AFL-CIO Deputy Organizing Director Christian Sweeney said that “This isn’t just about low wages for Walmart workers, it’s about low wages for the entire economy.”
Also on Thursday, United flight attendants chanting "No Justice, No Peace on Earth!" were joined by Machinists, pilots and other labor supporters as they picketed outside the United terminal at Washington National Airport. A similar rally took place at Dulles Airport. The pickets were the local launch of an international campaign to call attention to the fact that United flight attendants have been working for more than five years -- since the merger with Continental -- without a contract. The flight attendants plan to hold weekly actions until they win a new contract.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1790, powered by children seven to 12 years old working dawn to dusk, Samuel Slater’s thread-spinning factory went into production in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, launching the Industrial Revolution in America. By 1830, 55 percent of the mill workers in the state were youngsters, many working for less than $1 per week.
In 1921, the Supreme Court ruled that picketing is unconstitutional. Chief Justice (and former president) William Howard Taft declared that picketing was, in part, "an unlawful annoyance and hurtful nuisance..."
Today’s labor quote is from the signs women carried during the 1912 Textile Mill Strike, which read:
“We want bread and roses too.”