In spite of a “vicious” anti-union campaign, workers in the Engineering and Maintenance Unit at J.W. Marriott in downtown DC recently voted to join Operating Engineers Local 99.
“We are extremely proud of the way the whole unit stayed together,” said Local 99 Business Manager Don Havard. “It is really a testament to their solidarity that in the face of a brutal ‘vote no’ campaign by the boss, they all stayed tough.”
The workers voted in the union by a 2-1 margin, despite almost a month of daily captive audience meetings, “misinformation and distortions by Marriott International,” reports organizer Eamon Clifford.
“We have been actively organizing all of the first class hotels in the region for several years now and the J. W. Marriott was an important piece of the puzzle,” Havard added. “This is a great unit of skilled men and women and they are a credit to our craft.”
For the latest labor event listings, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
In today’s labor history, on this date in 1968, some 1,300 sanitation workers began what would become a 64-day strike in Memphis, ultimately winning union recognition and wage increases. The April 4 assassination in Memphis of Martin Luther King Jr., who had been taking an active role in mass meetings and street actions, brought pressure on the city to settle the strike.
Today’s labor quote is by Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, arrested on this date in 1913 while leading a protest of conditions in West Virginia mines. She was 83 years old at the time. Mother Jones, who said:
“I am not afraid of the pen, or the scaffold, or the sword.”
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