This weekend’s labor calendar includes tomorrow’s Greenbelt Rally to Protest Big Money in Politics starting at 7pm and then on Sunday the Greater Washington Labor Seder starts at 5:30pm;
Complete details at dclabor.org; click on Calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1911, 128 convict miners, leased to a coal company under the state’s shameful convict lease system, were killed in an explosion at the Banner coal mine outside Birmingham, Alabama. The miners were mostly African-Americans jailed for minor offenses.
In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson established the War Labor Board, composed of representatives from business and labor, to arbitrate disputes between workers and employers during World War I.
In 1935, the Works Progress Administration was approved by Congress. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proposed the WPA during the Great Depression when almost 25 percent of Americans were unemployed. It created low-paying federal jobs providing immediate relief, putting 8.5 million jobless to work on projects ranging from construction of bridges, highways and public buildings to arts programs like the Federal Writers' Project.
And in 1952, President Harry S. Truman ordered the U.S. Army to seize the nation’s steel mills to avert a strike. The Supreme Court ruled the act illegal three weeks later.
Today’s labor quote is by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who said:
“If I were a worker in a factory, the first thing I would do would be to join a union.”
Commonly known as FDR, Franklin Delano Roosevelt served as President of the United States from 1933 to 1945.