Loose Lips

AFL-CIO Labor Council Backs Bowser

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Democratic mayoral hopeful Muriel Bowser's campaign got a boost from labor this morning, receiving the endorsement of the District's AFL-CIO union coalition in front of the national union's 16th Street NW headquarters.

The Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO's divided membership couldn't agree on a candidate in the primary, but its executive board decided last week to endorse Bowser, according to the council's president, Joslyn Williams. Some members of the 27-member executive board abstained from the vote until their individual unions have finished making their own endorsements.

Williams said the unions made their decision based on Bowser's support for labor issues, including wage-theft enforcement and government workers' right to unionize.

Bowser is about to prove her labor bona fides in a more practical way, too. With hotel union boss John Boardman at her side, Bowser said she plans to spend some time cleaning hotel rooms to experience the life of a maid at the new Marriott Marquis hotel.

Like her recent birthday party/fundraiser, Bowser leaned on her Democratic nomination in her speech. After listing a long list of what she would bring to the mayor's office, Bowser promised that it would "only happen it we put a Democrat into office," earning her the biggest cheer of the event.

Bowser makes an unlikely pick for the labor coalition, considering her vote against 2013's Large Retailer Accountability Act, which would have raised the hourly wage at large retailers—read: Walmart—to $12.50 an hour. (Bowser rival David Catania voted against it too, while hopeful Carol Schwartz wasn't on the D.C. Council.) Williams, once so fiery on the bill and what voting against it would mean for District office seekers' chances, says he's softened since both Catania and Bowser voted in favor of a citywide $11.50 minimum wage.

"The minimum wage was their salvation," Williams says.

Photo by Will Sommer

  • Adam 12

    How many of these union members live and vote in the District of Columbia?

  • dcgovcorruption

    Oh, about 30 % of them. Josh endorsed mayor gray in the primary. Never seen any of the folks in the picture at the candidate forums or neighborhood walks.

  • peter rosenstein

    This is a strong endorsement for Bowser. Catania voted against sick leave for workers and wouldn't sign the recent letter to Baker M.C. asking them to talk to and negotiate with workers when the entire rest of the Council signed it. Those actions remind people that Catania is basically a Republican and not for workers.

    Unions aren't as strong as they once were but they have a presence in DC that can make a difference in elections if they are motivated and I think this time around they will be.

  • White Guy

    @peter rosenstein

    Please just shut up, period, once and for all, just shut up.
    You have no credibility. You are of no help to Muriel Bowser or anyone else. You are a pathetically bad joke.

    I thought they were still printing your drivel in the Blade. Please confine yourself there where you and the other person who still reads the Blade can bore each other to death. WCP does not need or want your opinion.

  • Talk about stunts…

    "Bowser said she plans to spend some time cleaning hotel rooms to experience the life of a maid at the new Marriott Marquis hotel."

  • justsayin

    When she's done cleaning rooms she should retire for a night of discomfort in a unit at Park Southern.

  • Mark

    Peter is right.

  • Marvin E. Adams

    "Bowser said she plans to spend time cleaning hotel rooms to experience the life of a maid at the new Marriot Hotel."

    Here's my take. Succinctly, 1)disingenuous; 2)disgusting; 3)pandering. And those are just a few of the printable words which readily come to mind.

    Did someone say photo-op?, or perhaps Rep. Paul Ryan. Whose running this campaign? I have a better suggestion for CM Bowser. Here's the memo: Instead of insulting service workers who actually do work, try working assiduously at your R-E-A-L job. Having done so would make this attempt at seeming human, or at least having compassion for those less fortunate U-N-N-E-S-S-A-R-Y!!!!!!

  • REALDC

    So what?

    How relevant is Labor in DC? LOL, they are NOT!! What a wasted endorsement of Democrat Idiot!!

    She is lousy on EVERY level and when she loses, it will be time to cleanse the DC Democrat party...FOR REAL!!

    "LABOR FOR A DUMMY!"...SMH

  • Buzy Bee

    No what she needs to do is take her happy go lucky azz to DC General to sleep, ride the bike work, and eat off the EBT card for month to get the real effect of the city.

  • lost cause

    Bowser will play the part of the maid and then go back to her uppity ways and frowning her nose down on us little people.

  • Typical DC BS

    Guess Donald Trump and his daughter weren't available for another photo op with Bowser? The AFL-CIO - which stands for NOTHING but grabbing more money for it's rulers and it's own union-backed socialist agenda?

  • justsayin

    The Trumps might not have been available, but count on the photo ops that will be created when Bowser (someone who doesn't even relate to her own neighbors here in Ward 4) experiences how the other half lives. She can't be bothered with oversight responsibilites in her own committee to address serious deficiencies at Park Southern, but she will pander for votes.

  • DCShadyBoots

    Chile boo...Mayor Gray led in endorsements AND cash!

    And endorsement from the AFL-CIO, AFGE, ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ, won't make Bowser any smarter or improve on her empty record the last 6 year on the DC Council.

  • Andrea Rosen

    If the AFL-CIO had any backbone, it would have endorsed Carol Schwartz, who has more labor bona fides than either of the two stick figures the media has crowned as contenders.

  • freshly bathed cat

    On 10/17/12 Loose Lips wrote: http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/looselips...

    "Catania sounds more annoyed than a freshly bathed cat when discussing the nexus, or lack thereof, of his two gigs. (He indicates he thinks it’s impossible for LL to write this article without implying that Catania is in some way corrupt.) ... Even so, Catania’s employment at M.C. Dean still looks iffy. Should D.C. really have a system where councilmembers vote on bills that affect how their employers, their employers’ partners, and their employers’ competitors do business here?"

    "Two years ago, after Dean rented his company’s trucks and crews to Jim Graham to put up campaign signs, he told the Washington Post: “In Washington, it’s important that businesses stay involved, and one of the ways that you’ve gotta stay involved is that you have to be active in contributing to people that you can occasionally count on for support.”

    "Dean has helped finance ads against former Councilmember Carol Schwartz (largely because she supported mandatory paid leave), leased office space to Councilmember Michael Brown’s 2008 campaign at a rock-bottom rate, and funded a nonprofit that has pushed back against union-friendly changes to city construction laws."

  • loves money, hates union

    On 11/2/11 Mike DeBonis Reporting on David Catania's new $240,000 a year job noted:

    Wednesday, incidentally, was not a great day for Catania in his day job. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors rejected a franchise agreement with OpenBand following complaints from some county residents about subpar service. “The story isn’t over,” Catania said, noting that the company might resubmit its application or pursue legal challenges. He also noted that next Tuesday’s elections might well result in a new set of supervisors.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/mike-debonis/p...

    So we have a DC Council Member earning 120k to 240k on top of his City Council Salary of $120K to $125K a year to be involved in some amount of work in Loudon County?

  • DCShadyBoots

    I see Sybil is still being her crazy self commenting under different monikers. This girl needz MEDS BAD!

  • citydude

    AFL-CIO or any other Union should not be front and center handing money and helping hands because it is complete conflict of interest. She signs their contract when City negotiates with these Unions. If I was a candidate I will totally not be a slave a rich company who gives lot of money or Unions that gives lot of workers.
    Total conflict of interest and should be ILLEGAL!!!!

  • Concerned DCer

    Just curious....does Joslyn Williams hire and fire staff? Wonder if his staff is represented by a union. He's a real tribune of the working man!

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