Longtime AFGE Local 2876 president Joyce Melchor passed away recently. She had just retired on December 31 after heading the local for decades; she had been at the Government Printing Office for 50 years.
John Bonnage died on January 26. He was a health and safety trainer for AFSCME for many years and was particularly noted for his work on HIV/AIDS Education and on the Business and Labor Responds to AIDS project of the Centers for Disease Control.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1834, one of the first American labor newspapers, The Man, was published in New York City. It cost one cent, and, according to The History of American Journalism, “died an early death.” Another labor paper, the N.Y. Daily Sentinel, had been launched four years earlier.
In 1918, faced with 84-hour workweeks, 24-hour shifts and pay of 29¢ an hour, fire fighters formed The International Association of Fire Fighters. Some individual locals had affiliated with the AFL beginning in 1903.
Today’s labor quote is by labor educator Fred Kaltenstein:
“Why should we get involved? Why should my child learn about what happened to workers a hundred years ago? If these children don’t understand and appreciated the struggles of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, they may be doomed to fight the same battles over again.”