Today in Labor History: March 12
The Lawrence, Mass., “Bread and Roses” textile strike ends when the American Woolen Co. agrees to most of the strikers’ demands; other textile companies quickly followed suit – 1912
(Lyddie: Lyddie Worthen is a 13-year-old farm girl who takes a job in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, when hard times hit her family. Six days a week from dawn to dusk she and the other girls run weaving looms in the murky dust-and lint-filled factory. Lyddie learns to read—and to handle the menacing overseer. But when the working conditions begin to affect her friends’ health, she has to make a choice. Will she speak up for better working conditions and risk her job—and her dream of reuniting her family? Or will she stay quiet until it is perhaps too late?)
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Member Tip: Union Steward Availability
There is no set rule for how many stewards you’ll find in a particular workplace, or how many will have responsibility for particular work areas. Sometimes there is a natural organization of the workplace—such as a well-defined work area, or a particular work shift or one building separated from the rest of a larger facility—so that it makes sense for stewards to be assigned on that basis. So it may be that stewards where you work function according to workplace geography—a steward may be responsible for all union members on a particular floor of a building, for example. Maybe your steward is one who handles matters that directly affect everyone who does your type of job—such as all accountants in a particular government agency, or all nurses aides on a particular wing of a nursing home—or maybe your steward deals with everyone who works on your shift.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer