This week’s Labor History Today podcast: Working-Class Christmas
On today’s special holiday show, professor Kathy Newman argues that it was the working class that invented Christmas and many of the traditions that are associated with the holiday season. A year ago, nearly a million government workers were locked out or working without pay; we talk to Gregory Guthrie, president of National Federation of Federal Employees Local 1627, about last year’s historic government shutdown. And Saul Schneiderman – with some help from Woody Guthrie – remembers the 1913 Massacre (photo).
Last week's show: (12/15): Hidden in the Fields
AFL officers are found in contempt of court for urging a labor boycott of Buck's Stove and Range Co. in St Louis, MO where the Metal Polishers were striking for a 9-hour day - 1908
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest employer, with 1.4 million "associates," agrees to settle 63 wage and hour suits across the U.S., for a grand total of between $352 million and $640 million. It was accused of failure to pay overtime, requiring off-the-clock work, and failure to provide required meal and rest breaks - 2008
- David Prosten
ATU Local 689 members on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to approve a “historic” four-year labor deal with WMATA. “The deal safeguards our members from privatization, guarantees steady wage increases, and helps provide a path towards bringing the Cinder Bed Bus garage in-house while protecting the workers that work there now,” Local 689 said in a press release. The WMATA Board of Directors unanimously approved the deal on Friday.
While the union said the deal will help prevent future labor disputes, “it does not immediately end the ongoing strike” at the Cinder Bed garage in Lorton, VA that’s been going on for almost 60 days. “Unfortunately, Transdev has not met our simple demands for written guarantees that the company will not retaliate and a commitment to good faith bargaining,” said Local 689. The next date that the company has agreed to meet for bargaining is January 14th. “This is completely unacceptable,” said Local 689. “Not only is this company trying to starve its workers during the holidays, but it shows no remorse for stranding passengers an additional 25 days without buses.”
The union proposed a simple way to end the strike: “WMATA should hire all of these operators, utility workers, and mechanics immediately. WMATA should then put them to work restoring service to the stranded riders in Northern Virginia.”
Updated to reflect the WMATA board's approval of the deal Friday.
Holiday schedule: The last Union City of the year will appear next Monday, December 23, returning on Friday, January 3. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook and the dclabor.org website for breaking news over the holidays. Union City Radio will continue through the holiday break, weekdays at 7:15a on WPFW 89.3FM. Best wishes for happy, healthy and safe holidays!