“I put in a job and then/Move it on down the line, I put in a job and then/Move it on down the line.” So sings Michael Peterson, an elevator engineer from Florida who performs under the name “Spudwrench.” Peterson has released a few union-themed songs, including the “Elevator Constructor Anthem,” “Scabbed In The Back” and “Down The Line,” which includes the lyrics above. Peterson was a guest on the July 19 "Your Rights At Work," after host Chris Garlock spotted a mention of Spudwrench on Elevator Constructors Local 10's website. "I work out of Local 124 (in Alabama) and with some of the best people," Peterson told Union City."These guys are not only my co-workers but my family." A spud wrench is a wrench with an adjustable or standard box wrench on one end and a tapered spike on the other. "I always thought that would make a cool band name," Peterson says.
At the signing of the Medicare Act (see Labor History, below)
“No longer will this Nation refuse the hand of justice to those who have given a lifetime of service and wisdom and labor to the progress of this progressive country.”
Click here to check out this week'sLabor History Today podcast. On this week's show: labor historian Joe McCartin connects the Hatch Act, which passed in 1939, and which restricts federal workers’ political activities, with president Trump’s recent Executive Orders attacking the unions protecting federal worker rights on the job; Saul Schniderman remembers Florence Reese, who wrote the labor anthem “Which Side Are You On?”; labor and community organizer Stephen Lerner – who got his start organizing with the United Farm Workers, talks about the enduring legacy of the historic farm worker grape boycott. Ben Blake’s labor history Object of the Week is a collection of AFL-CIO president John Sweeney’s union baseball caps. Plus, we’ve got a few unusual versions of the classic “Which Side Are You On?”
President Lyndon Johnson signs the Medicare Act, providing federally-funded health insurance for senior citizens - 1964
Former Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa disappears. Presumed to be dead, his body has never been found - 1975
United Airlines agrees to offer domestic-partner benefits to employees and retirees worldwide - 1999
Compiled/edited by Union Communication Services
More than 200 demonstrators marched at Dulles International Airport yesterday to protest the firing of three immigrant women from jobs pushing passengers in wheelchairs. "No one should have to live in fear of retaliation from their employer for standing up for workers’ rights," said Virginia Delegate Karrie Delaney (VA 67). "Huntleigh should rehire the fired women airport workers." A number of area political leaders and community allies joined the march and rally -- organized by SEIU 32BJ -- to demonstrate their support.