On this date in 1913, the only performance of the Pageant of the Paterson Strike took place at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Pageant was created and performed by a thousand mill workers from the silk industry strike in Paterson, New Jersey. The organizers structured the pageant in episodes narrating the events of the strike - first, the walkout with workers singing the Marseillaise, the violent clashes with police, the shooting of an innocent bystander, and the I.W.W.'s mass meeting. The Pageant also reenacted the May Day Parade in Paterson, with women and children dressed in red. The scene dramatized the emotional moments when the women on strike handed over their children to temporary "strike mothers" in other cities.
In 1979, the United Food and Commercial Workers held its founding convention. The new union brought together the Retail Clerks and the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butchers unions. Today, the UFCW represents 1.3 million workers in groceries, retail, packing and processing, chemical plants, distilleries, and the cannabis industry.
Today’s labor quote is one of the slogans the silk workers carried on banners in Paterson and shouted on the streets of New York:
"Eight Hours Work, Eight Hours Rest, and Eight Hours Pleasure."
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This has been Chris Garlock; see you on the line!