Today in Labor History: October 10
Six days into a cotton field strike by 18,000 Mexican and Mexican-American workers in Pixley, Calif., four strikers are killed and six wounded; eight growers were indicted and charged with murder – 1933
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Member Tip: Protecting What We’ve Won
Even if what you are most focused on is conditions in your own workplace, here’s something to consider: successful union organizing in other workplaces will improve things for you. How much clout your union has at the bargaining table and in the legislative arena and elsewhere often is determined by “union density.” This term refers to the degree to which employees in your particular industry or geographic area are unionized. Simply stated, the greater the percentage of employees who are unionized, the more power each union has to win and enforce good contracts and to be an influential part of the process to enact a labor-friendly legislative agenda. Many statistical studies have shown that unions are better able to negotiate higher wages for the employees they represent when the employees of employers in the same competitive market are organized.
– Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer
Labor Song: Talkin’ New Patriotism Blues
Jack Chernos has performed in almost every type of venue: music festivals, picket lines and police barricades; in rock clubs, basements, churches, subways, community centers and auditoriums, and in union meetings and government buildings. His song “Sold Down the River,” about GATT, was played constantly from the Steelworkers’ billboard truck in Seattle during the big WTO protests. “The Union Grand” was the official theme song of the first Million Worker March in Washington. Click here to listen to the song.