Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
August 14—Members of the upstart Polish union Solidarity seize the Lenin shipyard in . Sixteen days later the government officially recognizes the union. Many consider the event the beginning of the end for the Iron Curtain – 1980
August 15—Populist social commentator Will Rogers killed in a plane crash, Point Barrow, Alaska. One of his many classic lines: “I don’t make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts” – 1935
August 16—George Meany, plumber, founding AFL-CIO president, born in City Island, Bronx. In his official biography, George Meany and His Times, he said he had “never walked a picket line in his life.” He also said he took part in only one strike (against the United States Government to get higher pay for plumbers on welfare jobs). Yet he also firmly said that “You only make progress by fighting for progress.” Meany served as secretary-treasurer of the AFL from 1940 to 1952, succeeded as president of the AFL, and then continued as president of the AFL-CIO following the historic merger in 1955 until retiring in 1979 – 1894
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Labor Video: The Job Interview
A classic Monty Python routine: The Job Interview. Click here to watch the video.