On today’s labor calendar, in addition to the 10a Fast Track rally at Senator Cardin’s office, there’s a discussion about the Loss of Citizenship and Mass Deportation of Families of Haitian Descent from the Dominican Republic at 10a at the AFL-CIO. Then at 12:15 find out more about Worker Justice in the Global Apparel Industry at the United Methodist Building; go to dclabor.org and click on calendar for details.
Here’s today’s labor history:
In 1914, Charles Moyer, president of the Western Federation of Miners, went to Butte, Montana in an attempt to mediate a conflict between factions of the miner’s local there. It didn’t go well. Gunfight in the union hall killed one man; Moyer and other union officers left the building, which was then leveled in a dynamite blast.
On this date in 1947, Congress overrode President Harry Truman's veto of the anti-worker Taft-Hartley Act. The law weakened unions and let states exempt themselves from union requirements. Twenty states immediately enacted open shop laws and more followed.
And in 1999, a majority of the 5,000 textile workers at six Fieldcrest Cannon textile plants in Kannapolis, North Carolina voted for union representation after an historic 25-year fight.
Today’s labor quote is by Harry Truman, after vetoing the Taft-Hartley bill:
“I am convinced it is a bad bill. It is bad for labor, bad for management, and bad for the country...The bill is deliberately designed to weaken labor unions. When the sponsors of the bill claim that by weakening unions, they are giving rights back to individual workingmen, they ignore the basic reason why unions are important in our democracy. Unions exist so that laboring men can bargain with their employers on a basis of equality. Because of unions, the living standards of our working people have increased steadily until they are today the highest in the world.”