Members of the DC Labor Chorus and Not What You Think preview their May 14 concert with Union City Radio's Chris Garlock.
The third annual DC LaborFest launches tonight with a screening of “Trumbo” at the AFI Silver Theater at 7 pm. Bryan Cranston gives an Oscar-nominated performance as the legendary author and screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Red-baited and blacklisted, Trumbo fought back against a witch-hunt that has lessons for anyone battling intolerance and oppression today.
Then on Sunday, don’t miss the Mother Jones Memorial Wreath-Laying at noon on Powder Mill Road in Silver Spring. The legendary labor organizer claimed May Day as her birthday and after a lifetime fighting for unions and the rights of workers, the spot where she died in what is now Adelphi, Maryland is now the site of the annual commemoration.
Also on Sunday, there will be a Mayday March and Rally starting at 2PM at Malcolm X Park, followed by a march to the White House as local activists join millions of workers across the globe as they express international solidarity.
There are a number of other LaborFest events this weekend; check out the whole line-up at dclabor.org; click on LaborFest.
And for other local labor events, just click on the calendar at dclabor.org
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1894, Coxey’s Army of unemployed civil war veterans reached Washington, D.C. Troops of vets started out from many parts of the country, and had swelled to an estimated 12,000, but the "Army of the Unemployed" lost their momentum as court injunctions prevented them from temporarily seizing railroad lines, which was how the men traveled, and there were just 500 left when they arrived in Washington.
In 1899, an estimated one thousand silver miners, angry over low wages, the firing of union members and the planting of spies in their ranks by mine owners, seized a train, loaded it with 3,000 pounds of dynamite, and blew up the mill at the Bunker Hill mine in Wardner, Idaho.
In 1943, the special representative of the National War Labor Board issued a report setting forth provisions for wage rates for women working in war industries who were asking for equal pay. Women a year earlier had demanded equal pay for comparable work as that done by men.
Today’s labor quote is by Jacob Coxey
We have come here through toil and weary marches, through storms and tempests,
over mountains, and amid the trials of poverty and distress, to lay our grievances at the doors of our National Legislature and ask them in the name of Him whose banners we bear, in the name of Him who plead for the poor and the oppressed, that they should heed the voice of despair and distress that is now coming up from every section of our country, that they should consider the conditions of the starving unemployed of our land,
and enact such laws as will give them employment, bring happier conditions to the people, and the smile of contentment to our citizens.
When Coxey tried to speak at the U.S. Capitol in 1894, police arrested him for walking on the grass. Fifty years to the day later, on May 1, 1944, Coxey finally delivered this speech from the steps of the U.S. Congress.
This week's guests: Latest report from the Verizon strike by Terry Richardson, president, CWA 2336; Ed Smith, president, Firefighters Local 36 is in-studio to talk about how firefighters and emergency medical services providers are at increased risk of developing specific cancers, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and certain infectious diseases from exposure to blood and other bodily fluids. Currently, workers who develop these conditions have a really hard time convincing the system--designed to support their health and welfare--that their condition stems from occupational hazards. And historian Lane Windham, who’s doing a post-doctoral fellowship at The Penn State Center for Global Workers' Rights, reports on what happened last week when the university administration sent her a memo explaining how faculty and staff could resist the graduate students' efforts to unionize (i.e. union-bust). She let the administration know what she thought about that - - in an opinion piece in Tuesday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Labor song of the week: Communication breakdown – Led Zeppelin.
Labor Quiz: This Sunday is May Day and the 185th birthday of legendary labor organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones; there will be a wreath-laying in her honor at noon at 2601 Powder Mill Rd in Silver Spring, MD. Here are three quotes; which one is by Mother Jones?
1: You are never strong enough that you don't need help.
2: Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
3: Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.
Answer: 3; 1 is by Cesar Chavez and 2 is by Frederick Douglass.
Previous Quiz: The annual DC labor FilmFest is coming up in May; which of these films is NOT being screened at the FilmFest? Concussion, Horrible Bosses, or Suffragette? Answer: Horrible Bosses.
Tune in next week and you could win a pair of passes to the DC Labor FilmFest!
Security guards in DC – members of SEIU 32BJ – are feeling a bit more secure now that they have ratified a new four-year agreement with the city’s largest security contractors, covering nearly 3,000 commercial security officers. The contract includes fair wage increases and maintains benefits at their current level, according to the union. “I’m happy about this contract because it will help us a lot with our everyday living and medical expenses, especially for people with big families,” said Bruce Barfield, a security officer protecting the National Geographic Society building and a member of the union’s bargaining committee. “It helps us get more respect and allows us to better support the communities where we live.”
This year’s DC LaborFest begins tomorrow with a 7p screening of Trumbo at the AFI Silver Theatre; check out the whole line-up of more than 60 labor arts events at dclabor.org; click on LaborFest.
On today’s labor calendar, Verizon leafleting continues throughout the area; go to dclabor.org for the latest details.
And at 1pm today, check out this week’s edition of Your Rights at Work, when our guests will be CWA 2336 president Terry Richardson, Fire Fighters Local 36 president Ed Smith and labor historian Lane Windham.
As always, check the calendar on our website at dclabor.org.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1914, a coal mine collapsed at Eccles, West Virginia, killing 181 workers.
In 1924, a coal mine disaster claimed the lives of 119 in Benwood, West Virginia.
And in 1971, Congress created OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. April 28 has been known since then as “Workers Memorial Day” and unions around the world have organized events to honor the hundreds of thousands of workers killed and injured on the job every year.
Today’s labor quote is by Mother Jones, who said
“Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.”
There will be a wreath-laying in honor of legendary labor organizer Mary Harris “Mother” Jones’ 185th birthday this Sunday at noon at the Mother Jones marker in Silver Spring; details at dclabor.org
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