Today in Labor History: July 24
The United Auto Workers and the Teamsters form the Alliance for Labor Action (ALA), later to be joined by several smaller unions. The ALA’s agenda included support of the civil rights movement and opposition to the war in Vietnam. It disbanded after four years following the death of UAW President Walter Reuther – 1968
(All Labor Has Dignity: People forget that Dr. King was every bit as committed to economic justice as he was to ending racial segregation. He fought throughout his life to connect the labor and civil rights movements, envisioning them as twin pillars for social reform.)
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Labor Humor: A Day at the Races
While placing a bet at the track, a company CEO sees a union steward from his factory is at the next window. The CEO hasn’t won a race yet, so out of curiosity he starts to watch what the steward does.
He soon notices that the steward bets heavily on horses that have been visited by a roving priest, who appears to be blessing the ponies. The steward wins every time! The CEO begins to bet on those horses too and, no matter what the odds, those horses win their races—he’s raking in the bucks! He goes to a nearby ATM, withdraws his savings, and then watches to see which horse the priest visits next. He’s surprised when it’s the longest shot of the day—an older, tired-looking nag. But still, the priest touches the nag’s forehead so the CEO puts his life’s savings on the horse.
The nag finishes last. The crazed CEO confronts the steward and demands to know whether he, too, had lost his shirt on the race. The steward says “Of course not! I didn’t bet on that horse.” “Why not?” demands the CEO. “The priest blessed him, as he did all the others!”
“You should go to church once in a while,” replied the steward. “Then you’d know the difference between a blessing and last rites.”
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