The Motown Story

March 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS The history of Motown is an American success story, a musical trajectory of glammed-up girl groups, silky harmonies and smooth dance moves crafted in Detroit at a tiny music studio called Hitsville, USA. The music captured the hearts of America’s youth at a time of unparalleled social upheaval. “The Motown Story,” a play written, directed and acted by union members, plots the record label’s course in a return finale production Feb. 28 to close DC 37’s Black History Month celebration. “These songs are the soundtrack of our lives,” said Associate Director Oliver Gray. “They tell our stories and are such a huge part of our lives.” Motown’s chart-topping tunes of first loves and loves lost gave solace to a nation grappling with civil rights, equality, and the Vietnam War. “The beauty of Motown,” Gray added, “is the music broke down barriers and [More...]

Building Stronger Unions, Building Stronger Communities

December 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

By GREGORY N. HEIRES The decline of unions since the 1970s accounts for about a third of the growth in inequality in the United States — a gap that now mirrors the sharp economic divide of the Great Depression, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute. During this period, wages of working families have largely stagnated as virtually all of production gains have gone to the wealthy and corporations. This reality points to an important truth: When unions are strong, all working families — not merely union households — are generally better off. The positive impact of unions on our society is explored in “Strong Unions, Stronger Communities,” a recent report issued by DC 37’s parent union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). “The strength of labor unions is critical to fixing the rigged economy and political system by [More...]

Why Unions Matter for Everybody

July 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

By ELAINE BERNARD The decline in strength, density and influence of the labor movement must be a concern for all of us — whether we are union members or not. It has led to stagnating and declining wages and benefits of workers, undermining the entire community. So let’s look a little closer at what unions do, for members, for employers and for the entire community. When union workers talk about the benefit of their union, they think of a wide variety of rights, services and benefits that the union offers: job security, salary protection, paid vacation, the promotion of consistent and fair treatment; a voice in scheduling; recognition and a premium for overtime; a say in hiring and promotion; a united voice in dealing with the employer; an impartial process for resolving complaints; protection against unfair treatment; a role in setting and enforcing occupation health and safety [More...]