On today’s labor calendar, the Albert Shanker Institute hosts “The Challenge of Precarious Labor” today starting at 8:30 at the Washington Court Hotel. The conference proceedings are also being streamed; details on our website at dclabor.org, click on Calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1955, ending a 20-year split, the two largest labor federations in the United States merged to form the AFL-CIO, with a membership estimated at 15 million. Membership peaked in 1979, when the AFL–CIO had nearly twenty million members. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations is now made up of fifty-six national and international unions, together representing more than 12 million active and retired workers.
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that employers slashed 533,000 jobs the month before—the most in 34 years—as the Great Recession surged. The unemployment rolls had risen for seven months before that and were to continue to soar for another 10 months before topping 10 percent and beginning to level off late the following year.
Today's labor quote is by John Sweeney
In 1999, Sweeney, President of the AFL-CIO, welcomed the collapse of World Trade Organization talks in Seattle, declaring, "No deal is better than a bad deal."