That was the main lesson from last week’s session on “Bargaining for the Common Good: Lessons from Los Angeles and Beyond,” presented by Rutgers Center of Innovation In Worker Organization and Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor.
The forum focused on lessons learned by organizers in the “Fix Los Angeles Campaign,” a diverse coalition of labor and community groups that broke the mold on collective bargaining in Los Angeles and won back jobs and public services for the city.
Panelists discussed how labor unions are building coalitions with community groups as full partners, sitting down together at the bargaining table, and using their collective negotiating power to demand changes that improve the whole community, not just for union members.
For our complete report, plus photos, go to dclabor.org
On today’s labor calendar, Joe Briggs, Counsel for the National Football League Players Association, will lead a noontime discussion at the AFL-CIO on the significance of collective bargaining and the gains it has led to for players—both past and present. He'll also talk about the league's role in safety for all football players.
For the latest local labor calendar, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1899, New York City newsboys, many so poor that they were sleeping in the streets, began a 2-week strike. Several rallies drew more than 5,000 newsboys, complete with charismatic speeches by strike leader Kid Blink, who was blind in one eye. The boys had to pay publishers up front for the newspapers; the strike was successful in forcing the publishers to buy back unsold papers. The strike also inspired the 1992 film “Newsies,” which in turn was adapted into the long-running Broadway musical.
In 1971, postal unions and the Postal Service signed the first labor contract in the history of the federal government, a year after an unauthorized strike by 200,000 postal workers.
Today’s labor quote is by Jack Kelly, the striking newsie played by Christian Bale in the film:
“There's a lot of people out there, and they ain't just gonna go away. They got voices now and they're goin' to be listened to. Putting them in jail is not going to stop them.”