Friday, September 26, 2008

SLAP speaks out for Temple Proffesors and AFSCME 1723

Over the years, SLAP has stood up for the Temple professors union, TAUP, at contract time. As the professors near the end of their contract, SLAP activists have already let their solidarity be known in this weeks Temple News...

After months of negotiating, the university’s 1,250-member faculty union, the Temple Association of University Professionals, and the administration have yet to reach an agreement regarding faculty contracts that are due to expire Oct. 15....

“I think it’s appalling that the university is shooting down everything TAUP’s asked for,” said Wes Weaver, president of Temple’s Student Labor Action Project. “The university is going down a bad path. They’re promoting an unhealthy working environment.

“It’s important to students that faculty be treated fairly and with the respect they deserve because it’s directly linked to their performance as educators,” said Weaver, a junior geography and urban studies major. “If not, students aren’t getting what they’re paying for.”

Although SLAP has not yet taken an official stance on this issue, if TAUP needs its support, Weaver said his organization will definitely give it to the association.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

JwJ Update Sept. 25, 2008

Yesterday AlliedBarton management distributed a memo to their 130 security guards at the Philadelphia Museum of Art stating that officers with at least one year of full-time service at the property are eligible for between 1 and 3 days of paid sick leave. This benefit is effective immediately and includes workers whose anniversary date of hire was July 1, 2007. This benefit is the latest victory for the POWR campaign, an innovative effort to win work place benefits for security guards which brings together workers, labor unions, congregations and students. This will provide 2,000-3,000 hours for workers to attend to their physical, mental and spiritual health and adds up to $8,000-$12,000 in wages and replacement wages to guards and communities across our city.

Though this is great first step, we must continue to push the Philadelphia Museum of Art to strive to reach the level expressed in the Philadelphia Living Wage Ordinance. Additionally, dozens of other guards on the property, guards that work for other companys but are doing the same jobs as AlliedBarton guards, continue to work with out any paid sick days. Please send a letter from our online action site encouraging the museum leaders to schedule further improvements.


The POWR campaign started at the University of Pennsylvania. To date, this is the only site where we have won Prevailing Wages for some of the guards. We have a new SLAP chapter at Penn and they are committed to winning this campaign for all of the guards on campus. Merideth McBride has been writing about this effort at Penn since 2007. Today she has an interesting column on the up coming acquisition of AlliedBarton by Blackstone.

AlliedBarton security officers have been fighting for better working conditions and a union for years, and it's been a struggle as the company's upper management has consistently refused to talk with guards. But after The Blackstone Group recently bought AlliedBarton, the company that provides Penn's security services, officers are cautiously optimistic. Blackstone has historically been more supportive of workers' rights than AlliedBarton's former owners, so this just might prove to be a pivotal moment in the campaign.


JwJ volunteer Miguel Williams appears in an article about the Committee of Seventy in this weeks Philadelphia Weekly.

Seventy Heaven

A local nonpartisan organization takes Philly politics to a higher level.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Will violence increase as the Recession deepens?

Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG. The collapse of these firms will tighten credit further and tighter credit will mean further slow down in the housing market and the credit market in general (banks and credit companies will increase their rates and people will borrow less). This, of course means fewer skilled jobs and blue-collar jobs, which, in turn will disproportionately effect Philadelphia neighborhoods. James Thindwahl examines the connection between unemployment and violence in a piece in "In These Times" this week...

When Anthony Haydin woke up on June 30, he did not imagine his street would be the scene of one of Chicago’s most deadly shootings. Three people had been shot in an apartment right across the street from his. Police said the victims had been murdered in a “gang-and-drug related shooting.”