Discounted registration for the AFL-CIO’s Civil Rights Conference has been extended through December 18.
“Now is the time to speak up together and demand change,” says AFL-CIO Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Director Carmen Berkley. “In January, we aren’t just gonna talk about it. We are gonna be about changing the rules so that each of us feels safe in our communities, in our places of worship, and we’ll all be able to use our voices to speak up together to build an economy and a community that works our people.” The conference run January 15-18 here in Washington; Go to aflcio.org and click on the “2016 MLK Conference” button at the bottom of the page; use the code 200SPECIAL for the discounted rate.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1902, the New York City’s Majestic Theater became the first in the U.S. to employ women ushers.
In 1951, the Bagel Bakers of America union continued a work slowdown at 32 of New York’s 34 bagel bakeries in a dispute over health and welfare fund payments and workplace sanitation. Coincidentally—or not—lox sales were down as much as 50 percent as well. The effect on the cream cheese market was not reported.
And in 1977, eight female bank tellers in Willmar, Minnesota began the first strike against a bank in U.S. history, becoming known worldwide as “The Willmar 8.” The women were paid little more than half what male tellers were paid, were expected to work overtime without extra pay and were held in place at the bottom of the hierarchy. When a young man was hired right out of college and the women were told to train him to become their boss, the kettle boiled over. The strike ended in moral victory but economic defeat two years later.
Today’s labor quote is by Doris Boshart, one of the Willmar 8, referring to the bank’s discrimination against female workers:
"We talked about it amongst ourselves all the time. And it just kept growing and growing and we kept getting angrier and angrier."