers or we will find your relatives in the old country!
Update: Monday, August 23, 2004, 7:11.am. PDT
WORKING OVERTIME TO CUT YOUR PAYCHECK: Bush administration rules destroying overtime pay go into effect while Nevada Republican Gov. Dudley Do-RIght reverses decades of Silver State wage protections. Read 'em and weep.
Update: Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 4:10 a.m. PDT
LAYOFF CULPA: St. Mary's orders last rites for more than 100 workers
ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY: In 1960, Las Vegas Culinary Union leader Al Bramlet accused Governor Grant Sawyer, state gambling regulators, and local Clark County officials of being so anxious to approve new casino licenses that they had reneged on a promise to force casinos to create "go-broke" funds to aid workers left in the lurch when casinos closed. (From Poor Denny's Almanac by Dennis Myers.)
Update: Monday, August 9, 2004, 5:05a.m. PDT
SLIPS AND CANDY STRIPES
Large number of St. Marys Regional Medical Center workers face downsizing this week
Extensive 8-8-2004 Reno Gazette-Journal coverage fails to interview any workers. Go figger. Send your news and comments here. NOW.
MAJOR NEVADA MEDIA IGNORE POTENTIAL CANCER CLUSTER AT OLD YERINGTON ANACONDA COPPER MINE SPARKS TRIBUNE EXCLUSIVE
Update: Tuesday, June 8, 2004, 3:57 a.m. PDT
The Politics of Lipstick: Barefaced Courage
NEW NOW - Ex-Harrah's bartender loses latest round in Nevada Supreme Court
The above is consistently the source of the heaviest worldwide traffic ever generated by this website
Update: Sunday, May 30, 2004, 5:45 a.m. PDT
Picketer hit by Luce truck in Sparks
SPARKS, NV At about 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 28, about a half-dozen locked-out Teamsters began to picket a Luce & Son booze delivery to the McCarran/Prater Safeway. They were behind the store in the shipping and receiving area off Howard Drive.
Witnesses say that a Luce driver aimed his vehicle at picketer Gary Watson, injuring him and damaging his picket sign. Watson is going to have a medical exam, including an MRI.
Sparks PD did what it usually does in such situations disrespects union members along the lines of "it's your word against his, forget it." (Deja vu from the 1997 UPS strike.)
Teamsters insisted that a report be filed, along with five witness statements. The case number is 04-7340. The investigating officers were Flowers and Barnhart. More as information comes in.
Update: Thursday, May 27, 2004, 4:27 p.m. PDT
REGIONAL LIQUOR STRIKE BECOMES A MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND LOCKOUT
Update: Thursday, May 27, 2004, 4:48 a.m. PDT
LIQUOR NOT QUICKER TEAMSTERS STRIKE IMPACTS DELIVERIES TO AREA HOTEL-CASINOS
News, commentary and a beerdrinker's lament
by Andrew Barbano, Editor, NevadaLabor.com
RENO, NV (MAY 27) The Teamsters Union strike against a major northwestern Nevada liquor distributor has impacted a wide range of deliveries to the region's hotel-casinos.
Yesterday at Circus-Circus in downtown Reno, union pickets formed as a Luce & Sons truck began to unload. According to Teamsters at the site, a UPS van and a truck from Arkansas Best Freight refused to enter loading bays, as did a semi rig delivering kegs. At Fitzgeralds Hotel-Casino, a UPS driver saw the pickets and left. At the Cal-Neva, a Luce truck was not permitted to unload when staffers saw the pickets marching. Union elevator repairmen called their shop steward to serve notice that they were likewise leaving the property due to the strike demonstration.
The work stoppage will continue throughout the area today. The union began a two-day strike against Reno-based Luce & Sons on Wednesday afternoon. Because Luce is a subcontactor for Sierra Liquor and Wine of Sparks, which alone markets more than 5,500 products, the impact on area hotels, grocery stores and retail outlets is very widespread. Silver State's supply line from Las Vegas has also been affected because Teamsters drive the company's products from southern Nevada.
The Teamsters have represented Luce and Son workers for many years. The company distributes a wide range of popular products throughout northwestern Nevada including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Minden-Gardnerville, Fallon and Fernley.
Among the affected brands: all Miller Beers*; Heineken and Foster's Lager; Inglenook and Almaden wines; Smirnoff and Relska vodkas; Jack Daniel's bourbon; Jose Cuervo Tequila; Christian Brothers Brandy; Southern Comfort, de Kuyper and Hiram Walker.
The Teamsters represent 38 of the 43 company employees in the affected bargaining group. The union's contract with the company expired on Feb. 2.
TEAMSTERS UNION LOCAL 533 CONTACTS
Lou Martino, Secretary-Treasurer
Dan Montgomery, Ross Steffner, business representatives
* THE HUMAN IMPACT OF THIS STRIKE The Union Beerdrinker's Lament
Update: Tuesday, May 25, 2004, 6:12 p.m. PDT
NEWSFLASH FROM THE FRONT LINES Early this evening, Luce and Son began rolling Budget rented trucks onto its distribution site. Replacement drivers may be next. Rental truck operation requires no special skill or licensing. The union is researching legal and safety issues. The Teamsters documented a wide range and large number of unsafe practices during the recent Waste Management strike.
Update: Tuesday, May 25, 2004, 4:49 p.m. PDT
MAY MARCHES ON WITH STRIKE 3 Teamsters strike major liquor distributor.
Third strike affecting Nevada in three weeks following Waste Management and
SBC Communications work stoppages
RENO, NV (MAY 25) Teamsters drivers and warehouse workers walked off the job in mid-afternoon at Luce & Son, a large and long-established northern Nevada liquor distributor. Picket lines are now up at the company's distribution warehouse at 2399 Valley Road in northeast Reno near the University of Nevada.
The union represents 38 of the 43 company employees in the affected bargaining group, according to Teamsters Local 533 Business Representative Dan Montgomery. The union's contract with the company expired on Feb. 2.
The union has filed a long list of unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board. Illegal activities alleged include refusal to allow union representatives onto to company property, refusal to send required information, failure to bargain in good faith and surface bargaining.
Like the successful Communications Workers national strike against SBC which ended yesterday, this work stoppage will be of limited duration.
"It will last two days. We should be back to work late Thursday or early Friday," Montgomery said.
The Teamsters have represented Luce and Son workers for many years. The company distributes a wide range of popular products throughout northwestern Nevada including Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Minden-Gardnerville, Fallon and Fernley.
Luce handles distribution for Silver State Liquor & Wine which alone carries and inventory of more than 5,500 items. Silver State's supply line from Las Vegas will also be affected because Teamsters drive the company's products from southern Nevada.
Among the affected brands: all Miller Beers; Heineken and Foster's Lager; Inglenook and Almaden wines; Smirnoff and Relska vodkas; Jack Daniel's bourbon; Jose Cuervo Tequila; Christian Brothers Brandy; Southern Comfort, de Kuyper and Hiram Walker.
Update: Tuesday, May 25, 2004, 4:40 a.m. PDT
NEW RENO (May 24) KOLO TV-8 reported on its 6:30 p.m. newscast that a neighborhood in the Whitney Circle area of north Sparks has been without trash pickup for 11 days. The Teamsters strike against Waste Management ended on May 15. On its 11:00 p.m. newscast, Channel 8 reported that the media exposure apparently motivated WM to get north Sparks picked up. However, the Sparks story prompted a call from residents in the Wooster High School area near the Reno airport who made a similar complaint. Stay tuned.
NevadaLabor.com Garbage Strike News, Photos, Archives
Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2004, 6:14 a.m. PDT
Tentative CWA-SBC settlement announced
San Francisco Chronicle analysis & commentary
Updated: Saturday, May 22, 2004, 6:32 a.m. PDT
CWA/SBC 2004 Strike Update Page
EXCLUSIVE SBC closes only N.W. Nevada customer service office
Latest Nevada and Northern California CWA Strike News & Photos
Updated: Friday, May 21, 2004, 1:58 p.m. PDT
FOR WHOM MA BELL TOLLS
Reno Gazette-Journal strike update
BARBWIRE: CWA politically used. then abused by SBC
Updated: Thursday, May 20, 2004, 3:57 a.m. PDT
Union lists statewide picketing locations for SBC strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. May 21
Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2004, 1:10 p.m. PDT
SPRINGTIME STRIKE, PART DEUX The Communications Workers will walk out on SBC in Nevada and 12 other states at the stroke of midnight Thursday. The strike will be limited to four days, Friday 5-21 through Monday 5-24, as a show of seriousness by the union. Pickets will be set up statewide. Watch this website for a few innovative curveballs from CWA 9413.
CWA SBC national negotiation update
Updated: Tuesday, May 18, 2004, 3:07a.m. PDT
CWA national strike vs. SBC looms closer
Updated: Saturday, May 15, 2004, 4:27a.m. PDT
SBC negotiations with union continue with no strike
Updated: Friday, May 13, 2004, 7:07a.m. PDT
Striking out after playing ball with the company
Date: Wednesday, May 12, 2004, 1:44 a.m. PDT
SBC, union continue contract negotiations
Union could still call a strike with 24 hours' notice
Reno Gazette-Journal 5-12-2004
Date: Friday, May 7, 2004, 3:55 p.m. PDT
SBC negotiation update: In a conference call with union officials this afternoon, Communications Workers of America General President Morton Bahr stated that workers will remain on the job and negotiations will continue through the weekend. (The editor of this website is a member of CWA Local 9413, the longest-established union in Nevada dating back to Mark Twain's time at the legendary Territorial Enterprise during the glory days of the Comstock Lode.)
looms at SBC
Reno Gazette-Journal 5-2-2004
CWA SBC national negotiation update
Updated: Saturday, May 15, 2004, 4:47 p.m. PDT
Reno-Sparks-Tahoe Garbage Strike Ends
Voting began just before 3:00 p.m. PDT. After five hours of discussion and deliberation, striking Teamsters voted 137-41 in favor of a new three-year contract with Waste Management. Workers will return to work this evening. Be well. Raise hell.
(CROWTIME: NevadaLabor.com broke the story on May 7 and with the above posting became the first to publish its conclusion. Go to the May 16 Barbwire for links to some of the many publications worldwide which ran the story with our quotes included.)
Updated: Saturday, May 15, 2004, 4:22 a.m. PDT
Updated: Thursday, May 13, 2004, 1:23 a.m. PDT
NevadaLabor.com Garbage Strike News, Photos, Archives
- Reno rail trench project hires unionbusters
- Contract ratification vote set for May 15 last-minute company action puts outcome in doubt
Trash piles up, as does Waste Management's retro rhetoric
Reno Gazette-Journal 5-13-04
Updated: Wednesday, May 12, 2004, 5:01 p.m. PDT
NEWS FLASH! Government officials informed NevadaLabor.com this afternoon that a replacement driver ran over a sprinklerhead at Sierra Pacific Power in southwest Reno. The resulting flood caused evacuation of the entire building, the source said. SPP's headquarters is the electric and gas nerve center for the entire region.
A call to SPP after 4:30 p.m. was forwarded to Nevada Power in Las Vegas. The operator theorized that they must have gone home.
No one answered after we were forwarded to SPP Reno. When we called the general information number again, Nevada Power in Las Vegas was also on voice mail at 4:54 p.m. PDT.
Local media have been informed by NevadaLabor.com. Stay tuned.
[UPDATE: This story was confirmed by SPP media spokesperson Fay Anderson on May 13 and appeared in the May 14 Reno Gazette-Journal after we tipped them.]
NEWS FLASH! (May 12, 2004, 3:31 p.m. PDT) Negotiations adjourned earlier today. The company has moved on some of the money issues but not on overtime. WM has not moved at all on the critical health and welfare issues such as seniority and job security. WM has held fast on wanting to remove cost of living adjustments, which have long been in the worker contract. AT THIS HOUR: Union representatives are meeting and have promised the company a response by 4:30 p.m. PDT.
POSTSCRIPT: On this date in 1902, 140,000 coal miners went out on strike, staying out for five months until consumer demand forced the companies to negotiate.
NORTHWESTERN NEVADA GARBAGE STRIKE NEWS LINKS
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza (May 12) Trash strike poses safety concerns
Reno Gazette-Journal (May 12) Trash talks resume as trash piles up
Carson City Nevada Appeal (May 12) Strike not affecting capital city despite Teamsters' April election win
Reno Gazette-Journal (May 11) WMD's arrive: Waste Management's Destroyers Unionbusters
Associated Press (May 10) Strikebreakers on the way to Reno, talks resume May 12
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza (May 9) Incline Village waste workers go on strike
BARBWIRE / Daily Sparks Tribune (May 9) The Roots of Rage
Daily Sparks Tribune (May 9) Trash Workers Strike Reno-Sparks
Reno Gazette-Journal (May 9) Reno area garbage picked up while strike enters second day
Date: Saturday, May 8, 2004, 5:02 a.m. PDT
TEAMSTERS TAKE TRASH STRIKE THROUGHOUT NORTHWESTERN NEVADA
RENO, NV (May 8) On the first day of only the second garbage strike in Reno history, Teamsters Local 533 set up picket lines at seven Waste Management locations throughout northern Nevada. The union will man the phalanxes during all hours of each site's operations, some of which will be 24/7.
In Washoe County, pickets will walk in front of Waste Management's main transfer station on Commercial Row, just across the Truckee River from the Reno Gazette-Journal; at the Stead transfer station several miles north of the downtown Reno casino district; to the west in Incline Village at north Lake Tahoe and to the east at the recycling center on Greg St. in Sparks.
Demonstrators will also patrol the Lockwood/Mustang landfill in Storey County, east of Sparks. In sprawling Lyon County, pickets will be on duty in widely separated Dayton, east of Carson City, and Fernley, east of Storey County.
Members of other unions have already begun to show up to march in solidarity. Stay tuned.
Reno-Sparks garbage workers go on strike
Reno Gazette-Journal 5-8-2004
Date: Friday, May 7, 2004, 3:29 p.m. PDT
TEAMSTERS STRIKE WASTE MANAGEMENT IN RENO-SPARKS
RENO, NV (May 7) For only the second time in history, trash haulers in Reno-Sparks have walked off the job.
Teamsters Local 533 called a strike just after 1:30 p.m. PDT on Friday, May 7. Other unions in the region are pledged to support the protest.
The Northern Nevada Central Labor Council/AFL-CIO voted to grant strike sanction against Waste Management last month. The council is made up of 25 area trade unions.
"Over and above the economic and job security issues, the straw that broke the camel's back came today when Waste Management inserted instructions into pay envelopes advising workers how to abandon their union," stated Local 533 secretary-treasurer Lou Martino.
About 350 employees have been working without a contract since the previous agreement expired April 18. Of the 350, about 280 are Teamsters members.
Local 533 has represented disposal workers for decades. The only previous strike occurred in 1967 and lasted at least 12 days.
Last week, Waste Management workers in Fallon, a farming and naval air base community 60 miles east of Reno, voted unanimously for Teamsters representation.
The union will reach out to community groups and the general public to support justice for its workers.
Updates about the status of the strike and statements from the union will be continually updated at NevadaLabor.com. The website also houses complete archives of previous major job actions by the Teamsters, including those against UPS and Citifare and their support of the security guards at the Reno Hilton.
Date: Monday, April 27, 2004, 3:31 a.m. PDT
garbage strike possibility looms closer
Reno Gazette-Journal 4-27-2004
Date: Wednesday, March 10, 2004, 11:19 p.m. PST
March 11 protest march in Carson City
In their hometown paper almost three years ago, I warned Carson City residents that they would one day be sorry for privatizing the venerable Carson-Tahoe Hospital. The regrets have begun before the ambitious new version even opens.
Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m., local citizens will stage a protest march. Irritated taxpayers have formed the "Carson City Fairness Committee" and will gather on Carson Street between Winnie Lane and 8th Street.
Turns out that one of the contractors hired to build the new, publicly financed facility does not provide health insurance for employee families. This often means that when somebody's kid gets sick, the taxpayers have to pick up the tab.
Talk about double dipping!
Area unions have already sued Carson-Tahoe for allegedly paying illegally low wages. The case is scheduled for trial soon.
In a letter to the editor published by the Carson City Nevada Appeal on Feb. 22, Carson City resident Dave Ferree stated "When my daughter went into the hospital for kidney stones, the bill was $6,000. The hospital refused payments and demanded full payment. She's a single parent with a 4-year old child and could not afford to do so. She is now scrambling to avoid collection services. This is not the way it's always been. Before C-TH changed hands, they would work with uninsured, helping them with a payment schedule that was affordable to the patient...I fear this new regional medical center that is in the works on the north side of town will be affordable only by the elite (read rich and/or insured). I want my old hospital back, the one that cared about the community that supported it."
I thought saying "I told you so" was supposed to feel good.
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL 3-12-2004 Protestors target hospital construction wages, lack of health care
APRIL 2004 UPDATE Unions win in court, stories and editorial
K-T Services, Teamsters still in negotiations, strike ok'd
ELKO Teamsters and K-T Services are still negotiating the first contract for the bus drivers who take miners to work, and the drivers have voted to strike - if they believe it necessary. "We took a strike vote, but that doesn't mean we're going to strike," said Lou Martino, secretary-treasurer and chief executive officer of Teamsters Local 533. "There are no plans to take them on strike." (MORE> Elko Daily Free Press 2-29-2004)
Date: Monday, February 16, 2004, 1:18 p.m. PST
Happy Lincoln-Washington-Kerry Day
OE3 members ratify new contract with Newmont Mining 194-88
the White Pine Power Project first proposed in the late 1970s? A
latter-day version is back.
Date: Tuesday, December 3, 2003, 3:54 a.m. PST
TO: BARBWIRE E-LISTS
FROM: ANDREW BARBANO
RE: HARRAH'S CONTINUES SEQUEL TO THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY
UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA SUED OVER SEXUAL HARASSMENT
INFO ON RENO HILTON LAYOFFS STILL NEEDED
Season's bleedings to all.
The Tuesday afternoon Sparks Tribune
carried two front page items of interest to everyone who has ever been Dilberted
In "Appeals court to hear Harrah's gender discrimination case," the Tribune's Peter Schelden continues the story which has brought record traffic spikes to NevadaLabor.com with each a new development over the past three years.
Darlene Jespersen, a bartender at Harrah's-Reno for more than two decades, was fired in 2000 for refusal to wear makeup under a new corporate policy. The story has drawn news interest from all over the world.
Federal Dist. Judge Ed Reed
dismissed Jespersen's wrongful termination suit which has been appealed to the
U.S. Ninth Circuit. (Read Rachel
Baez's story from the June 16, 2003, Tribune.)
Mr. Schelden's Dec. 2 Tribune story notes that the grooming policy is "unconstitutional because it forces women to meet a standard that men are not required to meet," according to ACLU lawyer Allen Lichtenstein.
"Harrah's Entertainment spokesman Gary Thompson said that Harrah's grooming policies have nothing to do with stereotyping," the Tribune reported.
Complete background, including Jespersen's official "Harrah's personal best" photos, may be accessed at "The true face of gambling in Nevada."
Workers have been expected to freeze themselves in time once the "personal best" photos are taken. They must look like those photos with the same makeup and fit the same clothing sizes for the rest of their employment. Stay as young as you are, sweet thing.
The estate of Oscar Wilde should sue for royalties as one the world's larget casino companies produces a reality-TV inspired version of "The Picture of Dorian Gray." It makes one wonder if Harrah's "bevertainment" cocktail servers at its Rio Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas face firing if they ever show a wrinkle. But that's why God created botox, isn't it?
FORMER UNR EMPLOYEE SUES UNIVERSITY
SYSTEM Tribune reporter Geoffrey Altrocchi reported Tuesday on a filing
by an ex-UNR geology professor who won a sexual harassment settlement against
the UCCSN last year. The aggrieved professor, Mary Lahren, is also putting
Dean James Taranik and geology department chair Robert Karlin
between a rock and a hard place, accusing them of breaking settlement agreements
not to retaliate against her. Lahren's attorney, Jeff Dickerson, told
the Tribune that more names will be added to the suit and it will be expanded
in the next two days.
FOLLOWUP ON MONDAY'S BULLETIN Thanks to those who responded for information about who's doing what, with which and to whom at the Reno Hilton. As I noted in Sunday's column, northern Nevada's largest gambling property is filled with fear with 500 layoffs rumored in the offing. Tribune reporter Tim Omarzu would like to speak with employees willing to go on the record. You may contact him in the Tribune newsroom at (775) 358-8061, ext. 230.
Again, I hope you had a happy Thanksgibleting. Happy Holidays.
Be well. Raise hell.
Date: Sunday, October 5, 2003, 9:54 a.m. PDT
Longtime Laborers' Union Leader Walt Henderson dies
Date: Sunday, October 4, 2003, 1:33 a.m. PDT
ROAD CONSTRUCTION WORKER KILLED ON I-80 SEVEN MILES WEST OF WELLS Alejandro Gonzales, an employee of Frehner Construction, died on Oct. 2 after he was struck by the rear tires of a water truck. Wells is in northeastern Nevada west of Elko. Gonzales, of Twin Falls, Idaho, was standing near a grinding machine when the water truck backed into him. The Nevada Highway Patrol reported that neither Gonzales nor the water truck driver heard or saw each other. Mr. Gonzales was wearing earplugs. The incident is eerily similar to a November, 1999, accident in south Reno. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Gonzales' family.
Date: Monday, September 22, 2003, 11:54 p.m. PDT
leave a trail from Carlin and Elko to Denver
DENVER Several dozen striking
miners picketed Newmont's corporate headquarters accompanied by a giant inflatable
rat. "There is a $33 million gap in the package the union wants and the
deal that Newmont is offering," The Denver Post reported. "The sticking
points are proposed changes in the seniority system, health care, pension benefits
pay and overtime...Members of Operating Engineers Local 3, which represents
550 workers, are on a five-day strike that began Friday (Sept. 19) because they
have been working without a contract for over a year," the Post noted.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Using your "find" button, you will retrieve from this page chronological info about ongoing disputes and strikes at Newmont Mining near Elko in northeastern Nevada over the past four years. On Nov. 14, 2003, Operating Engineers Local 3 negotiator Frank Herrera told the Elko Daily Free Press that "some progress" has been made. On Dec. 5, the parties announced additional talks planned for Dec. 12.
UPDATE: 2/6/04 OE3 members ratify new contract with Newmont 194-88
Date: Thursday, March 27, 2003, 12:41 a.m. PST
workers on two-day strike
ELKO (March 26), Elko Daily Free Press Union workers at Newmont Mining Corp.'s Carlin mines went on a surprise two-day strike this morning, but Newmont is continuing to operate.
"We'll be picketing around the clock," Frank Herrera, negotiator for Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3, said, reporting that roughly 250 workers were off the job as of this morning. Picketing started at six sites at 5 a.m. and was continuing in late morning despite the rain...Operating Engineers Local Union No. 3 represents roughly 960 hourly workers at Newmont's operations north of Carlin, and they have been working without a contract since Sept. 30...
To follow this issue, watch the Elko Daily Free Press
Reno Gazette-Journal followup 3-29-2003
Date: Thursday, Dec. 19, 2002 at 01:42:02 PST
Agreement reached in drawn-out Reno-Sparks transit fight
Date: Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2002 at 03:44:40 PDT
CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER
The bike vs. bus crash last Saturday in Sparks continues to create conflicting reports about just who did what, with which and to whom. Keep an eye on this page and the main CitiStrike page for developments as they come in. And don't hesitate to call with tips. We're trying to find the victim to interview. If you know a banged-up guy named Lawrence Anderson, please have him contact Andrew Barbano at (775) 786-1455 in Reno. Solidarnosc! Be well. Raise hell.
UPDATE The Empire Strikes Back.
Date: Saturday, Aug. 17, 2002 at 20:55:50 PDT
UPDATE ON BICYCLE-BUS CRASH
SPARKS (Saturday, Aug. 17) NevadaLabor.com U-News Sgt. Brian Miller of Sparks PD just called with the following information from the police report he just received.
"The bicyclist was riding next to the bus," he said. "The rider hit the curb which ejected him from his bike and the bus then ran over his front tire. The rider did not contact the bus," he stated.
"No citation has been issued at this time," he added.
The investigating officer was Officer Pat Dyer.
Saturday afternoon, a Washoe Medical Center nursing coordinator told me that the victim was in serious condition in ICU. Contacted again about 6:00 p.m., the same spokesperson, a man named Alan (his spelling), told me that Lawrence Anderson's condition was "unchanged."
At 8:29 this evening, I called Nurse Hansen in the nursing coordinator's office. She said that Mr. Anderson has been discharged, but she did not have the time or any other information. She was understandably quite busy.
Perhaps Mr. Anderson is an extremely rugged individual and it appears he's going to be ok. That's at least a bit of good news with which to close the week.
Date: Saturday, Aug. 17, 2002 at 03:52:11 PDT
Copyright © 2002 NevadaLabor.com
REPLACEMENT BUS DRIVER INVOLVED IN ACCIDENT WHICH SENDS BICYCLIST TO HOSPITAL
IN SERIOUS CONDITION
SPARKS (Saturday, Aug. 17) NevadaLabor.com U-News This morning, a replacement Citifare bus driver was involved in an accident with a bicyclist and reportedly left the scene of the accident at one of the busiest intersections in the area. The crash occurred at the pentagonal intersection of Prater Way and El Rancho Drive in Sparks.
The driver, Heinz Schoner, operating on the busy Route 11, left the scene. According to reports, another driver saw what had happened, stopped to render aid to the cyclist and called Sparks Police.
The bicyclist, Lawrence Anderson, about 45 years of age, was transported to Washoe Medical Center, according to Sparks police. A hospital spokesman says that Mr. Anderson is listed in serious condition in the intensive care unit at this hour.
Four major arterials converge at the crazy-quilt intersection, one of the busiest in Washoe County. Sparks PD says the accident happened at 7:31 a.m PDT.
Mr. Schoner, the driver of the bus involved, is an employee of the Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County who is not a regular driver. He is neither an employee of Transit Management of Washoe nor a member of Teamsters Union Local 533.
The accident is eerily similar to an incident in Las Vegas in June. During that six-week strike, a replacement driver from Texas struck and seriously injured a pedestrian. The victim was transported to a hospital in critical condition with serious head injuries. The bus management company refused to admit that the driver was a strikebreaker. The driver was cited.
The Citifare bus system has been operating at weekend service levels since more than 100 drivers, dispatchers and support workers went on strike Aug. 4. They offered to return to work on Aug. 9, but were locked out by Transit Management of Washoe County, the British-owned company which manages the system. TMW is operating the buses with about 50 strikebreakers brought in from out of town and 12 non-union drivers.
The major issues between the union and TMW are wages and health care. Daylong talks yesterday at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks were non-productive. Negotiations are scheduled to resume next Friday.
Watch this page for more news as the story develops. Click here to go the Citifare Hot August Strike-Lockout War Room.
Copyright © 2002
NevadaLabor.com. All rights reserved.
Use of this material allowed only with accompanying citation of the source as NevadaLabor.com.
Date: Saturday, Aug. 10, 2002 at 01:37:02 PDT
union busting in Reno-Sparks
Transit company locks out Teamsters bus drivers and dispatchers
Date: Friday, Aug. 9, 2002 at 17:44:37 PDT
BUS DRIVERS AND DISPATCHERS WILL RETURN TO WORK
NEW NEGOTIATIONS BEGIN NEXT WEEK
RENO (Friday, Aug. 9) -- Striking Reno bus drivers and dispatchers have offered to return to work immediately with Transit Management of Washoe County's agreement to resume contract negotiations next week.
TMW is legally obligated to bring the workers back upon receipt of such a notice, which Teamsters Local 533 CEO Lou Martini faxed to TMW manager Mike Steele late Friday afternoon.
"Teamsters Local 533 hereby makes this unconditional offer to return to work effective midnight, Friday, August 9, 2002, on behalf of all employees either engaged in the current work stoppage or honoring the current work stoppage," Martino wrote.
"All such employees will report to work for their regularly scheduled shifts and duties as of the time and date set forth above. We ask your cooperation in assisting the Union in notifying all affected employees to return to their regular shifts and starting times. The Union also proposes to meet and bargain in good faith as soon as is reasonably possible," the letter concluded.
"We have done this despite the management company's consistent assertion that we have reached an impasse and that they will not budge from the previous offer which our members almost unanimously rejected," Martino said.
"We have been the ones who want to talk and we are glad to see that the company has agreed," Martino stated.
Negotiations will be scheduled next week depending on the availability of a federal mediator.
Watch "Hot August Strike" at this site for continuous updates. We're in for a long, brutal fight.
Date: Monday, May 27, 2002 at 19.:44.21PDT
Yes or Union No? The Reno Gazette-Journal wants to know.
As of about 20 minutes ago, the count in this unscientific web poll was running slightly more "no" than "yes," about 50% to 49%. Make your preferences heard, but do it quickly, before 10:30 p.m. PDT. This poll idea was generated by the historically inaccurate front page story about northern Nevada unions in today's edition. Accurate history of the events noted may be found at the Nevada Labor History page at NevadaLabor.com, especially at "Right to Fire & Evil Twin Spawned 50 Years Ago Today." Vote quickly and often at the bottom right-hand corner of RGJ.com. Be well. Raise hell. [UPDATE The final published tally closed at 50/50. Thanks for all your prompt responses.]
Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 at 03:21:28
conventioners beat casinos with money and heart
"The union members attending the national AFL-CIO convention at Paris Las Vegas last week
opened their wallets to contribute to the Displaced Workers Fund, which helps Las Vegas workers
laid off since Sept. 11. Union officials said more than $100,000 was raised.
"That sum beats what Las Vegas hotels have put into the fund's kitty so far." (Las Vegas Review-Journal 12-10-01)
Date: Monday, November 19, 2001 at 20:12:07
STRIKE 2 Reno nurses locked out for Thanksgiving
Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2001 at 04:50:55
FLASH WORKERS MARCH ON RENO FLAMINGO-HILTON AT HIGH NOON TODAY
RENO, NV (Oct. 23) The Flamingo-Hilton in downtown Reno closes at noon today for conversion to timeshares perhaps sometime next year. Unions, worker advocates and civil rights groups have scheduled a protest at the hotel at the hour of closure.
Meanwhile, Hilton's corporate parent, Park Place Entertainment, the world's largest gambling company, has rebuffed union requests to extend workers' health insurance coverage. The company asserts they have done the legal minimum, so that's that. (Read the Reno Gazette-Journal story.)
Across the street, workers at Fitzgerald's Hotel-Casino fret about management's planned Nov. 16th announcement about that property's fate.
Reports broken exclusively in the Barbwire by Barbano column in the Sept. 2 and Sept. 9 Daily Sparks Tribune note that Fitzgerald's is also in the process of conversion to timeshares. Fitzgerald's management has vehemently denied the story, but the Nov. 16 announcement promised to Fitzgerald's workers raises new questions. Additional details will be posted this week in the expanded Internet version of the Oct. 21 Barbwire at the Barbwire archive accessible from the front page of this website.
See you in downtown Reno to pluck some pink Flamingo feathers at 11:30 a.m.
Be well. Raise hell.
NEVADA STATE AFL-CIO CONVENTION IN RENO ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 21Date: Saturday, June 23, 2001 at 02:05:25 PDT
NEVADALABOR.COM EXCLUSIVE -- NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD FINDS IN FAVOR OF UNION NURSES AGAINST ILLEGAL TACTICS BY WASHOE MEDICAL CENTER
ALAMEDA, CALIF. (June 22) -- A decision anounced Friday by the National Labor Relations Board bolsters the union cause at Reno's Washoe Medical Center. After almost two years of bad faith bargaining and union busting, the hospital conglomerate unilaterally imposed a stingy new contract on employees belonging to the union bargaining group.
The federal labor body ruled the contract illegal and ordered the hospital corporation to sit down with the union and bargain in good faith.
The announcement comes just in time for Tuesday's planned strike by nurses, who legally had to give the hospital notice of any walkout.
In addition to Tuesday's picketing (see below), a prayer vigil is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, the first day of the hospital imposed lockout of its most experienced nurses. For continuing details and complete background information, monitor the Washoe Med War Room.
RENO, Nev. (June 22) -- GET DOWN ON THE SIERRA PACIFIC POWER STRUCTURE. The Nevada Utility Reform Alliance (NURAy) meets again on Saturday, June 23, at 2:00 p.m. at the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN), 1101 Riverside Drive in Reno. For info, contact Charles Laws.
PROVE YOU CARE ABOUT PUBLIC AFFAIRS -- The media seem to know that everyone interested in the great issues listens to radio or watches TV at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning. In order to address this substantial audience, NevadaLabor.com editor Andrew Barbano will perform a post-mortem on the 2001 Nevada Legislative Session at 6:30 a.m. PDT this Sunday, June 24, on northern Nevada station "The X," KTHX 100.1 fm. Longtime on-air personality Bruce Van Dyke hosts. Tune in. Turn on. Get some coffee and tell a friend. You won't need coffee after you hear this.
SEE YOU ON THE FRONT LINES -- Washoe Medical Center nurses begin their 24-hour strike on Tuesday morning at 6:30 a.m. They need pickets to cover 16 entrances.
Report for duty at Pickett Park across from the hospital on Mill Street. Signs will be available but it would be very helpful to make your own perhaps mentioning the support of your union or organization.
The Washoe Med bandidos are bringing in temporary strikebreaking nurses from U.S. Nursing Corporation of Denver for five days, locking their own nurses out. This company has supplied temporary nurses against hospital staffs around the country.
U.S. Nursing apparently requires a five-day contract, which is more than Washoe will give its own workers. USN has been under fire from labor groups for providing underqualified, unlicensed personnel and forcing them to work overtime, jeopardizing patient care. They are unfamiliar with the hospital's patients, practices, protocols, and even the location of equipment for care.
If you know people scheduled to receive services from Washoe Med during the week of June 25th, have them contact their doctors and insist that they do NOT receive care from a temporary albeit expensive itinerant nurse.
Rather than paying its own longtime employees a fair wage, Washoe Med will pay strikebreakers $1,500 per nurse per day!
For information or to schedule your picketing, contact PLAN field organizer Joe Edson at (775) 348-7557 or Carin Franklin, RN, at Operating Engineers Local 3, (775) 329-5333.
Keep an eye on this site's Washoe Med archive for ongoing updates.
FLASH BULLETIN from Sen. Joe Neal (June 3) -- For the fourth consecutive day, AB 661, the bill to deregulate large power users such as mines and casinos, has been rolled into tomorrow by Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno. The measure will be debated in the Nevada Senate on Monday, June 4, the last day of the session. If passed, it will skyrocket small consumer rates.
"May I ask why we keep rolling this bill?" Sen. Neal queried on Saturday.
"No," replied Majority Leader Bill Raggio, R-Reno, only half in jest.
You may view or listen or express your opinion by clicking here. For details, go to the Nevada Energy Crisis War Room. The audio and video links at the war room will give the very-changeable floor and committee schedules of the final day. Tune in and spread the word! It's a great show.
Townsend and Guinn reverse pro-consumer energy positions
Neal fights for consumers against Townsend, casinos & mines
Blackouts loom for Las Vegas
TENTATIVE AGREEMENT AVOIDS NORTHWESTERN NEVADA GARBAGE STRIKE
Teamsters Union members vote on new 5-year contract on Saturday
RENO, Nev. (April 12) -- Reno Disposal and Teamsters Local 533 reached a tentative agreement Wednesday on a new five-year contract on which sanitation workers will vote Saturday.
The current five-year contract expires at midnight on Monday, April 16.
Read the full story from the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Be well. Raise hell.
URGENT LEGISLATIVE CALL TO ARMS
Who says TGIF?
CARSON CITY, Nev. (April 6) -- The action's at the ledge today and we need all the help we can get. We're having to fight both our enemies AND our friends to preserve the state prevailing wage law. At the same time, we're trying to save the oldest union jobs in Nevada at the state printshop. Click here to join the fight -- who to call, fax and e-mail.
Be well. Raise hell.
LATEST HEADLINES FROM THE HIGH DESERT PLANTATION --
Butt-ugly reality for spring-fevered April Fools
--> Garbage strike looms in Sparks-Reno-Fernley.
--> Carpenters Union defects from AFL-CIO.
--> Sparks city elections: predictions, predilections and Pepto Bismol.
--> Mark Twain's union fights to save the oldest union jobs in Nevada.
Read 'em and sneeze.
Be well. Raise hell.
FACIAL DISCRIMINATION FACE-OFF CALLED OFF --> FOX SAYS LATER
Dear Readers: Darlene Jespersen called a little while ago to tell me that because of other news demands, Fox News Channel is postponing today's scheduled interview on The O'Reilly Factor. (See the following item for details.)
Ah, love's labours lost.
When she lets me know it's back on, you'll know. Watch this website.
Darlene asked me thank everyone for all the expressions of support.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano, Editor
FACE-OFF -- EX-HARRAH'S BARTENDER, FIRED FOR REFUSAL TO WEAR MAKEUP, FEATURED TODAY ON FOX NEWS CHANNEL, NEWSWEEK.COM AND OPRAH WINFREY'S OXYGEN CHANNEL WEBSITE
RENO Nev., (U-NEWS) -- Darlene Jespersen, a 21-year Harrah's-Reno employee fired last year for refusing to wear makeup, will be featured today on Fox News Channel's "O'Reilly Factor."
Jespersen will tape a segment with conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly at Fox Network's Reno affiliate, KRXI TV-11. In Reno-Sparks, the program airs on AT&T Cable Channel 66 at 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. PST. In Las Vegas, only viewers with satellite dishes will be able to see the interview, as Cox Cable has refused to carry the Fox News Channel in the county housing two-thirds of Nevada's population. Harrah's sent former Las Vegas Mayor Jan Laverty Jones, now a Harrah's executive, to joust with Jespersen on CBS last year.
Jespersen has received continuing national attention for refusing to comply with Harrah's "personal best" policy. Implemented nationally last year, it requires the wearing of makeup by all female beverage department employees. Similar male employees are prohibited from wearing makeup.
In the current (March-April 2001) edition of Mother Jones magazine, Jespersen is honored with the publication's "Hellraiser" award. She was featured in a full page article in the Dec. 11, 2000, edition of People magazine and has recently been highlighted on the websites of Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen cable TV channel and Genderpac.
Jespersen's "personal best" photos from Harrah's have been posted at NevadaLabor.com. She has retained legal counsel and is close to filing court action against the multi-national gambling company.
Links to all of the above stories may be found elsewhere at this site.
CORRECTION AND CLARIFICATION -- Union now 1-2 in casino dealer voting
LAS VEGAS, Nev., (U-NEWS) -- As noted below, dealers at the Las Vegas Tropicana voted to unionize on January 22. The Transportation Workers of America/AFL-CIO thus won the first such Nevada election in two decades by a lopsided 2-1 margin.
The vote at the Las Vegas Hilton listed below took place on Jan. 20. The union was defeated in what TWU called a fair election. However, the union filed charges against the Monte Carlo for alleged violations of federal labor law in earlier balloting. The Transportation Workers of America/AFL-CIO now stands 1-2 with six more votes to follow in quick succession.
LAS VEGAS TROPICANA CASINO DEALERS VOTE UNION-YES
LAS VEGAS, Nev., (U-NEWS) -- NevadaLabor.com received the following message from Jack Lipsman at 12:32 a.m. PST: "TWU WINS AT TROP!"
No casino dealer in Las Vegas has ever worked under a union contract. The current organizing drive is the first since Teamsters Local 14 won elections to represent dealers at the Frontier Hotel-Casino in 1977 and 1981. No contract was ever signed and the Frontier later became the focus of one of the longest strikes in U.S. history, a six-plus year ordeal won by Culinary Union Local 226.
The Tropicana vote covers about 180 dealers. The union needed a win after suffering an opening round loss. Ten days ago, Monte Carlo dealers voted against representation by the Transportation Workers Union of America by a 3-1 margin.
The Monte Carlo is a joint venture between 900-pound gambling gorillas Mandalay Bay and MGM-Mirage. Both casino chains are union signatory with other labor organizations. Nonetheless, workers have suffered under management's multi-million dollar scorched-earth campaign at all nine targeted hotels.
After the Monte Carlo election, "Alan Feldman, spokesman for Monte Carlo co-owner MGM Mirage, which is not involved in managing the casino, said that some of the issues raised during the campaign, such as job protection, pay and seniority, are 'legitimate and worthy of discussion.'
"'I think that to a certain extent, with all the changes in the industry in the last 10 years, that you have what clearly is a small group of dealers who need to vent,'" Feldman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal after the Monte Carlo election.
Looks like they really vented at the Tropicana on Monday.
The Transportation Workers of America/AFL-CIO has elections scheduled shortly at seven more major Las Vegas area properties: Bally's, Las Vegas Hilton, Luxor, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Riviera and Stratosphere.
Updates at NevadaLabor.com as news develops.
TOUGH GUY GOES HOME
RENO, Nev., (U-NEWS) -- A 10-story fall left him a bleeding bag of broken bones barely expected to live on Dec. 27. Amazing his doctors, Sparks resident Michael Farnworth, 23, went home a few days ago. Thanks for all the pledges of support which came in from throughout Nevada and across the nation.
As a little consolation, it turned out that not quite all his ribs were broken and his pelvis was not fractured, contrary to earlier diagnoses. Nonetheless, he faces a long recovery. See the complete story, below.
YOUNG WORKER NEAR DEATH AFTER 105-FOOT FALL
Michael Farnworth survives bone-crushing crane crash
RENO, Nev., Thursday, Dec. 28 (U-NEWS) -- Michael Farnworth lies near death after surviving a ten-story fall in front of Circus Circus Hotel-Casino on Wednesday. Farnworth, 23, an employee of Young Electric Sign Co., Inc., (YESCO) of Sparks, was performing maintenance on the huge cartoon clown which stands in front of the hotel at N. Virginia and Fifth streets in downtown Reno.
Farnworth was ascending in a basket at the end of a boom when a gear apparently sheared. The mechanical failure caused a sudden stoppage of the crane's ascent and both cherrypicker and passenger were hurled to the asphalt. Bleeding profusely, Farnworth had to be cut out of the bucket by paramedics.
Doctors at Washoe Medical Center say Farnworth suffered brain damage and other severe internal injuries causing widespread hemorrhaging. The fall shattered both of his elbows and broke all of his ribs. His spleen has been removed. He is now in Washoe Med's intensive care unit, breathing with the assistance of respiratory apparatus. On the positive side, there has been no more swelling in his brain since last night. His youth also increases his chances of survival.
Farnworth had planned to move into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 401 apprenticeship program to become an journeyman electrician.
Farnworth's local relatives include his father and mother, a brother and a fiance. Donations to help the family are being collected by Elsa Olive, YESCO's human resources director. Contributions can be mailed to her attention at 775 E. Glendale Ave., Sparks, NV 89431; (775) 359-3131. Donations may also be left with Wendy Jones at IBEW Local 401, 2713 E. Fourth St., Reno, NV 89512; (775) 329-2566.
Any union member in receipt of this message is asked to consider both a prayer and a contribution. IBEW 401 is coordinating with YESCO to see that Brother Farnworth properly applies for workers compensation insurance. Notwithstanding the recently completed privatization of state injured worker coverage, Nevada's system remains a minefield of technicalities which can cost a worker any insurance coverage. Claim submission within less than one week remains critical to receiving benefits even under the new system. (Regardless of the fact that it's fairly difficult for some people to fill out a form after suffering two broken arms.)
Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) representatives arrived at the site of the accident shortly after it happened and a full report is expected.
Despite a steady stream of rosy government and industry statistics to the contrary, the United States remains the most dangerous workplace among the developed countries.
"Globally, the U.S. is worst," wrote Labor Notes editor Kim Moody in the monthly magazine's October 2000 edition.
"Even based on the misleadingly rosy figures of the last few years, the U.S. rate of industrial injuries was the worst among the 15 major industrial nations studied in an AFL-CIO report," Moody reported.
"In fatalities, the U.S. came in 10th out of 15. The U.S. rate of 5.9 deaths per 100,000 compared to 1.1 per 100,000 in Britain and the Netherlands," Moody noted.
"The U.S. came in an unlucky 13 out of 15 on the amount spent per citizen on health and safety; $1.01 in the U.S. compared to $11.36 in Norway. While Britain has one health and safety inspector for every 2,354 workers, the U.S. has one for every 54,435," Moody stated.
"Over the last decade, changes in the economy, 'reforms' of OSHA, aggressive employer practices and persistent inaccuracies in statistical methods have combined to cover up the reality of workplace health and safety. The true picture is an ongoing epidemic of accidents, injuries and illnesses, both temporary and terminal, throughout the private economy," Moody asserted.
After an in-depth investigative report by journalist Launce Rake, the Las Vegas Sun late last year editorially called for hiring more state inspectors. The 1999 crew of 12 would need 30 years to look over every construction site in Nevada, according to AFL-CIO estimates.
"In 1997, the last year for which complete records are available, Nevada construction workers were 30 percent more likely to be injured than the national average, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics," the Sun reported.
"In Nevada, the injury rate for people in the construction industry was 12.6 per 100 workers, third worst in the nation and significantly higher than the national average of 9.6 injuries per 100 construction workers," the Sun reported. (For complete links and news about upcoming right-wing attempts in the 2001 Nevada Legislature to eliminate the entire state safety inspection system, read "In Nevada, if you fall on the job, you fall alone."
None of the above facts or opinions necessarily apply to the specific case of Michael Farnworth or his employer. That incident remains under investigation. But for Brother Farnworth's suffering to have any value, every such tragedy must trigger review for potential improvement of every workplace.
The Nevada labor websites welcome news of any such events both as a way to assist affected families and to gather information to help prevent future occurrences. Watch this page for followups about Brother Farnworth's condition.
SPECIAL BULLETIN TO ALL UNIONS WITH BUSINESS BEFORE THE 2001 NEVADA STATE LEGISLATURE
Expensive new lobbyist surcharge does not apply to labor organizations
RENO (U-News) -- You may have seen recent news reports noting that paid lobbyists will be subject to a $120 surcharge for the 2001 Nevada legislative session.
In a conversation with Nevada AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Danny Thompson, we discussed the issue in light of a memo from Lorne J. Malkiewich, Director of the Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau (LCB). I told Danny I would follow through with a request for clarification.
I called Sylvia Wiese at LCB. I asked her about the following language from Mr. Malkiewich's 12/19 memo: "The fee for a PAID lobbyist is $95 plus $1 for each person or entity you list as a client. (For example, if you have only one client, the fee is $96; if you have three clients, the fee is $98.) The Legislative Commission approved an additional fee of $120 for PAID lobbyists for the support of the Student Governmental Affairs Program. (This fee is waived for those whose client(s) are nonprofit organizations.) The fee for registering as a NONPAID lobbyist is $15." (No emphasis added.)
Ms. Wiese advised me for the record that paid lobbyists for labor unions would only be subject to the first fee noted, i.e., $95+. Because unions are nonprofit organizations, labor lobbyists being paid for their time will not be subject to the $120 surcharge.
Please make this known to your lobbying corps and anyone else who may need the information. You may contact Ms. Wiese at LCB at the e-mail link, above, or call (775) 684-6775 if you need additional clarification.
DON'T FORGET the upcoming Nevada AFL-CIO seminars for labor lobbyists. January sessions have been scheduled in both northern and southern Nevada. Contact your union office or the Nevada AFL-CIO for more information. The 2001 Nevada Legislature will be officially gaveled to order on Feb. 5.
Best wishes for continued happy holidays.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano, Legislative Chair
Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO
SEN. NEAL RE-ELECTED DESPITE THE MOST SCORCHED EARTH GAMBLING INDUSTRY CAMPAIGN IN A DECADE
NOTHING TO DO TILL NOVEMBER BUT CIRCULATE PETITIONS
NORTH LAS VEGAS (Sept. 6) -- Veteran State Sen. Joe Neal, D-North Las Vegas, won an eighth four-year term in Tuesday's election. The 28-year lawmaker emerged victorious despite the most intense gambling industry campaign against an incumbent legislator in 10 years.
"People from across the country can be justifiably proud of this triumph over money, power and arrogance," Neal said.
"I have been heartened by the efforts of volunteers from throughout Nevada and beyond. They were calling, writing, e-mailing and contacting friends and relatives in my district right up until the polls closed on Tuesday," he added.
Neal's main opponent was Uri Lahajj Clinton, a 27-year old lawyer who represents non-union construction companies against homeowners who file construction defect lawsuits. He was funded by a who's who of the gambling-industrial complex.
By garnering a majority in a three-candidate Democratic primary, Neal was re-elected outright and will not face a November runoff with the second place finisher. He will thus be free to manage his statewide initiative petition to raise Nevada's world-low gross gaming tax on the state's largest, most profitable casinos.
Under Nevada election law, if three or more candidates from the same party file for legislative office and no one else runs, whoever wins 50 percent plus one vote in the primary is elected.
Neal defeated Clinton 50.16% to 44.48%, representing a 214-vote margin of victory . According to the Clark County election website, 4,055 votes were cast in the low turnout contest. Half that number is 2,027.5. One vote more than 2,028 was needed for a primary victory. Neal cleared the bar into majority territory by six.
It was the most intense campaign against a gambling industry target since the 1990 attempt to unseat Assemblyman Bob Price, D-North Las Vegas.
Price angered the industry by introducing a bill to restore punitive damages in wrongful termination lawsuits. Without the potential of punitive damages, unjustly fired workers find it hard to retain lawyers to represent them. Price acted after a series of Nevada Supreme Court decisions in the 1980s which basically legalized age and sex discrimination against workers.
The gamblers funded an ambitious candidate and hired a covey of casino campaign consultants, led by the late Jim Joyce.
Price, a four-decade member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, nonetheless prevailed in the primary by 31 votes and was easily re-elected the following November. Mr. Price still represents North Las Vegas today.
Mr. Clinton admitted early on that he would never have to work again if he defeated the senator.
Like Price's opponent a decade ago, Uri Lahajj Clinton's campaign drew on not only the unlimited funds of the gambling-industrial complex, but also its top-tier political operatives:
--> Sig Rogich, former ambassador to Iceland and advisor to Presidents Reagan and Bush. Mr. Rogich has lately been distracted by a flap over rezoning an office building he owns in order to accommodate a topless bar.
--> Billy Vassiliadis, now a principal in R&R Advertising, the agency Rogich founded which handles the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. LVCVA is the largest ad account in Nevada and spends more than $100 million a year in earmarked corporate welfare taxes.
--> Tom Letizia, veteran campaign and media manager and onetime confidante of Morton Downey, Jr., in his Las Vegas days when he was known as saloon singer Sean Morton Downey.
--> Land developer Harvey Whittemore, the industry's top lawyer/lobbyist, contributed heavily to Mr. Clinton.
Despite the high-priced talent, they made amateurish mistakes. Clinton's hatchet job mailers were so grossly misleading that the Las Vegas Sun threatened to sue Clinton unless he apologized for using and distorting the newspaper's copyrighted reportage.
The mailers tended to mislead voters toward the erroneous conclusion that the paper had endorsed Uri Lahajj Clinton. He not only apologized, but paid for an ad so stating. (Anyone with knowledge of anything similar in Nevada political history is encouraged to contact Sen. Neal's website. We've never heard of anything approaching this situation.)
Neal's victory was slimmer than the nine-vote margin garnered in the 1998 primary by Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, R-Reno, over former state treasurer Patty Cafferata.
An overview of the race may be accessed at the front page of Sen. Neal's website.
Be well. Raise hell.
SEEKING VOTERS' HEARTS IN THE HOME OF HEARTS OF GOLD
Democrats begin campaign to regain state senate
FALLON, Aug. 26 (U-News) -- Democratic efforts to retake the Nevada State Senate for the first time in a decade kick off today deep in the heart of Republican territory.
Central Nevada state senate district candidate Ed Beaman of Pahrump (in Nye County, north of Las Vegas) will lead a morning precinct walk and host an afternoon picnic in Fallon. The city known as "the garden spot of Nevada" is located 60 miles east of Reno in Churchill County.
Volunteers will form for the precinct walk at 9:00 a.m. at Laura Mills Park, 855 W. 5th St. The walk will take place from 9:15 to 11:45 a.m. The public is invited to the picnic scheduled at Laura Mills Park from noon to 2:00 p.m.
Famous for its "hearts of gold" cantaloupes, Churchill County is actually very diverse. It became a major farming and ranching region once the Newlands Project, the nation's first reclamation program, began importing large volumes of water in 1907. The new water spawned the Stillwater Wildlife Refuge, a key link in the North American flyway.
Another type of flight came decades later. The sprawling Naval Air Station Fallon is home to the U.S. Navy's Top Gun Fighter School. Many of its workers are union members. The area also has a large Native American population. Native Americans usually lean toward Democratic candidates.
Beaman, a Clark County fire captain and paramedic, moved his family to Pahrump in southern Nye County eight years ago. The huge Central Nevada Senate District is bigger than some states. It includes six Nevada counties (Churchill, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye, White Pine) and parts of Eureka and Lander.
The population expansion of Pahrump could prove decisive in Beaman's race against eight-year incumbent Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon. McGinness has become vulnerable because of several key votes in the last legislative session. He changed his position from 1997 and supported Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn's art tax loophole in 1999. Much of that multi-million dollar tax break comes at the expense of school children. (The complete history of the Wynn art tax issue may be retrieved by searching the keyword "wynn" via the NevadaLabor.com search engine accessible from the home page of this website.)
McGinness has been further weakened on his own turf because of his lack of involvement in the landmark water rights compromise engineered last year by Assemblywoman Marcia deBraga, D-Fallon. The settlement of a dispute older than most people alive has apparently earned de Braga a free pass for re-election this year. She has usually not carried her heavily GOP hometown but has nonetheless been elected four times because of her strong support in other parts of her district, much of which overlaps the senate jurisdiction.
The conventional wisdom calls for the membership of the 2001 state senate to remain the same as the 1999 version. All 11 incumbents are seeking re-election and all are favored to win. Should that happen, Republicans would again outnumber Democrats 11 to nine. The 2001 legislative session will reapportion legislative districts for the next decade.
To win the first Democratic majority since the last reapportionment year of 1991, party and labor resources will target the seats of Sens. McGinness and Ray Rawson, R-Las Vegas. The embattled 16-year veteran Rawson. will face Las Vegas business consultant Terrie Stanfill.
Rawson, a dentist, has made himself vulnerable over his campaign to establish a dental school at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Critics allege that Rawson promised the proposed school would need no state taxpayer funding. Legislative records seem to verify it.
At a June university board of regents meeting, "Regent Dave Phillips questioned why state money would be needed when Sen. Ray Rawson, R-Las Vegas, said previously that the dental school would be self-sufficient...'I meant that the dental school would not cost the state any special money,'" Rawson said, attempting to explain why the 2001 session will be asked for millions in tax dollars to support the controversial proposal.
Rawson has also come under fire for using high-tech university system equipment to make extravagant bronze busts of Gov. Kenny Guinn, R, and Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno.
"(The) bust-building enterprise to honor sitting politicians and philanthropists sapped the school of tens of thousands of dollars," the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. "(It) marked the only productive use so far of at least $100,000 in industrial, digital-imaging and computer equipment," the paper noted.
CONTACTS FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Ed Beaman: (775) 727-8950, Fax (775) 727-5120.
Ms. Terrie Stanfill: (702) 254-5437, Fax: (702) 254-8203.
Nevada AFL-CIO: (775) 882-7490; (702) 459-5288.
BARBWIRE BY BARBANO IN SUNDAY'S SPARKS TRIBUNE--
-- CEO's make lousy public officials: Hizzoner the Mayor of Reno calls the conservative head of the city's financial advisory board a "baldfaced liar" after the board unanimously questioned the escalating budget for the downtown railroad track depression project. The petition drive for a mayoral recall election heads into its last two weeks.
-- Gov. Dudley Do-Right has no wiggle room on the state budget.
-- New indications of casino support of the teachers' union business income tax petition.
-- Former university regent Nancy Price is running closely with State Sen. Jon Porter, R-Henderson, for the GOP nomination to face Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Las Vegas. Should Mrs. Price prevail, union members will be forced to choose between two pro-labor candidates. Nancy Price is married to longtime Assemblyman Bob Price, D-North Las Vegas. (Try a websearch for "Bob Price" or "Nancy Price" from the home page of this site, then settle in for an evening of interesting reading.)
NEW AT THE BARBWIRE ARCHIVE AT NEVADALABOR.COM: The latest Barbwires by Barbano expanded from the Sparks Tribune.
--Governor Dudley Do-Right rides backwards again (from the 8-20 edition)
--Poltroons and pickpockets in public service (Piergate part deux, 8-13)
--Hold onto your wallet when you hear happy talk (electric deregulation and the neutering of Nevada's consumer advocacy and regulatory structure, 8-6)
COMING SOON: Campaign 2000, a new special section at NevadaLabor.com.
HOT FLASH -- The most pro-labor presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, will visit Las Vegas on Sept. 15 and is hiring campaign coordinators in Reno and LV. E-mail email@example.com for more information.
Be well. Raise hell.
DANNY EVANS, NEVADA STATE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH DIRECTOR, DIES AT 50
Rare form of cancer fells longtime labor leader
Las Vegas -- Danny Thompson, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Nevada AFL-CIO, sent the following via e-mail to NevadaLabor.com:
"Blackie called and informed me Danny Evans died at 11:30 Sunday morning. His funeral will be on Wednesday, July 19, at the Palm Mortuary on Eastern in Las Vegas at 3:00 pm."
Danny Evans was the chief administrative officer of the Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement Section (OSHES) of the Nevada Division of Industrial Relations.
Our condolences to Danny's older brother, former Nevada AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Blackie Evans, and the rest of his family.
Here is the story of Danny Evan's life from the Las Vegas Sun:
Danny Evans, champion of worker safety, dies at 50
WORKERS MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY SCHEDULED FOR SPARKS AMPHITHEATER ON TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 4:30 P.M.
Commemoration of workers killed and injured on the job
Nevada's on-the-job death rate has been rising. In 1997, 55 workers were killed in workplace accidents. The number rose to 63 in 1998, the last year for which complete statistics are available. A Nevada construction workers' chance of injury stood 30 percent higher than the national rate in 1997, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 10,000 Nevada construction workers were injured on the job that year. From 1992 to 1996, federal data show that Nevada exceeded the nation's median fatality rate.
To bring public attention to the hazards of the workplace and to remember the dead and injured, the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council will hold a Workers Memorial Day commemoration at the downtown Sparks Amphitheater on Tuesday, April 25. The interfaith ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. with a welcome by Danny Thompson, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Nevada AFL-CIO.
Scheduled speakers include Ken Mercurio of Accurate Companies, Inc. One of his workers, James Hilbert, 59, was killed in a highway ramp construction accident in south Reno last November 11. Hilbert was a well-respected construction foreman and longtime member of Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 241. His son, Shawn Hilbert, is scheduled to speak at the Sparks event.
Sandy Pritchett will also participate. Her husband, Ted, 41, died on Feb. 2, 1999, in a 30-foot fall while working at Naval Air Station Fallon. He was employed by Martin Iron Works of Reno and was a member of Ironworkers Local 118.
The names of those recently killed on the job will be read during a candlelight prayer ceremony.
A similar event will be held in Las Vegas on Thursday, April 27. The AFL-CIO has designated Friday, April 28, as a national memorial day for workers. It will climax a week of events across the nation focusing on job safety.
The umbrella labor organization will call for passage of a federal ergonomics standard, stronger on-the-job safety and health protections, better shielding of whistleblowers who report work hazards and injuries, and coverage for all workers under the job safety law.
The Nevada AFL-CIO will emphasize its opposition to legislative proposals to eliminate Nevada's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
The state's most recent worker death occurred April 10 at Placer Dome Inc.s Getchell Mine near Winnemucca. Byron Coates, 40, of Packwood, Wash., a driller working for Boart Longyear Co., was killed in a rig accident. Nevada led the nation in mining deaths with nine last year, according to the U.S. Dept. of Labor.
More information on creating a safer workplace may be obtained from the Workers Memorial Day Committee at (775) 355-9200. Spanish speakers may call (775) 689-8670.
SQUAW VALLEY VOTE CANCELED BY UNION
RENO (April 20) The vote scheduled for today was canceled by Teamsters Local 533 after word of a mandatory employee meeting on April 18 at which management allegedly offered a wide range of enticements to the workers. Similar action has often been held illegal under the National Labor Relations Act.
Read the Reno Gazette-Journal story.
SQUAW VALLEY, CALIF., SKI PATROL TO VOTE ON TEAMSTERS REPRESENTATION
RENO "Members of Squaw Valley USAs ski patrol apparently concerned about pay, safety and benefits will vote today on whether they want the Teamsters union to represent them."
Read business writer John Stearns' full story in the Reno Gazette-Journal. Watch this space for results.
NEVADA LABOR COMMISSIONER ANNOUNCES A SERIES OF HEARINGS ON PREVAILING WAGE LAW AND DIVULGES PROPOSED NEW STANDARDS
LAS VEGAS (April 12, 5:05 a.m. PDT) Nevada's new labor commissioner has announced a series of hearings which will heavily impact the way prevailing construction wage rates are set on public works jobs. The hearings will begin on April 25 and will continue as long as necessary.
The state's largest newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, recently called for repeal of Nevada's prevailing wage law. In a copyrighted story, veteran reporter A.D. Hopkins today wrote "Nevada Labor Commissioner Terry Johnson on Tuesday proposed amending Nevada's prevailing wage regulations, redefining 'prevailing' wage as that earned by an actual majority of workers in a given craft. If no such majority existed, an average wage would be used.
"The changes could blunt criticism of a law widely perceived to inflate the cost of public buildings and unfairly favor union labor," Hopkins reported.
That criticism has come from non-union contractors, Republican lawmakers and the Review-Journal.
Access today's story and hearing schedules here: Labor official proposes prevailing wage reforms A redefinition of what workers should be paid to do a job is needed, the labor commissioner says.
Read much more about it at The Fight for Fair Wages, a new special section at NevadaLabor.com
And please keep us posted.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano, Editor
EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT!
EXCLUSIVE BARBWIRE SPECIAL EDITION
Et tu, Kenny? Gaming's governor stabs at Neal on the Ides of March
LAS VEGAS (March 15 Y2K) -- On the same day the gambling-industrial complex released a study stating (surprise) that casinos pay their fair share but other businesses should be taxed, Gov. Kenny Guinn called upon Sen. Joe Neal and the teachers union to unilaterally fold their respective tax increase petition campaigns.
Gov. Guinn made no offer in his speech before the Nevada Taxpayers Association at the Mandalay Bay Resort on the Las Vegas Strip. He just appealed to the opposition's fairness and railed against government by initiative petition, which he said he would travel the entire state to defeat. (The former educator has apparently lost sight of the fact that the right to petition one's government is embedded in both the Nevada and U.S. Constitutions.)
Neal, D-North Las Vegas, upped the ante with a sensational counter-proposal sure to be rejected. The teachers also refused. The gamblers' own study has inadvertently proven Neal's assertion that gaming does not pay its fair share of taxes for the growth it causes. Guinn made threats of recrimination against the senate's senior Democrat and the Nevada State Education Association which the governor can't possibly keep.
Details in a special Ides of March edition of Barbwire by Barbano at NevadaLabor.com.
Be well. Raise hell.
LATE BREAKING NEWS
DETROIT, March 15 (Special to NevadaLabor.com) -- "Andy, good news, we won at (the Flamingo Hilton in) Laughlin. I think yesterday's result was 21-17. Dave Hickey at the Int'l should have the results. Thanks for all your support." Scott Brooks, Attorney for United Plant Guard Workers of America.
See the Barbwires of 3-5-2K and 3-12-2K at the Barbwire archive at this site for why this election was so important.
Congratulations to the littlest union which continues to whip the largest, meanest gambling company in the world.
Be well. Raise hell.
Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2000 at 05:44:49
RENO PAPER MAKES EXCUSES FOR CONTINUING CORPORATE WELFARE BOONDOGGLE BY CITY OF RENO
RENO (Feb. 22) -- Notwithstanding the facts in its reporter's own story, the Reno Gazette-Journal today devoted its principal editorial to putting a positive spin on the latest downtown redevelopment fiasco.
Judge for yourself. First, read Ken Alltucker's story linked from the next item, below, then read the accompanying editorial in the same edition.
The opinion item is even juxtaposed to the news story as a counterpoint on the news index page of the Gannett-Journal's website.
"A good reason to be optimistic ---> Downtown theater: better marketing, better weather should boost attendance, redevelopment prospects" read the headline and subhead.
It brings to mind the words of the immortal Will Rogers in referring to the joy he felt in reading the Congressional Record: "I love fiction!"
Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2000 at 05:18:46
RENO REGAL/SYUFY RIVERFRONT THEATER WORKERS WALK OFF THE JOB
RENO (Feb. 21) -- "Staff of Century,s riverside theater walked off the job Monday morning, leaving some holiday moviegoers frustrated and management scrambling to find workers to sell tickets and run projectors."
Read Ken Alltucker's story in the Feb. 22 Reno Gazette-Journal.
The Syufy Brothers have now conclusively proven that their people skills rival their political acumen.
Remember, organized labor very much wants to talk to these workers. (See the item, below.) All leads appreciated.
Be well. Raise hell.
Date: Monday, February 21, 2000 at 18:02:09
URGENT---NEED CONTACT WITH STRIKING RENO REGAL/SYUFY RIVERFRONT THEATER WORKERS
RENO (Feb. 21) -- Some brilliant statistician figured out that the average distance between any two people in the world is two people.
Let's put it to the test right now.
I need to talk to anyone who works or has worked at the new downtown Reno Regal riverfront movie theater, recently transferred to the ownership of the Syufy/Century chain.
We have heard that a mass walkout occurred this morning (2/21/Y2K). We have also heard that Syufy/Century is replacing the workers with employees from its other Reno-Sparks area theaters.
Organized labor and the media very interested in talking to these people. If you or anyone you know can put us into contact with the workers, please have them call me immediately.
They need to be advised that they have rights protecting them under the law, regardless of the circumstances of their walkout.
Anyone interested in complete background on these issues need only go to the search engine at the front page of this site and sweep for the words "Syufy" and "Regal."
Please spread the word. Happy Presidents Day.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano, CWA 9413
Fax (775) 747-0979
Date: Saturday, February 19, 2000 at 05:14:56
MORE THAN 600 WORKERS MARCH THROUGH RENO
RENO (Feb. 18) -- More than 600 casino workers and local supporters marched through the streets of downtown Reno Friday afternoon. Here's the story from today's Reno Gazette-Journal
Full details shortly in the Sunday Barbwire by Barbano column, accessible through the home page here at NevadaLabor.com.
Date: Monday, January 31, 2000 at 04:49:44
NEVADA UNIONS PLACE SPOTS ON TELEVISION STATEWIDE
RENO -- Teamsters Local 533 has placed an ante into the high profile media game with a television schedule now airing on KOLO TV-8, northern Nevada's ABC affiliate. Four new commercials are rotating. Two of them address the fact that Nevada workers have almost no rights without a union. The others show how the Teamsters represent workers in many occupations. The campaign will air at least through the first quarter.
In cooperation with the Nevada Dept. of Transportation, the new "Flagger Moms in Orange Cone Hell" TV public service announcements from Laborers' Union Local 169 now run statewide. Nine different commercials in English and four in Spanish are broadcast or cablecast at random times on all Nevada for-profit, non-profit and public stations. For more information on the campaign, go to the Flagger Moms page at this site.
Take a moment to visit Nevada Labor History for our new story on the demise of Harolds Club, a pretty good place to work in its day. While there, check out the recently posted story from historian Guy Louis Rocha about unions in the days of the fabled Comstock Lode. You'll also enjoy his piece on the persistent historical myth about the bodies of workers encased in Hoover Dam at Lake Mead. Never happened, but oftimes facts never get in the way of a good story.
Finally, keep an eye on the most popular place at this site, Barbwire by Barbano. We've got the latest skulduggery behind yesterday's destruction of Reno's venerable Mapes Hotel, another public relations coup de gras for the Biggest Little City in the World. Now comes news of recall petitions against the entire Reno City Council and Mayor Jeff Griffin. You'll find out all you need to know about hizzoner in the 1-30-Y2K Barbwire, and you'll get a laugh while you learn.
Major threats to Nevada's prevailing wage law in the offing, so stay tuned and pass the word.
Be well. Raise hell.
Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2000 at 06:37:58
BREAKING NEWS: DOWNTOWN RENO REGAL THEATER OPENED AND STILL OPERATES WITHOUT PROPER FIRE SAFETY MEASURES
(RENO) -- The crown jewel of the City of Reno's corporate welfare program, the Regal-soon-to-be-Syufy riverfront theater complex, was opened and continues to operate without required fire safety measures, according to a report Monday night on Reno's KOLO TV-8.
Longtime reporter/anchor John Carroll interviewed Reno Fire Marshall Larry Farr, who confirmed that a required smoke evacuation system has never been put in place. The city's rush to open the facility has apparently caused short cuts in the safety process. Carroll's report noted other fire safety deficiencies as well.
The theater has been rooted in controversy since first proposed and nothing seems to have changed. Regal, the nation's largest chain, despite a city subsidy of almost $10 million, had cut a deal to sell the new facility to competitor Syufy before the new facility had even opened. The move reinstates Syfuy's monopoly on first run releases in Reno and Sparks. Reno Mayor Jeff Griffin blew it off as no business of his. Critics worry that Joe Syufy, a demonstrably dishonorable businessman, will shunt the best films to his other theaters to avoid paying the City of Reno its required percentage under the Regal deal he must asssume.
For more information on the ongoing labor problems with downtown redevelopment projects in the cities of Reno and Sparks, use the search engine from the front page of this site for Syufy and Regal.
LABOR BRIEFS NOT GENERALLY REPORTED IN THESE PARTS-- Edward Hanley, 67, recently retired general president of the Culinary Union, was killed in a northern Wisconsin auto accident on Friday, Jan. 7. He led the union for 25 years before retiring amid a federal corruption probe. During his years as president of the 244,000-member Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees International Union, Hanley was recognized for bringing young people back into the labor movement...Nackey S. Loeb, 75, widow of ultra-conservative Manchester, NH, Union-Leader publisher William Loeb, died Saturday, Jan. 8. Mrs. Loeb succeeded her husband as publisher of the most influential paper in the state holding the nation's first presidential primary. She had been in failing health due in part to complications associated with her partial paralysis from a 1977 car accident. William Loeb was driving in Washoe Valley, between Reno and Carson City, when their car hit a patch of ice. Both were severely injured. They were part-time Nevada residents for many years...WE'RE NUMBER ONE!-- Leading the dubious distinction category, as usual, the U.S. Dept. of Labor recently reported that Nevada led the nation in mining deaths in 1999.
Date: Wednesday, December 8, 1999 at 03:51:37
THE BIGGEST, BADDEST CASINO COMPANY IN THE WORLD LOSES AGAIN TO A UNION OF 41 MEMBERS
WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 3) " Once again, an intrepid union of 41 security guards has defeated the biggest casino company in the world. Last Friday, Dec. 3, the DC Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of a federal administrative law judge and the National Labor Relations board which held that the Reno Hilton illegally fired its entire security staff in early 1997 because they had unionized.
On June 19, 1998, Judge Gerald A. Wacknov ordered Hilton to reinstate the fired workers within 14 days, pay them for loss of wages and benefits since termination, cancel its subcontractor agreement and prominently post a notice that it will not interfere with the union. Hilton filed an appeal of Wacknov's decision on the last possible day, July 17.
"Reno Hilton contends that the Board misstated and misapplied the appropriate legal standard for determining whether an employer's discharge of an employee constitutes an unfair labor practice, and lacked substantial evidence to support its finding of discriminatory intent. Finding these contentions unpersuasive, we deny the petition for review and grant the Board's cross-application for enforcement of the order," the three-judge panel unanimously ruled last Friday.
Hilton may try to keep up its oppression of these union stalwarts. Since the mass firing, one has died of cancer at about age 40. Another suffered a series of strokes. Some have not worked a day since. Others have lost homes and marriages. But United Plant Guard Workers of America Local 1010 has lived up to its marching slogan which we chanted so many times in the streets of Reno: "Born to fight, here to stay, we're not going to go away."
A full report will be posted at this site in the next few days. The full federal decision may be read at http://www.ll.georgetown.edu/Fed-Ct/Circuit/dc/opinions/98-1484a.html
For complete background, go to the search engine on the home page of this site and sweep for Reno Hilton security guards. You'll find a couple dozen items tracking the travesty. Local 1010 is part of the UPGWA International Union headquartered in Roseville, Michigan.
That's installment number one of tomorrow's news today for the readers of this site. Read on...
SEN. REID SPARKS U.S. GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE INVESTIGATION OF RENO VETERANS HOSPITAL
RENO, NV (Sept. 2) " At the annual meeting of the Reno-Sparks Branch of the NAACP, American Federation of Government Employees Local 2152 President Carol Walton announced that Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has facilitated the opening of a wide-ranging investigation into the personnel and patient care practices of Reno's Ioannis A. Lougaris Veterans Medical Center.
The probe will center on hiring and firing practices which discriminate against minorities and serious issues of patient care. A wide range of veterans and medical organizations are lining up to talk with GAO investigators.
Remember, you heard it first right here at NevadaLabor.com. We'll keep you posted as matters develop. Please pass things you hear back to us. Tell your friends and associates to dial up NevadaLabor.com for all the news you never knew you needed to know till now.
That was exclusive number two. Here's the rest of today's hat trick...
RECRIMINATIONS AGAINST NURSING STAFF CONTINUE AT ST. MARY'S REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER
RENO, NV (Dec. 8) " After a scorched earth union busting campaign against its nursing staff's attempt for collective bargaining through Operating Engineers Local 3, St. Mary's now has entered the post laborcide phase. Nurses have had more worked piled on them, the main reason for the organizing attempt, and are suffering the death of a thousand cuts via little insults, innuendoes and nit picking.
Insiders report that the most vocal unionization activists have come under the most pressure and scrutiny. The Flamingo and Reno Hilton hotels did the same thing, bargaining in bad faith after a union victory and after illegally defeating union drives in the mid-90s.
The goal, always unstated, is to behead the leaders and hope the sheep will get into line.
The nurses of St. Mary's should hang tough. Another election can be held in less than a year. Watch this website for details and go to our organizing links to learn about your rights. Use the search engine to read about the cookie-cutter union busting tactics employed by Hilton, St. Mary's and Washoe Medical Center.
Information is power. Accurate information trumps broken promises and results in worker victories. Just look at the little union that could, my friends at UPGWA Local 1010.
Much more soon, right here.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano, CWA 9413
ps: Thanks to everyone who responded to my request for names of Nevadans who took it to the streets in the Battle of Seattle. Nevada was well-represented. Full details soon as part of the expanded 12-5-99 Barbwire which will shortly be uploaded to the Barbwire archive.
Date: Wednesday, December 1, 1999 at 04:04:02
IF ANYBODY'S BEEN TO THE BATTLE IN SEATTLE, CALL ME ASAP
The Reno Gazette-Journal called me late Tuesday evening wanting to know if any Nevada union members had gone to the World Trade Organization Battle in Seattle. I replied that each union could act at its own option and that I'd heard some discussion.
If you attended or know anyone who did, please let me know, as they want to talk with you for a followup article. I will be getting a call on Wednesday, 12-1-99.
Apparently, Seattle has given new meaning to the venerable IWW slogan "workers of the world, unite!" Organized labor is drawing praise from all quarters for conducting civil, peaceful and very effective demonstrations.
What the news media seem to be missing is the macabre connection between the WTO demonstrations and the mass graves now being excavated in Juarez, Mexico. They are concentrating solely on drugs as the major factor in Juarez. In reality, many of the unsolved deaths come as a direct result of those preying on young people, especially girls, who work in the maquiladora factories.
I recommend two splendid articles on the subject, both by Tucson author Charles Bowden, author of "Juarez, the Laboratory of Our Future." He wrote "While You Were Sleeping" in the December, 1996, issue of Harper's Magazine and "Who's Killing the Women of Juarez?" in the premiere edition of Tina Brown's new monthly, Talk (the September '99 edition with Hillary Clinton on the cover). Alas, neither is available online. Thank heaven for local libraries. Harper's sells back editions through their website.
One of Bowden's lines from "While You Were Sleeping" says it all: "Juarez is an exhibit of the fabled New World Order in which capital moves easily and labor is trapped by borders." (If you get a copy of the Harper's piece, please do not let small children look at the pictures.)
Because of the AFL-CIO's activities in Seattle, I have never been prouder of being a union member than I have been this week.
On another good news front, the Elko Daily Free Press, the most viciously anti-union paper in Nevada, has been sold to an out-of-state chain. The sale becomes final in January Y2K. I don't know if this means new management or not, but any change at that paper has to be for the better.
In retrospect, you may find my comments about the Elko paper from last Sunday's Daily Sparks Tribune quite interesting. "The Bill of Rights has become an unpaid invoice" will be posted at the Barbwire archive within 24 hours.
I look forward to hearing from you if you've been to the streets of Seattle. Please call me at (775) 786-1455.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano, CWA 9413, Editor, NevadaLabor.com.
Date: Friday, November 12, 1999 at 02:50:22
UNION BROTHER KILLED AT SOUTH RENO JOBSITE
RENO (Nov. 11) -- The house of labor weeps.
James Hilbert, 59, a construction foreman and longtime member of Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 241, was killed early Thursday morning working on a cement pour while building on/off ramps on the Martin Luther King Highway (also known as US 395S or I-580) south of Reno.
A sketchy report from the Friday Reno Gazette-Journal (www.rgj.com) follows, below. What's not included is the shock and trauma felt by Brother Hilbert's family and co-workers. His entire crew, including two of his sons, witnessed his death. One of his sons recently successfully completed apprenticeship training.
Local 241 Business Representative Robert Curtis was also onsite when a normal day turned into tragedy. It remains unclear whether or not the crew will work on Friday, although a company spokesman told KTVN TV-2 that Bro. Hilbert would want the work to go forward.
None of the three Reno television stations reported the cell phone aspect, so please wait for additional details before forming opinions and making judgments.
NevadaLabor.com will post updates and funeral arrangements as they are announced. Requests for additional information should be directed to Bro. Curtis at (775) 359-4241, fax 359-4291.
Bro. Hilbert's death is Nevada's third road construction fatality in the past three months.
In August, a young man just 27, working as a flagger, was killed near rural Beatty, north of Las Vegas. In September, Bro. Jefferson Joe Turner, 36, was killed near Hawthorne in west central Nevada. A construction foreman and member of Operating Engineers Local 3, he left a wife and four children.
The recent rash of tragedies comes after a period of several years with no fatalities and underscores the need for constant vigilance and safety precautions. Road construction remains the second most-dangerous occupation in the country after convenience store clerk.
For more details, go to NevadaLabor.com's road construction safety section.
Our condolences and our prayers go out to the families, friends and co-workers of the deceased.
--->Man dies at Reno work site
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL, November 12th, 1999
A construction worker talking on a cell phone was killed Thursday morning when a cement truck backed over him at a construction site along U.S. 395 at Damonte Ranch Road.
James Hilbert, 59, of Fernley died after the cement truck struck him in the back, knocked him over and then ran over him. Dewey Sampson of C.B. Concrete was driving the truck. Hilbert was an employee of Accurate Construction.
Construction on the Damonte Ranch Road off-ramp stopped and Hilbert's co-workers stood silent as Washoe County sheriff's deputies investigated the accident.
"He was talking on a cell phone, walking with his back to the truck and it ran over him," Sgt. Don Depoali said.
The sheriff's Major Accident Investigation Team will continue the investigation.
Date: Wednesday, November 10, 1999 at 18:31:12
PROFESSIONAL INSULTS AND PERSONAL INJURIES IN RENO AND SPARKS TONIGHT --
LV lawyer and unannounced U.S. Senate candidate Ed Bernstein opens his statewide show at the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council meeting tonight.
Up the Truckee River a few miles, the nationally boycotted Regal Cinemas perform a sneak preview for VIPs in downtown Reno.
The Reno Regal Cinemas open tonight in downtown. The national AFL-CIO/IATSE boycott stands in effect. For the latest information, go to Nevada Alternet for a recent article fromthe Reno News & Review. You may also sweep "Regal" at the nevadalabor.com search engine from the home page.
Over in Sparks, personal injury lawyer Ed Bernstein speaks at 6:00 p.m. before the monthly meeting of the Northern Nevada Central Labor Council. The confab will be held at the new Northern Nevada Labor Temple at 1819 Hymer Ave.
Wealthy personal injury lawyer Bernstein has filed an exploratory committee with the Federal Election Commission but has not formally declared for the seat being vacated by Sen. Richard H. Bryan, D-Nev. Bernstein became the Democratic frontrunner when Nevada Atty. Gen. Frankie Sue Del Papa bowed out earlier this year.
Del Papa's name identification polled higher than anyone else in Nevada in 1998. However, an open-ended poll question demonstrated the effect of Bernstein's many years of television advertising for his law firm. Last year, without being given a list of names, when voters were asked "who is the attorney general of Nevada?", most responded "Edward M. Bernstein."
Mr. Bernstein recently pulled a Jesse and told hardassed Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jane Ann Morrison that he is a social liberal but a fiscal conservative, whatever that means. One cartoonist recently defined compassionate conservatism thusly: Compassionate means "I care" and conservative means "you're on your own."
The Nevada Democratic Party recently did a fundraiser entitled "Monday Night Football with Ed Bernstein." Apparently, matters of personal injury are not only his profession, but also his diversion. In that case, follytix will fit right in.
Be well. Raise hell.
Date: Tuesday, October 26, 1999 at 04:32:14
DEATH ON THE JOB IN THE WILD, WILD WEST
Eureka County " On Monday came word of the third mining fatality and eighth industry death this year. At about 3:00 a.m. last Saturday, Oct. 23, a worker died in an underground cave-in at the Ken Snyder Mine northeast of Golconda in northeastern Nevada. The gold and silver operation is operated by Midas Joint Venture.
State officials noted that an average of three mine workers die in an average year. A collapse at the Turquoise Ridge Mine near Golconda killed two in a cave-in Oct. 12.
On October 10, the Las Vegas Sun published a story by reporter Launce Rake that safety laws are being ignored, inspectors are lacking and recent deaths have been avoidable.
"In 1997, the last year for which complete records are available, Nevada construction workers were 30 percent more likely to be injured than the national average, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics," the Sun reported.
"More than 10,000 construction workers in Nevada were injured on the job in 1997. Fatal falls, broken backs and lost limbs are among the accidents that workers' advocates argue wouldn't happen if construction companies in Nevada paid more attention to safety. Too often, the critics say, the price of building homes and businesses to serve a population growing by 60,000 a year has been paid in blood," wrote Sun reporter Rake.
"Workers say that the true picture is actually worse -- that the number of injuries is far higher because perhaps 50 percent of construction-related accidents are never reported...
"On one issue the unions and contractors agree: out-of-state and fly-by-night contractors are flocking to the Las Vegas area, and they usually have the worst safety records...
"Union organizers, however, say the (Nevada State) contractors' board is much too cozy with the industry it is supposed to regulate. It could pull the licenses of companies that have significant safety violations, but that rarely, if ever, happens..." the Sun reported.
Unions in all parts of the state are increasing pressure to get existing laws enforced and to have lawbreaking contractors punished, but the oldest rule of all still applies.
From payment of proper wages, to health and safety on the job and insurance for needed bodywork if injured, in every aspect, Nevada workers still must proceed with the knowledge that they largely labor at their own risk.
Littler people have even less protection, if any at all. Thousands of abandoned mines pockmark Nevada like tracks of an old smallpox epidemic.
Rouged and red-skirted Nevada has always made her living in what are politely called the extractive industries.
Strip mines continue to rape her landscape, export profits to foreign countries, leave the soil barren, foul and full of old holes " one of which claimed the life of 11 year-old Michelle Davies near Beatty on October 1.
The mining industry disclaims any responsibility for yesterday's depredations. The argument sounds eerily similar to that of modern, upscale racists: We didn't own slaves. Since we didn't create the problem, don't expect us to lift a finger if we just happen to live in a society still suffused with the poisons of perpetrators past.
It's not our fault.
It's nobody's fault. The hole is dug and filled with toxics. Whoever dug the hole is long gone.
The trap remains set, patiently waiting for the next victim of old wrongs never righted, costs never covered, precautions never taken.
Be well. Raise hell.
Date: Monday, October 25, 1999 at 09:58:59
TEAMSTERS STRIKE AGAINST UNION PACIFIC'S OVERNIGHT TRUCKING OPERATION WILL PROBABLY SPREAD TO NEVADA
Reno City Council reviewing leaseback strategy to build new civic center, an end run around prevailing wage laws.
RENO - Anyone hanging around the Teamsters 533 union hall in Reno knows that all has been in readiness for quite some time in case a nationwide strike against Overnight Transportation became a reality. It all started to happen Sunday, starting in Memphis, Tenn., and quickly spreading throughout the day. Any affected Teamsters who haven't checked in should call (775) 348-6060 for information. Everyone should be prepared for picket duty.
Elsewhere in the Biggest Little City in the World, on Tuesday, Oct. 26, starting at 12 noon, the Reno City Council will get an update on a proposed new civic center. The city apparently lacks the financial capacity to build it and is seriously considering having it privately constructed. This technique has been frequently used by the University and Community College System of Nevada to avoid the Nevada Prevailing Wage Law and facilitate construction by importation of cheap, out-of-state labor.
The Reno Gazette-Journal reported on Sunday that Reno City Manager Charles McNeely has once again been conducting barely legal secret meetings with council members about the civic center plan. In those sessions, McNeely suggested imposing a property tax hike after the 2000 general election. This was the same method used to raise sales taxes to pay for Union Pacific's railroad trench. (See Casinos Out of Politics and the fight on Senate Bill 255 elsewhere at this website. You will also find a host of Union Pacific issues from the last several years throughout NevadaLabor.com, especially at the Barbwire archive. Use the search engine.)
The civic center idea has been a longtime dream of major downtown Reno casino moguls. More than six years ago, they expressed their view that government buildings would be the best use for downtown Reno's greatest asset, the Truckee River. This is both a very cheap and quite convenient way to keep a major hotel-casino competitor from using the river as the centerpiece of a new world class theme resort.
Newly elevated Sparks City Manager Shaun Carey called leasing an "obvious strategy" for the oft-discussed new Sparks city hall. The Nevada labor commissioner ruled long after the project was completed that the downtown Sparks Syufy 14-plex theater should have been a prevailing wage job. An anti-labor Sparks government disagreed despite firsthand knowledge of the city's subsidizing of the project, triggering the law. Syufy went on to burn the city for $1,035,000 in good faith money which was supposed to guarantee timely and effective completion of redevelopment projects. The Building and Construction Trades Council of Northern Nevada maintained pickets at the Syufy site for almost a year. (See the Labor Commentary and Barbwire archives elsewhere at this site.)
Finally, the long-threatened strike by Operating Engineers Local 3 at the giant Newmont Gold open pit mine in Carlin has finally been avoided. A federal mediator brought the two sides to agreement and the membership ratified a new contract late last week.
About 600 of the 1,037 mine workers are members of Local 3. The Carlin mine was Nevada's top gold producer in 1998, processing 1.58 million ounces.
For updates on the Overnite Transportation strike, watch this bull'board for Nevada news or go to the Teamsters website for national updates.
Be well. Raise hell.
Date: Wednesday, October 20, 1999 at 04:35:38
WELCOME TO THE NEW U-NEWS BULL'BOARD.
Frequent visits to this space will give you early access to the latest word about who's doing what, with which and to whom.
Stay tuned. More soon.
Be well. Raise hell.
Andrew Barbano, Editor
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