Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition; Labor Video

Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
April 24—An eight-story building housing garment factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapses, killing 1,129 workers and injuring 2,515.  A day earlier cracks had been found in the structure,  but factory officials, who had contracts with Benneton and other major U.S. labels, insisted the workers return to the job the next day – 2013
2015.04.20-history-rev-abernathyApril 25—The Reverend Ralph David Abernathy and 100 others are arrested while picketing a Charleston, S.C., hospital in a demand for union recognition – 1969
April 26—The U.S. House of Representatives passes House Joint Resolution No. 184, a constitutional amendment to prohibit the labor of persons under 18 years of age. The Senate approved the measure a few weeks later, but it was never ratified by the states and is still technically pending – 1924
(Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor: Your heart will be broken 2015.04.20-history-kidworkby this exceptional book’s photographs of children at backbreaking, often life-threatening work, and the accompanying commentary by author Russell Freedman. Photographer Lewis Hine—who himself died in poverty in 1940—did as much, and perhaps more, than any social critic in the early part of the 20th century to expose the abuse of children, as young as three and four, by American capitalism.)
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2015.04.20-video-screengrabLabor Video: Why I Chip In for Dinner With My Friends
It’s important that everyone contribute their fair share—whether at dinner with friends or with your co-workers in the union. The union represents everyone in the fight for better wages and benefits for all—regardless of whether they pay their dues or not. Click here to watch the video.

Today in Labor History: April 23; Labor Humor

Today in Labor History: April 232015.04.20-history-stull
Death of Ida Mae Stull, nationally recognized as the country’s first woman coal miner – 1980
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Labor Humor: The Fortune 500 CEO
Did you hear the one about the Fortune 500 CEO who decided he’d take a salary no more than 20 times what his highest-paid employee made?
Don’t be silly, of course you didn’t!
—From Workplace Jokes: Only SOME of Them Will Get You Fired!

Today in Labor History: April 22; Member Tip

Today in Labor History: April 222015.04.20-history-hazel-dickens
Songwriter, musician and activist Hazel Dickens dies at age 75. Among her songs: “They’ll Never Keep Us Down” and “Working Girl Blues.”  Cultural blogger John Pietaro: “Dickens didn’t just sing the anthems of labor, she lived them. Her place on many a picket line, staring down gunfire and goon squads, embedded her into the cause” – 2011
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Member Tip: Immigration Laws

Labor unions, immigrant advocacy groups, and employers have fought for years over what federal law should say about employers hiring workers who are not U.S. citizens.  The battle is an important one because of how such laws can encourage tensions and conflicts among workers based on their nationality or how they can stand in the way of discriminatory employment decisions based on national origin.  To control the hiring of undocumented workers, federal law—and possibly your union contract—sets forth requirements as to what personal identification documents your employer can insist upon seeing, and when.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer

Today in Labor History: April 21

New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller signs Taylor Law, permitting union organization and bargaining by public employees, but outlawing the right to strike – 1967
(A Primer on American Labor Law is an accessible guide written for nonspecialists—labor and management representatives, students, general practice lawyers, and trade unionists, government officials, and academics from other countries. It covers such topics as the National Labor Relations Act, unfair labor practices, the collective bargaining relationship, dispute resolution, the public sector, and public-interest labor law.)

Some 12,500 Goodyear Tire workers strike nine plants in what was to become a 3-week walkout over job security, wage and benefit issues – 1997
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Today in Labor History: April 20; Cool Labor Site

Today in Labor History: April 202015.04.20-history-ludlow
Ludlow massacre:  Colorado state militia, using machine guns and fire, kill about 20 people—including 11 children—at a tent city set up by striking coal miners – 1914
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Cool Labor Site: American Labor Studies Center
The American Labor Studies Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to collect, analyze, evaluate, create and disseminate labor history and labor studies curricula and related materials, aligned to the various state and national standards, to kindergarten through 12th grade teachers nationwide.

Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition; Labor Video

Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
April 17—An explosion at a West Texas fertilizer plant kills 15 people and injures nearly 300 when 30 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate—stored in sheds without sprinkler systems—caught fire.  Of those killed, ten were emergency responders – 20132015.04.13-history-powell-jr2
April 18—After a four-week boycott led by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., bus companies in New York City agree to hire 200 black drivers and mechanics – 1941
April 19—In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the nation’s “Furniture City,” more than 6,000 immigrant workers—Germans, Dutch, Lithuanians and Poles—put down their tools and struck 59 factories for four months in what was to become known as the Great Furniture Strike – 1919
2015.04.13-history-immigrant(The New Urban Immigrant Workforce: Organizing Innovations: This ground-breaking look at immigrant labor organizing and mobilization today draws on participant observation, ethnographic interviews, historical documents, and new case studies. The writers provide real evidence of immigrants’ eagerness for collective action and organizing, and they argue that this desire to organize stems from the immigrants’ social isolation.)
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Labor Video: Right to Prosper 2015.04.13-video-rtw
Tell extremists pushing so-called right to work to stop lowering our nation’s expectations. The poor in the developing world have work. America is about more—it’s about the right and freedom to prosper. Click here to watch the video.

Today in Labor History: April 16; Labor Humor

Today in Labor History: April
An estimated 20,000 global justice activists blockade Washington, D.C., meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund – 2000
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Labor Humor: Change the Light Bulb
How many rich people does it take to change a light bulb?
+++None. They get some guy to do it at minimum wage while they closely supervise all facets of the operation and talk at great length how they once changed a light bulb themselves.
—From Workplace Jokes: Only SOME of Them Will Get You Fired!