“I’ve met countless new parents across the city who work in low-wage jobs and were forced to return to work before they were ready or fully able,” said Sheena Wadhawan, Advocacy Director of the DC Employment Justice Center. “As a new mom myself, that breaks my heart,” Wadhawan said. “We need policies that support working families, particularly during the kinds of life challenges we all face from time to time."
The bill -- introduced by Council members David Grosso and Elissa Silverman -- would allow working people to take up to 16 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child, an ailing family member, or deal with a personal illness.
“DC continues to stay on the cutting edge in the fight to improve the lives of working families,” said Metro Washington Council president Jos Williams. “Organized labor will continue to work with our community allies to ensure that this bill becomes a reality.”
On today’s labor calendar, Transit Workers Local 689 invites you to join them at 6pm tonight for a free screening of the film "10,000 Black Men Named George" starring Andre Braugher and Mario Van Peebles in the dramatic story of the struggle to organize railway porters in 1920s America.
For complete details, go to dclabor.org and click on calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1888, the United Hebrew Trades was organized in New York by shirt maker Morris Hillquit and others. Hillquit would later become leader of the Socialist Party.
In 1997, retail stock brokerage Smith Barney reached a tentative sexual harassment settlement with a group of female employees. The suit charged, among other things, that branch managers asked female workers to remove their tops in exchange for money and one office featured a "boom boom room" where women workers were encouraged to, quote unquote, "entertain clients." The settlement was never finalized: a U.S. District Court judge refused to approve the deal because it failed to address the workers’ complaints.
And in 2003, more than 3,000 sanitation workers working for private haulers in Chicago won a 9-day strike featuring a 28-percent wage increase over five years.
Today’s labor quote is by A. Philip Randolph, who organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African American labor union:
“At the banquet table of nature, there are no reserved seats. You get what you can take, and you keep what you can hold. If you can't take anything, you won't get anything, and if you can't hold anything, you won't keep anything. And you can't take anything without organization.”
This quote is on the bust of Randolph that’s in Union Station; look for it next to the Starbucks.