On today’s labor calendar, there’s a Justice for Janitors Rally in Bethesda at 4pm today; go to dclabor.org and click on calendar for complete details.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1918, railroad union leader and socialist Eugene Debs spoke in Canton, Ohio, on the relation between capitalism and war. Ten days later he was arrested under the Espionage Act, and was eventually sentenced to 10 years in jail.
In 1933, the National Industrial Recovery Act became law, but was later to be declared unconstitutional. It established the right to unionize, set maximum hours and minimum wages for every major industry, and abolished sweatshops and child labor. The Wagner Act, in effect today, was approved two years later to legalize unionization.
And on this date in 2000, Inacom Corporation, once the world's largest computer dealer, sent most of its employees an email instructing them to call a toll-free phone number; when they called, a recorded message announced they had been fired.
Today’s labor quote by Eugene Debs is from his statement to the Federal Court of Cleveland, Ohio after being convicted of violating the Sedition Act:
“This nation ought to own and control its own industries…all things that are jointly needed and used ought to be jointly owned…industry, the basis of our social life, instead of being the private property of a few and operated for their enrichment, ought to be the common property of all, democratically administered in the interest of all.”
Eugene Debs, who said “I can see the dawn of the better day for humanity. The people are awakening. In due time they will and must come to their own.”