News: An estimated 200,000 Burmese migrants fuel Thailand’s huge fishing industry in Samut Sakhon province, an hour outside of Bangkok. The majority of workers are ethnic Mon from farming villages and they send their salaries to their families back home. Many workers do not hold legal documents and are vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers and lack access to legal protection. The AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center documents their struggles in a new online photo essay: go to solidaritycenter.org to see it.
Here's today's labor history:
On this date in 1906, the local lumber workers' union in Humboldt County, California founded the Union Labor Hospital Association to establish a hospital for union workers in the county. The hospital became an important community facility financed and run by the local labor movement.
In 1915, Congress approved the Seamen’s Act, providing the merchant marine with rights similar to those gained by factory workers. Action on the law was prompted by the sinking of the Titanic three years earlier. Among other gains: working hours were limited to 56 per week and guaranteed minimum standards of cleanliness and safety were put in place.
And in 1931, the Davis-Bacon Act took effect on this date. It orders contractors on federally financed or assisted construction projects to pay wage rates equal to those prevailing in local construction trades.
Today's labor quote is by Grace Abbott:
Child labor and poverty are inevitably bound together and if you continue to use the labor of children as the treatment for the social disease of poverty, you will have both poverty and child labor to the end of time.
Grace Abbott was an American social worker who specifically worked in improving the rights of immigrants, especially those from eastern Europe, and advancing child welfare, especially the regulation of child labor.
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