Today in Labor History: July 22
Newly unionized brewery workers in San Francisco, mostly German socialists, declare victory after the city’s breweries give in to their demands for free beer, the closed shop, freedom to live anywhere (they had typically been required to live in the breweries), a 10-hour day, 6-day week, and a board of arbitration – 1886
(From First Contact to First Contract: A Union Organizer’s Handbook is a no-nonsense tool from veteran labor organizer and educator Bill Barry. He looks to his own vast experience to document and help organizers through all the stages of a unionization campaign, from how to get it off the ground to how to bring it home with a signed contract and a strong bargaining unit.)
—Click here for the complete posting.
Member Tip: Health and Safety
There is a confusing patchwork of laws and agencies that govern workplace health and safety matters, but they’re all extremely important. Six thousand American workers are killed on the job each year, and there are far too many instances of unnecessary workplace injuries and illnesses. The best-known workplace health and safety law is OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which is administered by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also called OSHA. Some workplaces (such as those in the coal mining industry) are regulated by a separate law, and almost half the states administer their own, federally approved programs for public sector employees. Other laws and federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, play a role as well. And in all likelihood, your union contract has extra protections for your workplace health and safety.
—Adapted from The Union Member’s Complete Guide, by Michael Mauer