The region’s commercial office cleaners have ratified a new contract covering 10,500 workers that will provide a two-dollar-an-hour pay increase over the life of the four-year deal with the Washington Service Contractors Association, which represents the area's major commercial cleaning companies. "We got a really great contract that's going to change people's lives," said Viridiana Queensbury, a cleaner who works and lives in Northern Virginia. The wage increases in the contract will mean more than $68 million in additional income over four years for low-wage workers, their families and their communities in Washington, Baltimore, Montgomery County and Northern Virginia.
On today’s labor calendar, economist James Galbraith will discuss on the Greek debt negotiations and what their outcome is likely to mean for the Greek and European economies. The talk starts at noon today at the Economic Policy Institute; for complete details, go to dclabor.org and click on calendar.
Here’s this week’s Labor Quiz: Before her untimely, mysterious death, Karen Silkwood was a member of which union? Was it the United Food and Commercial Workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers Union, the United Steel Workers or the American Federation of Government Employees? Go to unionist.com and click on Labor Quiz and you could be next week's winner!
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1869, women shoemakers in Lynn, Massachusetts created the Daughters of St. Crispin to demand pay equal to that of men.
In 1913, a strike by silk workers in Paterson, New Jersey for an 8-hour day and improved working conditions ended after six months, with the workers’ demands unmet. During the course of the strike, approximately 1,800 strikers were arrested, including Wobbly leaders Big Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.
And in 1932, Federal troops burned the shantytown built near the U.S. Capitol by thousands of unemployed World War One veterans, camping there to demand a bonus they had been promised but never received.
Today’s labor quote is by the Washington Evening Star, which wrote of the Bonus Army vets that “These men wrote a new chapter on patriotism of which their countrymen could be proud.”