Cerberus Capital Management, Safeway’s new owner, last week abruptly announced plans to close the facility, one of the newest grocery distribution centers in the country, during the Christmas holidays, costing local workers 900 jobs. "Please come out this Sunday and help us let your neighbors know what's at stake," urges Ritchie Brooks, president of Teamsters Local 730, which represents the warehouse workers. Also affected are Safeway drivers represented by Teamsters Local 639 and building maintenance workers who are members of Operating Engineers Local 99.
For the latest local labor event listings, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt established a fact-finding commission that suspended a nine-months-long strike by Western Pennsylvania coal miners fighting for better pay, shorter workdays and union recognition. The strikers ended up winning more pay for fewer hours, but failed to get union recognition. It was the first time that the federal government had intervened as a neutral arbitrator in a labor dispute.
In 2001, postal workers Joseph Curseen and Thomas Morris died nearly a month after having inhaled anthrax at the Brentwood mail sorting center in Washington, D.C. Other postal workers had also been sickened but survived. Letters containing the deadly spores had been addressed to U.S. Senate offices and media outlets.
Today’s labor quote is by Theodore Roosevelt:
"If I were a factory employee, a labourer on the railroad, or a wage earner of any sort, I would undoubtedly join the union of my trade."
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