Workers rights—specifically the freedom to form unions and freely assemble—are key to achieving human rights, according to a new United Nations report on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. The AFL-CIO’s Solidarity Center is among the organizations that contributed to the research. “This report is a clear call to action to governments and employers to immediately recognize worker rights, and for the broader human rights community to advocate for them,” says Solidarity Center Executive Director Shawna Bader-Blau.
On today’s local labor calendar, author Gabriel Thompson discusses his book “America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century” today at noon at the AFL-CIO, with special guest, Fred Ross Jr., and of course don’t miss NoVA Labor’s Get Out The Vote walk and annual Chili Cook-Off tomorrow; get details and the complete line-up of labor events at dclabor.org, click on Calendar.
Here’s this weekend’s labor history:
On this date in 1883, the International Working People's Association was founded in Pittsburgh.
On October 14, 2013, construction began on replacing the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River, employing 8,000 building trades workers over the 5-year span of the job.
On October 15, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Clayton Antitrust Act—often referred to as "Labor’s Magna Carta"—establishing that unions are not "conspiracies" under the law.
And on October 16, 1793, Queen Marie Antoinette was beheaded during the French Revolution; on that same date in 1859, abolitionist John Brown led an attack on the Harper's Ferry ammunition depot, the beginning of guerilla warfare against slavery.
Today’s labor quote is by Marie Antoinette
French Queen Marie Antoinette, who every schoolchild knows said “Let them eat cake” when she was told that the peasants were suffering from widespread bread shortages. In fact she never actually said that, but workers were, justifiably, ready to believe anything bad about their cold-hearted and out of touch royalty.