For the latest local labor events, go to dclabor.org and click on calendar.
This week's labor quiz asks Who wrote "The Jungle," which exposed the harsh conditions and exploited lives of immigrants in the Chicago meatpacking industry? Was it Sinclair Lewis; John Steinbeck; Upton Sinclair; Mark Twain or Ernest Hemingway? Submit your answer at unionist.com and you could be next week's winner!
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1926, Eugene V. Debs, U.S. labor leader and socialist, died in Elmhurst, Illinois. Among his radical ideas: an 8-hour workday, pensions, workman's compensation, sick leave and social security. He ran for president from a jail cell in 1920 and got a million votes.
In 1947, Hollywood came under scrutiny as the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence within the motion picture industry. Dozens of union members were among those blacklisted as a result.
And on this date in 1980, Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan promised PATCO President Robert Poli that if the union endorsed Reagan, "I will take whatever steps are necessary to provide our air traffic controllers with the most modern equipment available and to adjust staff levels and work days so that they are commensurate with achieving a maximum degree of public safety." He got the endorsement. Nine months after the election, he fired the air traffic controllers for striking over staffing levels and working conditions.
Today’s labor quote is by Eugene V. Debs:
“Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be led out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up your minds there is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves.”
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