The successful vote comes less than a week after the beleaguered streetcar began carrying passengers and despite anti-union pressure by the private contractors operating the streetcar who just months ago were found guilty of illegal anti-union activity, including threatening, intimidating, and interrogating workers who wanted to unionize. ATU President Larry Hanley applauded quote "the courageous workers at the D.C. Streetcar, who stood up today and won a more democratic workplace in the face of despicable attacks by their employer." Hanley called on DC Mayor Bowser to quote "remove these law-breaking, union-busting contractors, make streetcar workers public employees, and bargain a fair contract with them and their representatives at Local 689."
On tonight's labor calendar, don't miss "We Were There," a rousing celebration of Women’s History Month at 6pm at the Takoma Busboys and Poets. The free event is an inspiring multi-media performance, featuring a cast of local women activists using spoken word, music and images to powerfully illustrate women's longtime role in the fight for worker's rights.
For all of this week's labor events, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar for complete details.
Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1908, thousands of New York needle trades workers demonstrated for higher wages, a shorter workday, and an end to child labor. The demonstration became the basis for International Women’s Day, now celebrated around the world.
In 1926, New York members of the Fur and Leather Workers Union, many of them women, struck for better pay and conditions. They persevered despite beatings by police, winning a 10-percent wage increase and a five-day work week.
And in 1932, the Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act took effect on this date. It limits the ability of federal judges to issue injunctions against workers and unions involved in labor disputes.
In 1979, César Chávez led 5,000 striking farmworkers on a march through the streets of Salinas, California.
Today’s labor quote is by Cesar Chavez
"Ours is an economic struggle, a genuine struggle, and people don’t give up on those very easily – any more than on religion. If we had any other kind of struggle we’d be dead."