UFCW Local 400 shop stewards in West Virginia took a break from their meetings last week to show support for striking teachers and school support staff in West Virginia.
“The truth has always been dangerous to the rule of the rogue, the exploiter, the robber. So the truth must be suppressed.”
Click here to check out this week's Labor History Today podcast, featuring labor historian Joe McCartin, former AFSCME Council 26 Executive Director Carl Goldman and CWA researcher Debbie Goldman, hosted by Chris Garlock, with music from the film "Soundtrack for a Revolution," screening 2/27 at the Shirlington DC LaborFest Bread and Roses series. Available now on iTunes, Stitcher and Overcast; search for Union City Radio!
Legendary labor leader and socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs (right) 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
“Agency fees,” paid by non-union public workers whom unions represent in many states, hit the U.S. Supreme Court on Feb. 26. But what was really at stake was the future of the union movement. “You’re basically arguing, ‘Do away with unions,’” Justice Sonia Sotomayor told the attorney for the union foes who brought the case, William Messenger of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Fund. As the justices heard the case inside the court’s white-marbled hall, unionists made themselves heard outside. More than 1,000 demonstrated for worker rights on the plaza outside the building. And they drew support from pro-choice, civil rights and community allies. A much smaller group supported the right to work crowd. The case is the most important labor case to hit the High Court in decades, said attorneys for both the union and the state of Illinois, whose law lets AFSCME collect the agency fees from the non-members.