On today’s labor calendar, a rally against Maryland Governor Larry Hogan's budget starts at 5pm at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis. As always, you can go to dclabor.org and click on calendar for complete details.
In this week's Labor Quiz, the question is what the federal minimum wage—now $7.25 per hour— would actually be today if it had been increasing at the same rate worker productivity has been increasing since the late 1960s? Would it be $9.80; $12.77; $15.23 or $16.54 an hour? Go to unionist.com and click on Labor Quiz to submit your answer and you could be this week’s winner!
Here's today's labor history: On this date in 1903, the International Hod Carriers and Building Laborers’ Union – which is now the Laborers’ International Union -- was founded in Washington, D.C.
In 1919, labor leader and Socialist Party founder Eugene Debs was imprisoned for opposing American entry into World War I. While in jail he ran for president and received 1 million votes.
And on this date in 1930, 17-year-old Jimmy Hoffa led his co-workers at a Kroger warehouse in Clinton, Indiana, in a successful job action. By refusing to unload a shipment of perishable strawberries, they forced the company to give in to their demands. Among other things: the “strawberry boys” had to report to work at 4:30 a.m. and stay on the job for 12 hours. They were paid just 32 cents an hour, and that only if growers arrived with berries to unload. Plus, they were required to spend three-fourths of any earnings buying goods from Kroger.
Today's labor quote is by Gene Debs, who said:
“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”