Today’s local labor calendar is jam-packed with events. Here’s a quick run-down; get details and the complete line-up at dclabor.org, click on Calendar.
At 1p here on WPFW catch this week’s edition of “Your Rights At Work,” the call-in show about worker rights.
Then at 5pm, DC Jobs with Justice holds its 16th Annual "I'll Be There" Awards at the All Souls Unitarian Church.
Also at 5, there’s an Interfaith Rally on Rent Control and Affordable Housing at the Wilson Building;
at 5:30, “Say NO to Permanent Late Night Metro Service Cuts” at Metro headquarters,
and starting at 6pm, Project Retail Presents: Party With A Purpose.
Go to dclabor.org, and click on Calendar for complete details.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1926, Eugene Victor Debs, U.S. labor leader and socialist, died in Elmhurst, Illinois. Debs was a labor activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who captured the heart and soul of the nation’s working people. He was brilliant, sincere, compassionate and scrupulously honest. A founder of one of the nation’s first industrial unions, the American Railway Union, he went on to help launch the Industrial Workers of the World—the Wobblies. Among his radical ideas: an 8-hour workday, pensions, workman's compensation, sick leave and social security. Gene Debs ran for president of the United States from a jail cell in 1920 and got a million votes.
In 1947, Hollywood came under scrutiny as the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence within the motion picture industry. Dozens of union members were among those blacklisted as a result.
In 1983, Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan won the endorsement of the air traffic controllers union by promising to support their demands for better working conditions and staffing levels. Nine months after the election, he fired the air traffic controllers for engaging in an illegal walkout over those same issues.
And in 1983, American country and western singer, songwriter, and guitarist Merle Travis died. His song's lyrics often discussed both the lives and the economic exploitation of American coal miners, including classics like "Sixteen Tons" and "Dark as a Dungeon."
Today’s labor quote is by Eugene Debs
“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”