Members and leaders of the Washington Teachers’ Union gathered at Gallaudet University this week for two days of leadership training, followed by visits to the homes of their WTU colleagues. Participants received training in a number of important areas, and WTU president Elizabeth Davis said the union continues to reach out to Chancellor Henderson to urge her to return to the bargaining table so that a settlement can be reached on the few remaining contract issues. Guest speaker Carlos Jimenez, executive director of the Metropolitan Washington Council, told the teachers that the Metro Council stands with their union in fighting for the schools DC children deserve. “Unions must build power to enact change, to build a powerful movement for education,” Jimenez said. Following the two days at Gallaudet, teachers union activists spread out across the city for two days of visits to the homes of fellow teachers, sharing the WTU’s priorities with their colleagues, and listening to members’ ideas and concerns.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1931, police in Indiana Harbor, Indiana used clubs to rout 1,500 jobless men who had stormed the plant of the Fruit Growers Express Company, demanding jobs.
In 1949, thirteen firefighters, including 12 smokejumpers who parachuted in to help their coworkers, died while battling a forest fire at Gates of the Mountain, Montana.
And, on this date in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act took effect. The first law signed by President Clinton, it allows many workers time off each year due to serious health conditions or to care for a family member.
Today’s labor quote is by Bill Clinton, when he signed the Family Medical Leave Act on February 5, 1993:
"Family and medical leave is a matter of pure common sense and a matter of common decency. It will provide Americans what they need most: peace of mind. Never again will parents have to fear losing their jobs because of their families."