The Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize

The New York Labor History Association is pleased to announce this Call for Entries for the First Annual Debra E. Bernhardt Labor Journalism Prize. The deadline for entries is Tuesday September 1, 2015. The Bernhardt Prize is an award of $500 given to an article or series of articles that furthers the understanding of the history of working people. The work should be published – in print or online – in a union or workers’ center publication or by an independent journalist. By sponsoring this award we hope to inspire more great writing for a general audience about the history of work, workers, and their organizations. The award is co-sponsored by LaborArts; Metro New York Labor Communications Council; the NYC Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO; and the Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at NYU’s Tamiment Library.

For more information please use the link below.


Andrew Cuomo is busting unions for the holidays

Cuomo, Governor of New York, laughs during a news conference to announce details of newly renovated Madison Square Garden in New York

Daily Kos, cross-posted from The Albany Project.

What are you doing for the holidays this year? Maybe baking some cookies or trimming a tree? Maybe you’re frying up some delicious latkes and sufganiyot. What’s New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo doing for the holidays this year? He’s busting a union that endorsed his primary challenger. Merry Christmas, suckers!

In a move that has sent shock waves through the state’s unionized workforce, the Cuomo administration on Monday sent notices to about 1,000 members of the Public Employees Federation telling them the state is seeking to reclassify the recipients as non-union workers.

Head below the fold to learn more about his holiday plans.

That’s one way to lessen the influence of a union that has been less than supportive of your anti-worker ways, I guess. You just wish 1,000 or so of them away. Workers were shocked to discover that the notices they were sent from the Cuomo administration weren’t holiday cards.

Employees who were handed the notices were asked to sign them on the spot to acknowledge that they received them, although not everyone complied.”We were just handed this,” one union member said of the notices.

That’s pretty Scrooge-y, no?Cuomo and the PEF have been at odds over reclassification since last year, with the governor trying to reclassify hundreds of other workers out of the union. But this latest maneuver is unusually large and rather transparently punitive. Attempting to reclassify roughly a thousand workers all in one stroke of Cuomo’s union busting pen is pretty bold, even for Cuomo.

PEF isn’t taking this lying down, however. They plan to fight.

PEF officials later in the day emailed members saying they will resist the attempt to pull the workers out of the union.”Be assured we will be fighting this,” union President Susan Kent told members in an email.

We all know that nobody can carry a grudge like Andrew Cuomo. And it’s really hard not to see this move as straight up retaliation for PEF’s very vocal endorsement of Zephyr Teachout in the Democratic primary. PEF isn’t a fan of the governor for what should be obvious reasons. And Andrew Cuomo pretty obviously is using his office to bloody a union that he perceives as insufficiently supportive.Happy Holidays from Andrew Cuomo.