On today's local labor calendar, transit workers and their allies will speak out at an 11 am WMATA board meeting this morning against drastic cuts and layoffs they warn will harm the Metro system; at 1 pm there's a rally to celebrate the defeat of the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, in Upper Senate Park and also at 1 pm you can catch this week's edition of "Your Rights at Work" right here on WPFW. For full details and the latest local labor calendar listings, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1916, to the huge relief of Post Office Department employees, the service set a limit of 200 pounds a day to be shipped by any one customer. Builders were finding it cheaper to send supplies via post than via wagon freight. In one instance, 80,000 bricks for a new bank were shipped parcel post. The new directive also barred the shipment of humans: a child involved in a couple’s custody fight was shipped—for 17¢— in a crate labeled “live baby.”
In 1947, with many U.S. political leaders gripped by the fear of communism and questioning citizen loyalties in the years following World War II, the Screen Actors Guild voted to force its officers to take a quote unquote “non-communist” pledge. A few days earlier the Hollywood Ten had been called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
Today’s labor quote is by Mother Jones, who said of Martin Irons, "The capitalist class hounded him as if he had been a wild beast."
Martin Irons died on this date in 1900 near Waco, Texas. Born in Dundee, Scotland, he emigrated to the United States at the age of 14. He joined the Knights of Labor and in 1886 led a strike of 200,000 workers against robber baron Jay Gould's Union Pacific and Missouri railroads. The strike was crushed, Irons was blacklisted and he died broken-down and penniless.