The “I’ll Be There” awards honor local workers, individuals, and organizations for exceptional solidarity and leadership for workers’ rights. Retiring Metro Council President Jos Williams – who helped found DC Jobs With Justice – is one of this year’s honorees, which includes Courtney Stewart of the Reentry Network for Returning Citizens, Reverend Kendrick Curry of Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church, and Jean-Louis Ikambana of the American Friends Service Committee.
On today’s Labor Calendar, there’s a free screening of the film “The Right to Unite” tonight at 5pm at the AFL-CIO; the film -- narrated by Bradley Whitford and featuring music by Bruce Springsteen -- makes a compelling case for the rights of all working people to come together and organize for a voice on the job.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1945, a strike by set decorators turns into a bloody riot at the gates of Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, California when scabs try to cross the picket line. The incident is still identified as "Hollywood Black Friday" and "The Battle of Burbank."
In 1983, Polish Solidarity union founder Lech Walesa won the Nobel Peace Prize.
And in 2004, 2,100 supermarket janitors in California, mostly from Mexico, win a $22.4 million settlement over unpaid overtime. Many said they worked 70 or more hours a week, often seven nights a week from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. Cleaner Jesus Lopez told the New York Times he only had three days off in five years - 2004
Today’s labor quote is by Lech Walesa:
“Tanks can threaten and massacre us, but they will never be able to force us to work.”