Teachers at Paul Public Charter School, one of the oldest charters in Washington, D.C., last week publicly announced their intent to unionize--a first for charter schoolteachers in the nation's capital. The American Prospect reports that the Paul educators are forming their own local--the District of Columbia Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff - or DC ACTS -- which will be affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. Seventy-five percent of Paul's teaching staff have signed a petition in support of joining DC ACTS, and asked administrators to voluntarily recognize their union.
On today's labor calendar, the Metro Washington Council's monthly delegate meeting is tonight at 6:30 at the AFL-CIO; all are welcome to attend and get the latest updates on the local labor movement.
Complete details at dclabor.org, click on calendar.
Here's today's labor history,
On this date in 1875, legendary labor leader and socialist presidential candidate Eugene V. Debs becomes charter member and secretary of the Vigo Lodge, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen. Five years later he is leading the national union and in 1893 helps found the nation's first industrial union, the American Railway Union.
In 1902, John Steinbeck was born in Salinas, California. Steinbeck is best known for writing The Grapes of Wrath, which exposed the mistreatment of migrant farm workers during the Depression and led to some reforms.
In 1937, four hundred fifty Woolworth's workers and customers occupy a Detroit store for eight days in support of the Waiters and Waitresses Union.
And in 1939, the Supreme Court rules that sit-down strikes, a major organizing tool for industrial unions, are illegal.
Today's labor quote is by John Steinbeck, from “The Grapes of Wrath”
“and in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath. In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy, growing heavy for the vintage.”
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