When the immigrant-rights movement chose May Day for its big demonstrations last year, people shouldn't have been surprised. The worldwide workers' holiday was "Made in the U.S.A."
May Day's roots are deep in American history. In 1886, seeking the spark that would ignite the struggling labor movement, the fledgling American Federation of Labor called a general strike for the eight-hour day to begin on May Day, the carpenters' traditional day for setting wages and conditions.
As young men in the 1870s, AFL leaders like Sam Gompers and the Carpenters' P.J. McGuire -- both members of immigrant families in New York -- had seen a long building trades strike win the eight-hour-day, then lose it in the Crash of 1872. They also knew that the 10-hour day, won in the Philadelphia general strike of 1835, had energized labor before the Civil War.
With the expansion of the railroads,
what had once been local and regional labor markets had become
national. And by the 1880s it made sense to call for a national general
strike for the eight-hour day. More...
One of the great heroes to the labor movement passed away a short
while ago, Howard Zinn. The site dedicated to him contains lots and
lots and lots
of obituaries and rememberances and memorials. His People's History of the United States
(Published 1980) quickly made it onto the NY Times paperback nonfiction
bestseller list as of his death in late January and as of May Day,
remains on the list at #25.
The Temple University nurses conducted a strike on March 31st and by
the MayDay event, were
The new contract, which expires in October 2013, includes wage increases and provides some tuition reimbursement for dependents, according to sources familiar with it. Both sides declined to detail the terms until the members' meetings Wednesday.
Tuition reimbursement for dependents
became the most important issue and one of the last to be resolved.
Interesting variation on the Mexican piñata here. The kids
pull on strings all at once as opposed to one kid whacking the
Same happy result, though. Candy showers onto the ground and the
kids scramble for it.