There’s nothing like a trash strike to keep the holiday pileup intact. In Howard County, some 20,000 residents are being forced to keep the rubbish around a little longer. That’s because employees of one of the county’s five major collectors stopped picking up over a contract dispute.
According to Micaadjuncts.org — and a friend of mine on Facebook — adjunct professors at Maryland Institute College of Art voted in favor of forming a union yesterday, making them the first at a four-year institution in the state to do so.
The petition to unionize was filed on March 7 by the Service Employees Internation Union. On March 19, MICA president Fred Lazarus sent a memo around to “members of the MICA community” warning adjuncts that the decision to unionize “is a critical decision that will impact the entire College” and that the “busiest [period] of the year” is the wrong time to decide. He advised adjuncts to “vote against unionization at this time” and bring it back up next year. (I can only he assume he gave a big wink after writing that.)
Today fast-food workers across the country are going on strike to protest low wages and push for a wage boost from $7.25 to $15 an hour. Organizers have promised walk-outs in as many as 50 cities, but it’s unclear whether Baltimore will be one of them.
It’s possible that even if workers are striking in Baltimore you won’t have any trouble acquiring all the Whoppers, Baconators, and McWhatNots you desire. Organizers announced general plans for the protest well in advance, so managers may have adjusted their staff accordingly.
You might think in 2013, employers know better than to threaten workers for attempting to unionize, but according to a recent federal complaint issued by the National Labor Relations Board, they haven’t. At least not Creative Food Group BWI. The BWI airport concessionaire has allegedly interrogated and threatened employees over their union activity. And now the feds are going to prosecute.
For me, at 23, having a kid is a distant (and somewhat daunting) prospect, so maybe I’m in the minority when I say it seems strange how some expectant moms are now shopping around for a fancy hospital room like other people shop fine cars. I guess when you’ve been carrying a parasitic joy bundle for nine months, you’re swollen, nauseated, and moody; you want to experience the utmost comfort possible while squeezing a watermelon out of something the size of…a lemon? In fact, when I stop to think of it in these (no doubt slightly inaccurate) terms, the cushy quarters sound downright essential.
If you’re expecting, by all means, expect a little more: several Baltimore-area hospitals are competing to provide maximum comfort for nearly-there moms.
The Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson sports flat screen televisions, hardwood floors, lighting and wallpaper that scream serenity. You can read Julie McAllister’s Baltimore Sun testimony on GBMC here. GBMC also offers private rooms and sleep sofas for any spouse wanting to spend the night, as does Sinai Hospital. Sinai also offers wireless Internet for those new dads who need to Google how to change a diaper. Mercy Medical has tubs for women craving a relaxing bubble bath water birth.
Saint Joseph’s Medical Center updated its maternity ward six months ago with freshly painted walls, rocking chairs, sleep sofas, and nourishing steak dinners, yum! In April, Johns Hopkins’ maternity area will move to the new Sheikh Zayed Tower, complete with 10 new rooms, room service, and interactive televisions. Karin J. Blakemore, Director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Hopkins, told the Sun that they basically treat new moms like “goddesses on a pedestal.”
Now that I know my luxury options, I’m no closer to being ready for pregnancy. But for any of you moms-to-be, I say shop around. There are clearly some amazing accommodations at these hospitals and they’re making these improvements for hard-working you. So get your money’s worth, because soon you’ll have a watermelon in your arms most every waking hour, one that howls at the moon, from what I understand, and requires lots of feeding and changing, not that that isn’t a beautiful thing.