On this day in 1917, the Supreme Court upheld the Eight Hour Act, the first federal law regulating the work hours of private companies. The law was passed by Congress after nationwide industrial strikes. Unions have also been instrumental in fighting for worker rights but fair scheduling and overtime are still issues for many Americans. Discuss this anniversary citing the values of community and economic opportunity.
On March 12, 1912, the Bread and Roses strikers in Lawrence, MA successfully won their demands. The Zinn Education Project notes, “This was an historic strike that united workers across many traditional barriers including language, nationality, gender, and age.” Cite this anniversary and cite the values of economic opportunity and community.
On this day in 2007, President George W. Bush signed into law the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which gradually raised the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour. It was the last time that the federal minimum wage was raised. Use this anniversary to talk about the urgent need to create economic opportunity for more Americans by paying living wages. Cite the values of economic opportunity and community.
May Day is also known as International Workers’ Day. This date has become one of the larger mobilization days to celebrate the important contributions of immigrants to our communities, economy and uplift the need for reforms that uphold human rights and dignity. Talk about the values of community and economic opportunity.
On Workers Memorial Day, labor unions and organizations working for occupational safety remember those who have suffered and died on the job, while renewing the fight for safe jobs. Cite the values of economic opportunity, community, and voice when discussing this day.
Today is the birthday of labor organizer and activist Dolores Huerta (1930). Use this anniversary to discuss the concerns of immigrant workers in the U.S. today. Cite the values of equity, voice, and economic opportunity.