A co-op owned and run by Montgomery County taxi drivers took another step toward reality on Monday when the Montgomery County Council Transportation Committee approved some key proposals. “While we are happy that we’ve gotten this far, we’ll continue to fight,” said Montgomery County Professional Drivers Union president Peter Ibik. The proposals, which go to the full Council at the end of July for a final vote, include a modernized dispatch system for drivers, lower credit card rates and a voice for drivers in determining their lease rates and other fees
On today’s labor calendar, the Great Labor Arts Exchange continues today at the ATU Training and Education Center in Silver Spring, where you can join labor and community cultural workers for a weekend of workshops, films, discussion groups, slam poetry, jam sessions and open mike. Be sure to catch the Art Exchange Concert tomorrow night starting at 8pm, and on Sunday the DC chapter of the Coalition of Labor Union Women hosts their annual Gloria Johnson Awards Luncheon at IBEW 26; go to dclabor.org and click on calendar for details.
Here’s today’s labor history:
In 1894, members of the American Railway Union, led by Eugene Debs, refused to handle Pullman cars, in solidarity with Pullman strikers. Two dozen strikers were killed over the course of the strike.
And on this date in 1959, the 189-mile-long St. Lawrence Seaway opened, making the Great Lakes accessible to Atlantic shipping. Thousands of laborers toiled for decades to make it happen; indirectly and directly, the Seaway today supports 75,000 jobs in Canada and 150,000 in the U.S.
Today’s labor quote is by Eugene Debs:
“Solidarity is not a matter of sentiment but a fact, cold and impassive as the granite foundations of a skyscraper. If the basic elements, identity of interest, clarity of vision, honesty of intent, and oneness of purpose, or any of these is lacking, all sentimental pleas for solidarity, and all other efforts to achieve it will be barren of results.”