Laney College

Community and Labor Studies Alumni

Community and Labor Studies Alumni

They went that-a-way!

bikeagainstoddsAre you a Laney alum of our Labor Studies Program?  Tell us what is going on with you professionally.

Alan Hollie rode in the Bike Against the Odds this Summer to help raise finds to fight cancer. Visit the web page of Alan’s union, ATU Local 1555.

SUMMER 2006: Union members and Laney students train for public service on boards and commissions at the Alameda County Labor Council & Laney College Labor & Politics class. So far three students have already secured appointments.politicsclass

Students in Saturday Safety Class earn their WOSH Specialist Certificate.

William OBrien Elected Vice President of the Pacific Coast Marine Firemen, Oilers, Watertenders and Wipers 7obrienAssociation which is affiliated with the Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO.

Born in Queens, New York, William OBrien shipped out of the Marine Firemen’s Union Brooklyn Hall in 1973, serving as a Wiper aboard the SS Rice Queen, a jumboized T-2 tanker operated by Bulk Foods.  He has since sailed as Unlicensed Junior Engineer, Refrigeration Engineer and Chief Electrician, and has worked as a Shore Maintenance Mechanic and Refrigeration Training Instructor.  William was elected to the office of Wilmington Port Agent in 2003, and Vice President in 2005.  He has earned several Certificates in Labor Studies form Laney College in Oakland, California and from Los Angeles Trade and Technical College.  He is a delegate to the San Francisco Labor Council, Central Labor Council of Alameda County, and the San Francisco Bay Area Ports Council-Maritime Trades Department.  Visit the web page of Bill’s union, the Marine Firemen.

Stephen White Puts Knowlage to Work After Relocation to East Coast

A graduate of our Labor Studies program in the mid-90s, Stephen White was an officer of CWA Local 9415 in Oakland elected to represent his fellow workers at Cable Oakland.  He later moved to the Washington DC area and started working for the local cable TV company in Montgomery County, MD.  Later Comcast bought the company and started hasseling union supporters.


Stephen White, pictured above to the left was spotlighted at the 2004 Democratic National Convention as a victim of growing corporate abuses against workers, won reinstatement to his job at Comcast Corp.

White had been fired in March from his Comcast job in Montgomery County, Md., for trying to organize a union. In a settlement reached with the National Labor Relations Board that settled outstanding unfair labor practice charges, White regained his job plus back pay of more than $22,000.

The Communications Workers of America filed charges on behalf of White and other Comcast workers who have been fired or otherwise punished for exercising their legal right to union representation, and has challenged the company for other anti-union tactics. CWA has been working with Comcast employees nationwide who want a union voice but have been thwarted by the company’s continuing attack on worker rights.

The Maryland cable workers had the strong support of two members of the Montgomery County, Md. Council, who wrote to Comcast executive Ralph Roberts last year and called on the company to recognize the workers’ right to organize. Those council members were subpoenaed by Comcast attorneys, who demanded all documents related to the fight for union rights at Comcast. Council members Tom Perez and George L. Leventhal accused the company of intimidation and pledged to fight the subpoenas and the company’s tactics. Comcast attorneys also subpoenaed AFL-CIO officials and members of Jobs with Justice, a coalition of labor and community groups that fights for economic justice. The settlement, agreed to by CWA, cancels the Aug. 30 hearing before an NLRB administrative law judge.

The settlement order also requires Comcast to post a notice of the settlement, declaring that: “We will not issue written warnings or lower evaluation scores to you for engaging in union activities; We will not fire Stephen White because he engaged in activities on behalf of the Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, and we will not fire any of our other employees for engaging in activities on behalf of the union,” among other conditions.

Last October, arbitrators ordered that two Comcast workers in Pittsburgh be reinstated to their jobs, with seniority and back pay, determining that Comcast wrongly fired them. Comcast workers in Pittsburgh again affirmed in June that they are determined to keep their CWA representation and gain a fair contract.