Here are a couple of basic principles that should go without saying:
Working people deserve to go to work every day without fear for their safety or being harassed.
They deserve to go out the door and make a living without worrying about their lives being upended.
Workers across the country have been making their voices heard in recent weeks.
All kinds of workers: Hotel workers, farm workers, teachers, taxi drivers, airport, construction and retail workers.
All kinds of places: Los Angeles; Phoenix; Austin, Texas; New York City; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and of course Washington DC.
Why? We’re defending our neighbors, co-workers and friends who are being swept up in a series of immigration raids by the new Trump administration. Working people understand in our bones that when the government terrorizes people who are simply living their lives and going to work each day, we all lose. When we allow ourselves to be divided, we all lose.
That’s why the American labor movement is standing up for all workers. Because when we stand together, we all win.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1834, responding to a 15 percent wage cut, women textile workers in Lowell, Massachusetts organized a “turn-out”—or strike—in protest. The action failed. Two years later they formed the Factory Girl’s Association in response to a rent hike in company boarding houses and the increase was rescinded. One worker’s diary recounts a “stirring speech” of resistance by a co-worker, 11-year-old Harriet Hanson Robinson.
In 1908, a rally for the unemployed became a major confrontation in Philadelphia, and 18 were arrested for demanding jobs.
In 1917, thousands of women marched to New York’s City Hall demanding relief from exorbitant wartime food prices. Inflation had wiped out any wage gains made by workers, leading to a high level of working class protest during World War I.
And on this date in 1990, the United Mine Workers settled their 10-month-old Pittston strike in Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia.
Today’s labor quote is by Richard Trumka
Time after time we're told corporations should have freedom from pesky job safety regulations, environmental protections and labor standards - giving working people the freedom to be crushed in collapsing mines, choke on filthy air and get paid too little to live on.
Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, was the president of the United Mine Workers during the successful strike against Pittston.
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