With chants of “what would Cesar do?” teachers from the only unionized charter school in DC took to the streets earlier this week to protest what they say is irresponsible spending by the school. Chavez Prep Middle is paying millions of dollars to private consulting firm TenSquare at the same time core classroom positions are left unfilled. “We want to make sure our students are as best-served as possible,” said eighth-grade math teacher Do Lee. “But a lot of our money is going to TenSquare, and we don’t see the trickle-down effect.” Teachers are particularly angry that the school, which serves a large Hispanic student population, has failed to fill the teaching vacancy for a class in English as a second language. "This anti-worker agenda has no place in the District of Columbia where we strive for democracy and transparency and recognize the need for fairness in the workplace," Washington Teachers' Union president Liz Davis told Union City. "We have an additional responsibility to honor, not to trample upon, the good name of Cesar Chavez," she added. The teachers voted to unionize in June, and are in the midst of negotiating a new contract.
photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post
“Dear Chris, We received a FF flier mile donated flight!” writes Nadeen Bir of Student Action with Farmworkers (SAF). “Just wanted to circle back and thank you!!” SAF is battling for farmworker justice and is asking for donations of frequent-flier miles to help bring students to North Carolina to “experience a life-changing summer” (Union City, 4/19). Email Nadeen at [email protected] for details.
photo courtesy Student Action with Farmworkers
"As we go marching, marching
In the beauty of the day
A million darkened kitchens
A thousand mill lofts grey
Are touched with all the radiance
That a sudden sun discloses
For the people hear us singing
Bread and roses, bread and roses"
From his poem "Bread and Roses," hear it here, as performed in the movie "Pride."
Click here to check out this week's Labor History Today podcast. Hosts Joe McCartin and Chris Garlock talk with Joe Uehlein about the connections between labor and the environmental movement; Patrick Dixon’s interview with Peter Cole on the IWW’s 1923 West Coast strike, Damon Silvers on the arrest of Montgomery Ward Chairman Sewell Avery in 1944, and Saul Schniderman on Ida Mae Stull, the country’s first woman coal miner. This week's music features Joe Uehlein and the U-Liners singing “You Can't GiddyUp By Sayin' Whoa!” and “Power.”
First strike for 10-hour day, by Boston carpenters - 1825
James Oppenheim’s poem “Bread and Roses” published in IWW newspaper Industrial Solidarity - 1911
President Dwight Eisenhower signs Executive Order 10450: Security Requirements for Government Employment. The order listed “sexual perversion” as a condition for firing a federal employee and for denying employment to potential applicants - 1953
A cooling tower for a power plant under construction in Willow Island, West Virginia collapses, killing 51 construction workers in what is thought to be the largest construction accident in U.S. history. OSHA cited contractors for 20 violations, including failures to field test concrete. The cases were settled for $85,000—about $1,700 per worker killed - 1978
Coal mine collapses at Eccles, W.Va., killing 181 workers - 1914
A total of 119 die in Benwood, W.Va., coal mine disaster - 1924
Congress creates OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The AFL-CIO sets April 28 as “Workers Memorial Day” to honor all workers killed or injured on the job every year - 1971
First “Take Our Daughters to Work Day,” promoted by the Ms. Foundation, to boost self-esteem of girls with invitations to a parent’s workplace - 1993
Coxey’s Army of 500 unemployed Civil War veterans reaches Washington, D.C. - 1894
An estimated 1,000 silver miners, angry over low wages, the firing of union members and the planting of spies in their ranks by mine owners, seize a train, load it with 3,000 pounds of dynamite, and blow up the mill at the Bunker Hill mine in Wardner, Idaho - 1899
The special representative of the National War Labor Board issues a report, “Retroactive Date for Women’s Pay Adjustments,” setting forth provisions for wage rates for women working in war industries who were asking for equal pay. Women a year earlier had demanded equal pay for work comparable to that done by men – 1943
Compiled/edited by Union Communication Services