Millions of union sisters and brothers are veterans. The issues facing veterans and those facing working families are the same — a lack of good jobs, attacks on health care and fading dreams of a better life.
If you’re a veteran or if you know a veteran, you should know about the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council.
The Union Veterans Council brings union members who are veterans together to speak out on the issues that affect veterans most, especially the need for good jobs and a strong, fully funded and staffed U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Council also holds private enterprise and elected officials accountable for their words and actions. “Veterans face real issues that require real actions,” says Will Fischer, executive director of the Union Veterans Council. The Union Veterans Council fights every day for those who have fought for us.
On the labor calendar, you can join DC Jacobin to discuss the latest issue of Jacobin magazine on labor and the socialist left tomorrow at 3pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library; go to dclabor.org and click on calendar for details.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1887, the Haymarket martyrs were hanged, after being convicted in the bombing deaths of eight police during a Chicago labor rally. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. Someone – no one knows who -- threw a dynamite bomb at police as they moved to break up the public meeting and the bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.
In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy, despite evidence that while one of the defendants may have built the bomb, none of those on trial had thrown it. Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. The death sentences of two of the defendants were commuted to terms of life in prison, and another committed suicide in jail rather than face the gallows. The other four were hanged on this date in 1887. In 1893, Illinois governor John Peter Altgeld pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the trial.
Today’s labor quote is by labor studies professor William J. Adelman, who said
"No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today."