Today in Labor History: May 7
Two die, 20 are injured in “Bloody Tuesday” as strikebreakers attempt to run San Francisco streetcars during a strike by operators. The strike was declared lost in 1908 after many more deaths, including several in scab-operated streetcar accidents – 1907
—Click here for the complete posting.
Member Tip: Concluding an Agreement
When you are faced with the often difficult decision of whether to ratify a tentative agreement on a new contract, keep in mind that this vote is different from votes you cast in other parts of your life. In state and national elections, we vote to elect someone else to do a job for us. In voting on a collective bargaining agreement, our vote obligates us to do certain things. We usually don’t have the luxury of just voting “no” and figuring that someone else will do what’s needed to make things better. Chances are, the reason the bargaining team came back to the membership with what they did was because they got the best deal that seemed possible. So you usually will need to think of your vote to reject a tentative contract agreement as being a vote to get personally involved, so that the union will then have the extra clout needed to get a better settlement than what you just turned down. If a contract is ratified, sometimes it takes a little while for the final language to get tidied up, and the new contract to be in place. Once it’s printed, you should get a copy—which is your legal right—so you can know your workplace rights.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer