On this weekend’s labor calendar, catch the Phil Ochs Song Night tomorrow as Pat Wictor, Joe Jencks, Greg Greenway, Magpie and SONiA perform at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington starting at 7pm.
For the latest local labor activities, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1872, Toronto printers struck for the 9-hour day in what is believed to be Canada’s first major strike.
In 1894, the first “Poor People’s March” on Washington was held, in which a thousand jobless workers demanded creation of a public works program. Led by populist Jacob Coxey, the unemployed protesters became known as “Coxey’s Army.”
In 1911, a total of 146 workers were killed in a fire at New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a disaster that would launch a national movement for safer working conditions.
And on this date in 1947, an explosion at a coal mine in Centralia, Illinois killed 111 miners. Mineworkers President John L. Lewis called a 6-day work stoppage by the nation’s 400,000 soft coal miners to demand safer working conditions.
Today’s labor quote is by Frances Perkins
“There was a stricken conscience of public guilt and we all felt that we had been wrong, that something was wrong with that building which we had accepted or the tragedy never would have happened. Moved by this sense of stricken guilt, we banded ourselves together to find a way by law to prevent this kind of disaster.”
Frances Perkins witnessed the Triangle Shirtwaist disaster and went on to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, the longest serving in that position, and the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet.