In an unprecedented organizing achievement, interns at the Washington, DC headquarters of the American Federation of Teachers have overwhelmingly voted to unionize, forming the first non-medical intern union in the U.S. The decision to organize with OPEIU Local 2 reflects the growing trend in the use of intern labor to replace entry-level jobs for young workers. Noting that “the labor movement has always dedicated itself to setting a higher standard for working conditions and improving workers’ lives,” Local 2 said “It is now time for the movement to lead by example by allowing interns and all contingent, temporary workers to organize, have a voice at the table, and bargain a fair contract.”
On today’s labor calendar, there are two book talks at 12:30, one at the AFL-CIO with Chad Broughton, author of "Boom, Bust, Exodus: The Rust Belt, the Maquilas, and a Tale of Two Cities" – about Maytag’s decision to move from Illinois to Mexico -- and the other at the Solidarity Center, with Miriam Lara-Meloy discussing the new “Workers' Guide to Health and Safety” and the participatory process that involved workers from 25 countries in its making. Go to dclabor.org and click on calendar for completed details.
Here’s today’s labor history: On this date in 1966, some 35,000 members of the Machinists union began what was to become a 43-day strike—the largest in airline history—against five carriers. The mechanics and other ground service workers wanted to share in the airlines’ substantial profits. And in 1971, New York City drawbridge tenders, in a dispute with the state over pension issues, left a dozen bridges open, snarling traffic in what the Daily News described as "the biggest traffic snafu in the city's history."
Today’s labor quote is by author Chad Broughton, explaining why many residents were angered by Maytag's decision to leave Galesburg, Illinois:
"They were very nationalistic, very patriotic. They thought that this was a profoundly unpatriotic thing to do ... by this very American company, by this quintessentially American company, Maytag."