May Day

May Day
On May Day, we celebrated the contributions of workers and their commitment to continue fighting for a better economy and social justice.

Let’s take a look at history to see why May Day is important.

The Pullman Strike, 1894

PullmanStrikeAt a time when there was no federal minimum wage laws, on May 11, 1894, workers of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Pullman, Ill. struck to protest wage cuts and rent hike as they were fighting to be recognized as a union. On June 26, the American Railway Union (ARU) called a boycott of all Pullman Railways. 50,000 rail workers walked off the job. The strike spread through 27 states and involved over 150,000 workers, including many immigrants. When the railroad owners asked the federal government to intervene, a court injunction was issued and President Cleveland ordered federal troops to break the strike in Pullman. Rioting began after a national guardsman fired into the crowd. Four were killed, at least 30 were injured and at least 5 were arrested.

The Pullman Strike was important not only because it showed the power of unity when workers are organizing, but unfortunately also because it was the first time a federal injunction had ever been used to break up a strike.

While nothing was immediately won, the strike was the beginning of the fight for minimum wage laws and workers’ rights.

Fight For $15 Hits New High on Tax Day

Fight For 15April 15, also known as Tax Day, is marked in history with new significance as the Fight For $15 successfully organized protests across the country and around the globe, including in Fresno, San Jose and Berkeley.

Learn more and see more photos.

“First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out —
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the communists
and I did not speak out —
because I was not a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out —
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me —
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.”

— Pastor Niemöller (victim of the Nazis)

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