Yesterday, government contract workers walked off their jobs for the 13th time to call on this President – or the next – to sign a “$15 and a Union” Executive Order. Senator Bernie Sanders joined the strikers, who included workers who cook and clean for nine Presidential candidates who are current and former US Senators.
And just a quick reminder that the 100th anniversary of labor martyr Joe Hill’s death is being marked this week with two local concerts. Hill was executed by a Utah firing squad in 1915 after being convicted of trumped-up charges. The Joe Hill Roadshow is celebrating the life and legacy of this iconic organizer with a series of concerts, including tonight at the Washington Ethical Society and tomorrow in Baltimore at the Unitarian Church; both shows start at 7:30 pm.
For complete details, go to dclabor.org and click on calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1892, anarchist Alexander Berkman shot and stabbed steel magnate Henry Clay Frick in an effort to avenge the Homestead massacre 18 days earlier, in which nine strikers were killed. Berkman also tried to use what was, in effect, a suicide bomb, but it didn't detonate and Frick survived.
In 1913, Northern Michigan copper miners struck for union recognition, higher wages and an 8-hour day. By the time they threw in the towel the following April, eleven hundred miners had been arrested and Western Federation of Miners President Charles Moyer had been shot, beaten and forced out of town.
Today’s labor quote is by Alexander Berkman:
"’Man's inhumanity to man’ is not the last word. The truth lies deeper. It is economic slavery, the savage struggle for a crumb, that has converted mankind into wolves and sheep.” Anarchist Alexander Berkman, who also said “If you intend to live in peace and harmony with your fellow-men, you and they should cultivate brotherhood and respect for each other. If you want to work together with them for your mutual benefit, you must practice cooperation.”