ICYMI

The New York City history and news site, 6sqft, ran a different look at the horrendous Triangle Shirtwaist Fire tragedy of 1911. In “Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the women who fought for labor reform,” staff historian Lucie Levine states its importance. “Triangle stood out as the deadliest workplace tragedy in New York City before 9/11. It served as a bellwether in the American labor movement, galvanizing Americans in all walks of life to join the fight for industrial reform.” And this was especially true of women, as Levine details.

 

As the AP reported, New Mexico blocks right-to-work ordinances. In state capital, Santa Fe, “Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed legislation that asserts the state's exclusive jurisdiction over union security agreements.” Several counties tried to pass RTW rules, but, “New Mexico is prohibiting local governments from enacting right-to-work ordinances that prevent employees from being required to join a union or pay union fees.”

 

On March 26, Politico revealed that McDonald’s told the National Restaurant Association that it would no longer support efforts to prevent minimum wage increases. “We believe increases should be phased in and that all industries should be treated the same way,” said McDonald's vice president of government relations, Genna Gent. “The conversation about wages is an important one; it’s one we wish to advance, not impede,” she said. McDonald’s has been facing pressure on two fronts: from unions and the minimum wage campaign, and because they’re having trouble finding workers willing to work for unlivable pay.

 

According to Vox, “Since January, thousands of factory workers have been striking for higher wages in Mexican border cities, which are home to hundreds of factories run by US companies and subcontractors.” Not only are workers incensed over substandard wages, but they’re defying their unions, which tend to be corrupt and controlled by business or government. “The movement is now spreading beyond factories in the border region, with cashiers at US-owned supermarkets and fast-food chains demanding raises too. That includes Sam’s Club stores and Walmart stores,” said Vox.

 

According to Canadian public broadcasting (CBC), the Quebec provincial government has been trying for several years to discover how many public school teachers are wearing religious symbols—such as hijabs or Jewish kippas. In response, the 43,000 member teachers union, Fédération autonome de l'Enseignement, is fighting back in court saying “the move violated Quebec's Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms.”

Photo from The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library, via the Luce Center at the New York Historical Society.


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