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Essential Pittsburgh: USW Stands With Duquesne Adjuncts for Collective Bargaining Power

Duquesne University claims its religious affiliation exempts it from federal law regarding collective bargaining among its adjuncts.

In a three-day hearing last week, the United Steelworkers made its case for adjunct professors who work at Duquesne University to collectively bargain with the school for better wages and working conditions. In 2012, a majority of adjunct professors at the university's McAnulty College of Liberal Arts voted to be represented by the Adjunct Faculty Association of the USW. But Duquesne has refused to recognize the AFA-USW, contending that its religious affiliation provides it with an exemption from federal law regarding collective bargaining. We'll talk with Dan Kovalik, the union's lead lawyer in the case and Clint Benjamin, an adjunct English instructor at Duquesne and CCAC.   

"The Catholic church is very clear that they respect the rights of working people to organize, and that is an unconditional right. Charles Douherty and Duquesne cannot answer that concern. They have no basis under their own Catholic faith that they claim to follow for objecting to unionization." - Dan Kovalik

Also on today's program, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, and Elaine Labalme has summer theater haunts. 

Lusitania Sinking Centennial

On May 7, 1915, a German U-boat sank the RMS Lusitania, a British passenger ship. Germany was at war with England but the U.S. had not yet entered what would eventually be known as World War I. Of the 1,198 who died, 128 were Americans, many with Pittsburgh connections. Post-Gazette reporter Len Barcousky recently recounted the tragedy in a 100th anniversary piece. He joins us to talk about how the horror of the event hit southwestern Pennsylvania.  

Summer Theater

For theatergoers, one of the joys of the upcoming summer season will be seeing plays performed on the straw hat circuit. From old time musicals to a bit of the Bard there’s no shortage of theaters where people will be treading the boards. Travel contributor Elaine Labalme joins us this week with summer theater recommendations.

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