Today in Labor History: September 25
American photographer Lewis Hine born in Oshkosh, Wisc. – 1874
(Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor: Your heart will be broken by 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.)
—Click here for the complete posting.
Member Tip: How a Union Balances Different Interests
When a workplace issue arises, different individuals or groups within the bargaining unit may well have different and conflicting stakes in possible outcomes. For example, in contract negotiations the union can push for raises calculated as a percentage of salary or for raises as a flat dollar amount. The first formula puts more money in the pockets of those who already earn more, while the second ends up providing a greater percentage salary increase to lower-paid employees. There may be lots of good policy arguments for and against each of these alternatives, but in the end, whatever decision is made is going to be better financially for one group and worse for the other. Since there’s no way around this, the union is obligated only to act fairly in how it decides which direction to go, not to somehow come up with a magical solution that is perfect for everyone.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer