BSEIU & Hopkins

BSEIU & Hopkins


ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes



Blacks, Unions, & Organizing in the South, 1956-1996


Compiled by Rudolph Lewis



BSEIU & Hopkins

Union Study Offer Made to Hospital

AFL-CIO Organizer Submits Plan to Hopkins Director

By Frank P.L. Somerville

The Sun  (September 22, 1959)


The AFL-CIO yesterday proposed that any one of six mediators be allowed to judge whether a union seeking recognition by the Johns Hopkins Hospital has the backing of a majority of the employees in question.

Oliver W. Singleton, AFL-CIO Region 4 director, made the proposals in reply to objections by the hospital that the group seeking recognition did not represent a majority of some 1,000 nonprofessionals.

No NLRB Jurisdiction. Acknowledging that the National Labor Relations Board has no jurisdiction in disputes involving hospital workers, Mr. Singleton urged the Hopkins management to throw the question open to:

1. A proper agency of the State of Maryland.

2. An agent or agency of the mayor of Baltimore.

3. Any five clergymen.

4. A tripartite board made up of hospital directors, union representatives and impartial members.

5. A panel of three selected court judges.

6. Any single citizen acceptable to both parties.

Study Is Promised. Dr. Russell A. Nelson, director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, said yesterday after receipt of Mr. Singleton’s letter that “we will give his suggestions full and serious considerations.’

A previous exchange of correspondence was made public Saturday in which the AFL-CIO regional director asked the Hopkins to recognize Hospital Employees Local 491, while the hospital refused on the basis that the collective bargaining agent did not represent the majority it claimed.

Mr. Singleton wrote Dr. Nelson yesterday that “three points stand out” in the reasoning behind the hospital’s refusal to deal with the union.

According to the union official, they are:

1. “Your improper refusal to recognize the collective bargaining rights of your lower paid workers, despite the fact that hospitals have historically and traditionally recognized the right of group association by nurses and doctors and other higher-paid professional workers.”

2. “Your seeming shock that your employees may have joined an organization . . . empowered to question decisions that might affect working conditions. . . .”

Mr. Singleton said he believed that this point “will prove to be a passing thing” because “in a democratic society we all learn that there is no such thing as unquestioned authority” and that “workers in fact have the right to question management’s unilateral decisions.”

Joining Right Noted. “Your statement that you do not believe that a majority of the employees specified . . . have joined or desire to join the . . . union.”

Quoting Dr. Nelson as saying that “we recognize the right of our employees to join unions,” Mr. Singleton declared:

“Of course, such recognition in all reasonableness demands recognition of the attendant right of collective bargaining, otherwise it is completely incongruous.”

The union spokesman then made his proposal that “the matter be solved in the same way the national Labor relations Board settles questions of representation” but with the substitution of any of the mentioned third parties for the NLRB.

Strike Seen “Unlikely.” “We accept our responsibilities to the community and with sincere respect urge you to realize that your position violates the basic rights of a free people and could generate disharmony, inimitable to the public welfare,” Mr. Singleton wrote Dr. Nelson.

As to the possibility of a strike at the medical institution, the union official said yesterday: “A strike is possible, of course, but I believe highly unlikely.”

He then went on to say that strike could “only come about through the continued and persistent refusal” by the hospital to recognize the union.

Opposes “Pressures.” In addition to stating his belief that the petitioning union did not represent a majority of the hospital employees concerned, the Hopkins director had written Mr. Singleton that dealing with a collective bargaining agent “would be incompatible with the sole purpose of our existence and inimitable to those we serve.”

“Our service to the public has been developed in an atmosphere in which the board of trustees and the hospital administration have been free to pursue our objectives without the pressures exerted by organized groups contending for their own economic benefit,” the hospital director had argued.

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The Price of Civilization

Reawakening American Virtue and Prosperity

By Jeffrey D. Sachs

The Price of Civilization is a book that is essential reading for every American. In a forceful, impassioned, and personal voice, he offers not only a searing and incisive diagnosis of our country’s economic ills but also an urgent call for Americans to restore the virtues of fairness, honesty, and foresight as the foundations of national prosperity. Sachs finds that both political parties—and many leading economists—have missed the big picture, offering shortsighted solutions such as stimulus spending or tax cuts to address complex economic problems that require deeper solutions. Sachs argues that we have profoundly underestimated globalization’s long-term effects on our country, which create deep and largely unmet challenges with regard to jobs, incomes, poverty, and the environment. America’s single biggest economic failure, Sachs argues, is its inability to come to grips with the new global economic realities. Sachs describes a political system that has lost its ethical moorings, in which ever-rising campaign contributions and lobbying outlays overpower the voice of the citizenry. . . . Sachs offers a plan to turn the crisis around. He argues persuasively that the problem is not America’s abiding values, which remain generous and pragmatic, but the ease with which political spin and consumerism run circles around those values. He bids the reader to reclaim the virtues of good citizenship and mindfulness toward the economy and one another.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label ‘trafficked’ does not accurately describe migrants’ lives and that the ‘rescue industry’ serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. “Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality.”—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 24 July 2008 




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