Today’s labor calendar is jam-packed, beginning with a noontime talk about the 1877 Railroad Strike in Baltimore. Then at 6, there’s a benefit for the Restaurant Opportunity Center; also at 6, ATU Local 689 will hold a Public Hearing on Safety at Metro, and there’s also a DC Labor FilmFest Promotion Planning Meeting at the same time. Then at 6:30 the GU Women's Center is hosting a screening of "Paycheck to Paycheck." Go to dclabor.org and click on calendar for complete details on all these events.
Here's today's labor history:
On this date in 1894, populist Jacob Coxey led the first “Poor People’s March” on Washington, in which jobless workers demanded creation of a public works program.
In 1911, 146 workers were killed in a fire at New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a disaster that launched a national movement for safer working conditions.
Today's labor quote is by Jacob Coxey:
“We have come here through toil and weary marches, through storms and tempests, over mountains, and amid the trials of poverty and distress, to lay our grievances at the doors of our National Legislature and ask them in the name of Him whose banners we bear, in the name of Him who plead for the poor and the oppressed, that they should heed the voice of despair and distress that is now coming up from every section of our country, that they should consider the conditions of the starving unemployed of our land, and enact such laws as will give them employment, bring happier conditions to the people, and the smile of contentment to our citizens.”
This speech was delivered on the steps of the US Capitol in 1944, fifty years after Coxey, leading his “Poor People’s March,” was arrested there in 1894 for walking on the grass.