The number of striking workers in the U.S. jumped to nearly 500,000 last year, the highest in 40 years. That number will undoubtedly be even higher this year, led by strikes by 48,000 autoworkers at GM and tens of thousands of teachers in Los Angeles and Chicago.
The particular issues of each strike vary but after decades of watching corporations and the rich accumulate ever more money and power, perhaps the Chicago teacher’s slogan sums up worker’s sentiments best: “When We Fight, We Win.”
In today’s labor history, on this date in 1936, 1,200 workers sat down at Midland Steel in Detroit, forcing recognition of the United Auto Workers.
Today’s labor quote is from the pro-labor musical revue, “Pins & Needles,” which opened on Broadway on this date in 1937 with a cast of members of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. The show ran on Friday and Saturday nights only, because of the casts’ regular jobs. It ran for 1,108 performances before closing. Here’s Barbra Streisand, singing "Not Cricket To Picket":
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