“We work very hard to ensure that travelers have a safe and clean airport, but we are ready to go on strike to ensure we can provide for our families,” said Aynalem Lale, a wheelchair dispatcher at Dulles Airport.
“If I made $15 an hour," said Lale, "I wouldn't have to work two jobs and would not have to sleep at the airport between jobs.”
Joining the rally and march were other local unions and faith leaders, as well as local politicians.
“No employer should ever pay poverty-level wages -- especially here, in one of the richest counties in America,” said Virginia Congressman-elect Donald McEachin.
The strikes and protests in D.C. were part of a nationwide day of disruption that included McDonald’s and other fast-food workers walking off their jobs in 340 cities from coast to coast.
On today's labor calendar, there's a protest by workers at the D.C. Water & Sewer Authority this morning starting at 9am; then at noon, TIME correspondent and author Haley Sweetland Edwards joins Buzzfeed reporter Chris Hamby to discuss "Shadow Courts: The Tribunals that Rule Global Trade" and at 1pm here on WPFW catch this week's edition of "Your Rights At Work," when our guests will be DC City Councilman David Grosso and organizer Phil Cohen.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1955, African-American Rosa Parks refused to go to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.
This simple act of defiance fueled the civil rights movement's campaign against segregation. Although widely honored in later years, Rosa Parks also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job as a seamstress in a local department store, and received death threats for years afterwards.
Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit. From 1965 to 1988 she served as secretary and receptionist to John Conyers, an African-American Congressman. She was also active in the Black Power movement and the support of political prisoners in the United States.
Today's labor quote is by Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks, who said "You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right."