"When I was inside the plant, I felt like a prisoner," says Wilfredo Flores. "I felt like I was condemned and not able to say anything."
Flores worked at the Cargill plant in Dayton for 13 years. He says he was fired last November after openly describing the conditions inside.
But Flores said losing his job gave him the voice he did not have before.
"Now I feel free to say anything I want to say, to help other coworkers. We live in a country with freedom of speech. That freedom is helping me and others," said Flores.
On today's labor calendar:
There are still a few spots open in today's AFL-CIO building art and history tour at 12 noon, part of the DC LaborFest; the free tour is just an hour long and you can get details -- and sign up -- on our website at dclabor.org. click on DC LaborFest.
Then at 5 this afternoon check out the DC LaborFest's R&B & Jazz Show with Lee Anderson and Bev Holton; we'll be doing a Live at 5 show from the Takoma Busboys and Poets so you can either tune in from 5-6 here on WPFW or come on by and watch us do the show live and then stay to watch Lee and Bev perform from 6-8. It's all free -- except for the great food and drink, of course -- and details as always are on our website at dclabor.org, click on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1867, Chicago's first Trades Assembly, formed three years earlier, sponsored a general strike by thousands of workers to enforce the state's new 8-hour-day law. The one-week strike was unsuccessful.
In 1830, Richard Trevellick was born. Trevellick was a ship carpenter, founder of the American National Labor Union and later head of the National Labor Congress, America’s first national labor organization.
In 1930, President Herbert Hoover declared that the stock market crash six months earlier was just a "temporary setback" and the economy would soon bounce back. In fact, the Great Depression was to continue and worsen for several more years.
And in 1933, German police units occupied all trade unions headquarters in the country, arresting union officials and leaders. Their treasuries were confiscated and the unions abolished. Hitler announced that the German Labour Front, headed by his appointee, would replace all unions and look after the working class.
Today’s labor quote is by August Spies
"The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today."
August Spies was a radical labor activist and newspaper editor who was one of the anarchists in Chicago executed in the aftermath of the Haymarket affair, which helped establish May Day as an International Workers' Day.
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