The DC LaborFest wraps up with a full night of jazz with local jazz musicians – and Washington Musicians Union members -- Harry Appelman, Marty Nau, Steve Novosel and Nasar Abadey, hosted by WPFW jazz host Rusty Hassan a retired AFGE national representative and proud member of the Communications Workers of America.
What would a $15-an-hour minimum wage mean to SEIU 32BJ member Syid Abdullah? “It means food. It means rent. It means taking care of my son.” Abdullah was one of more than 150 witnesses last Thursday when the D.C. City Council's Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs held its first hearing on Mayor Bowser's legislation to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 dollars by 2020 and $7.50 by 2022 for tipped workers. "Those who work for a living ought to be able to make a living," said Metro Washington Council executive director Carlos Jimenez, who, with SEIU 32BJ Area Director Jaime Contreras, helped kick off over eight hours of testimony by supporters and opponents of the bill.
For the latest local labor calendar, for to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1889, more than 2,200 people died in the Johnstown Flood, when a dam holding back a private resort lake burst upstream of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The resort was owned by wealthy industrialists including Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick. Neither they nor any other members of the South Fork Fishing and Hunting Club were found guilty of fault, despite the fact the group had created the lake out of an abandoned reservoir.
In 1943, some 25,000 white autoworkers walked off the job at a Detroit Packard Motor Car Company plant, heavily involved in wartime production, when three black workers were promoted to work on a previously all-white assembly line. The black workers were relocated and the whites returned.
In 1997, Rose Will Monroe, popularly known as Rosie the Riveter, died in Clarksville, Indiana. During World War Two she helped bring women into the labor force.
Today’s labor quote is by Phyllis McKey Gould, a welder at the Richmond, California Kaiser shipyard Number 2 during World War Two
“I’d never worked in my life. I loved the look of welding, the smell of it… You’d look through really dark glass and all you’d see was the glow. You moved the welding rod in tiny, circular motions, making half-crescents. If you did it right, it was beautiful. It was like embroidery.”
Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff to the summer holiday season. While the day honors those who have given their lives defending the nation, the weekend also marks the start of grilling season. For a handy list of union-made food and drink to get your barbecue off to a great start, go to dclabor.org
Many area union offices, including the Metro Washington Council's, are closed today in observance of Memorial Day. For the latest local labor calendar, for to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1929, the Ford Motor Company signed a "Technical Assistance" contract to produce cars in the Soviet Union, and Ford workers were sent to the Soviet Union to train the labor force in the use of its parts. Many American workers who made the trip, including Walter Reuther, a tool and die maker who later was to become the UAW's president, returned home with a different view of the duties and privileges of the industrial laborer.
In 1937, in what became known as the Memorial Day Massacre, police opened fire on striking steelworkers at Republic Steel in South Chicago, killing ten and wounding more than 160.
And on this date in 2002, the Ground Zero cleanup at the site of the World Trade Center was completed three months ahead of schedule due to the heroic efforts of more than 3,000 building tradesmen and women who had worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week for the previous eight months.
Today’s labor quote is by Franklin Delano Roosevelt
"Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy, forget in time that men have died to win them."
Demonstrating the power of direct action, H Street Walmart manager Jack Hulme agreed to meet with a fired worker after unions and community groups turned out to support her. Arleja Stevens was fired last March for being absent five times because of pregnancy-related medical issues, including a trip to the emergency room. Stevens was denied excused absences despite providing a doctor’s notice, in violation of the DC Pregnancy Fairness Act. On Wednesday, members of UFCW Making Change at Walmart, Jobs With Justice, and the OPEIU Local 2 Social Justice Committee accompanied Stevens to deliver a copy of the Act to store manager Jack Hulme, who agreed on the spot to meet with Stevens and representatives from UFCW and DC JWJ Thursday morning. Maryland and DC both have laws granting rights to women for doctor visits and other workplace accommodations necessitated by pregnancy, and Walmart and other employers regularly discriminate against pregnant employees, the organizations charge. “I don’t like what they did to you,” one Walmart shopper told Stevens. “I just want my job back,” Arleja told her supporters.
On today's labor calendar, Verizon strike picket lines continue throughout the metro area; go to dclabor.org and click on calendar for the latest list of locations and times.
Here's today's labor history:
On this date in 1935, The U.S. Supreme Court declared the Depression-era National Industrial Recovery Act to be unconstitutional, about a month before it was set to expire
In 1959, The CIO-affiliated Insurance Workers of America merged with its AFL counterpart, the Insurance Agents International Union to form the Insurance Workers International Union. The union later became part of the United Food and Commercial Workers
Today’s labor quote is by Bill Shorten
Labor should not be about creating monuments on hills or statues in parks. Labor's monuments and statues are when a young person can find a job, when a person with disability can get access to the ordinary life that others take for granted.
"Bill" Shorten is the current Leader of the Opposition for the Australian Labor Party
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