“At a time when we need to be expanding public transit offerings and working to get people out of their cars, WMATA seems to be moving in the wrong direction,” the union said.
Local 689, which represents transit workers throughout the region, also called for the elimination of WMATA’s 3% budget cap. The cap prompted WMATA to hire Transdev to run its Cinder Bed Bus Garage as a way to restrict budget growth, and the private contractor treated the workers there so badly that they went on strike for 85 days, shutting down bus service for thousands of passengers in Northern Virginia.
On this weekend’s labor calendar, Arise! Host Bill Fletcher will discuss “African-American Radicals and the American Labor Movement” tomorrow from 3 to 6pm at the Nicaraguan Embassy; for details and all the latest local labor events listings, go to dclabor.org and click on Calendar.
For today’s labor history, I’m actually going to use something from tomorrow, in honor of Leap Year. On February 29, 1915, the legal minimum age for workers in mills, factories, and mines in South Carolina was raised from twelve to fourteen.
Today’s labor quote is by Bruce Springsteen and Willie Nelson, who in December 1985, wrote a letter to 3M, the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Company, asking them not to shut down the company’s video and audio tape facility in Freehold, New Jersey, Springsteen’s hometown.
″We know that these decisions are always difficult to make,” Springsteen and Nelson wrote, “but we believe that people of good will should be able to sit down and come up with a humane program that will keep those jobs and those workers in Freehold.″
3M went ahead with their plans and on February 28, 1986, in response to the layoff of 450 union members at the factory in New Jersey, every worker at a 3M factory in South Africa, walked off the job in sympathy.
Union City Radio is supported by our friends at Union Plus. Did you know that union members can save up to 25% on car rentals with Union Plus. Break your cabin fever and book a car rental now to get your union discount. Visit unionplus.org/carrental to get started.
You can also support Union City Radio and WPFW by contributing during our Winter Pledge Drive; call 202-588-9739 or pledge online at wpfwfm.org. Thank you so much!