Massive turnout is expected for tomorrow’s federal worker march and rally (see Calendar). Four major federal worker unions – AFGE, NFFE, NTEU and IFPTE – will be joined by allies and supporters on Capitol Hill tomorrow “to make it clear that government workers demand dignity, fairness and respect,” says AFGE. More details here, including downloadable flyers and more.
by Ann Hoffman
You couldn’t walk in or around the Rayburn Building last Thursday without bumping into enthusiastic supporters of Statehood for DC. A thousand of them, from people who moved here a week ago to fourth-generation Washingtonians lined up for hours outside the hearing room (knowing they would never get to sit in one of the 50 or so seats). If you got in line when the building opened at 7:30, you got a seat for the 10 a.m. hearing - the first since 1993 on DC Statehood. After the doors closed, supporters packed the two overflow rooms. Hundreds watched the testimony of DC officials, constitutional experts and a DC military veteran on jumbotrons set up in a park across from Rayburn (popcorn not provided). If you're a Statehood buff, you probably did not learn anything new - except that DC outshines many states with respect to Bond ratings (AAA), pension funding (100%) and percentage of their state budgets contributed by the federal government (DC, 23%; state average, 32%). You can watch the 3-hour hearing here, where you’ll see Virginia Representative Gerry Connolly show that race and partisanship are keeping DC from its rightful place as the 51st state at 2:02:30 in the video. Hopefully more unions and their members will become actively involved in this fight. Metro Washington Council 3rd Vice President Herb Harris attended the House hearing; the Metro Council is a supporter of DC Statehood and released a statement reaffirming that support.
Hoffman, a member of the National Writers Union, is a longtime DC Statehood activist. photos courtesy Herb Harris and 51 for 51
''Californians should never have to make the choice between being good workers and being good parents.''
On this date in 2002, former California Governor Gray Davis signed legislation making the state the first to offer workers paid family leave.
Click here to check out this week's Labor History Today podcast. “Teachers strikes, the Me Too movement, the Black Lives Matters movement, all of those are collective actions that for years you never saw; people didn’t believe in themselves. Now they know that if they’re gonna make progress, they can’t look to anyone but themselves.” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka talks with Labor History Today’s Joe McCartin about the current state – and the future -- of the American labor movement. Plus, Mark Potashnick on Jim Pohle, the founder of the American Union of Pizza Delivery Drivers, class action law suits, and the app-based revolution in food delivery services.
The Workingman's Advocate of Chicago publishes the first installment of The Other Side, by Martin A. Foran, president of the Coopers' International Union. Believed to be the first novel by a trade union leader and some say the first working-class novel ever published in the U.S. - 1868
A coalition of Knights of Labor and trade unionists in Chicago launch the United Labor party, calling for an 8-hour day, government ownership of telegraph and telephone companies, and monetary and land reform. The party elects seven state assembly men and one senator - 1886
A 42-month strike by Steelworkers at Bayou Steel in Louisiana ends in a new contract and the ousting of scabs - 1996
Labor history courtesy David Prosten
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