On today’s labor calendar, there’s a Flush the TPP Rising International Solidarity march at 11am at Dupont Circle. Then at 5pm catch “Fighting for Total Person Unionism,” a book talk and signing at GW’s Gelman Library. Also at 5 today, there’s a free screening of the film “The Enemy Within,” about one of the most dramatic events in British history, the 1984-85 Miners' Strike. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka, who led the 1989 Pittston strike, will introduce the film at the AFL-CIO.
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 from Salt Lake City to Vernal, Utah, 170 miles away. The new directive also barred the shipment of humans: a child involved in a couple’s custody fight was shipped—for 17¢—from Stillwell to South Bend, Ind., in a crate labeled “live baby.”
And 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 “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 Arthur Scargill, president of the National Union of Mineworkers in Britain:
“We could surrender - or stand and fight.”