This month’s Council meeting is tonight at 6:30p at the AFL-CIO. Latest local labor updates, including the upcoming 40th Evening with Labor (deadline for program book ads is March 1!), plus get your brand-new 2017 DC LaborFest soccer scarf! $35 cash or order online here and pick it up tonight at the meeting. Note: Minutes for the 2016 Metro Washington Labor Council’s meetings -- both Executive Board and Delegate -- have been posted online.
Teachers at Paul Public Charter School, one of the oldest charters in Washington, D.C., last week publicly announced their intent to unionize—a first for charter schoolteachers in the nation’s capital. The American Prospect reports that the Paul educators are forming their own local—the District of Columbia Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff – or DC ACTS -- which will be affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. Seventy-five percent of Paul’s teaching staff have signed a petition in support of joining DC ACTS, and asked administrators to voluntarily recognize their union. “All teachers should have a union,” Elizabeth Davis, president of the Washington Teachers Union, told Union City. “Teachers’ unions are the leading advocates for ensuring that classroom teachers have a stronger voice in decisions and policies impacting our schools. The Washington Teachers’ Union has always been interested in helping support charter school organizing and will continue to do so in any way we can." photo from Paul Charter School website
“And in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”
Legendary labor leader and socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs becomes charter member and secretary of the Vigo Lodge, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. Five years later he is leading the national union and in 1893 helps found the nation’s first industrial union, the American Railway Union - 1875
Birth of John Steinbeck in Salinas, Calif. Steinbeck is best known for writing "The Grapes of Wrath," which exposed the mistreatment of migrant farm workers during the Depression and led to some reforms - 1902
Thirty-eight miners die in a coal mine explosion in Boissevain, Va. - 1932
Four hundred fifty Woolworth’s workers and customers occupy store for eight days in support of Waiters and Waitresses Union, Detroit - 1937
The Supreme Court rules that sit-down strikes, a major organizing tool for industrial unions, are illegal - 1939
Mine disaster kills 75 at Red Lodge, Mont. - 1943
Compiled/edited by Union Communication Services
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