Today in Labor History: November 26
Six young women burn to death and 19 more die when they leap from the fourth-story windows of a blazing factory in Newark, N.J. The floors and stairs were wooden; the only door from which the women could flee was locked – 1910
(Are You Prepared? A Guide to Emergency Planning in the Workplace: Today’s headlines, much like those of yester-year, are filled with disaster, from the natural—fire, flood, hurricane, tornado and the like—to the man-made, such as workplace shootings, explosions, accidental releases of toxic chemicals or radiation, even nightmares such as bombings. Are you and your co-workers prepared to respond quickly and safely if disaster strikes? Steps you take today can save lives tomorrow, from having escape plans to knowing how to quickly turn off power and fuel supplies. Includes helpful checklists. Published by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.)
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Member Tip: What Happens in a Strike?
Private sector workers, and many public employees, have the right to strike. Usually, strikes are called either to get a first contract for a newly organized workplace or to pressure the employer to agree to a more favorable settlement after a contract expires. Unions do not decide lightly to call a strike. This decision is reached after an analysis of the situation and a strike vote by the members indicate that this is the most likely way for the workers’ interests to prevail. Strikes are riskier than they used to be. Over the years, both private sector companies and public employers have become much more aggressive in their responses to strikes. Both have tried more and more to get rid of strikers and do what they can to continue to conduct business as usual.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer