by Lindsay Beyerstein
How our blog got its name
Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”
Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.
It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.
Deadly Fire Sparks Worker's Rights Movement in Pakistan
A deadly fire in a Pakistani factory has galvanized a new worker's rights movement. On September 22, over 70 trade union federations, union locals, leftist parties, youth groups, human rights organizations, and concerned citizens resolved to demand justice for the victims and work together to improve safety in the workplace.
Nasir Mansoor, the Deputy Director of the National Trade Union Federation of Pakistan is a founding member of the new group. He writes:
The representatives decided to form the "Workers Right Movement (WRM)" to launch a movement for the implementation of labor laws, compensation to the families of the deceased workers, compensation for the injured and for other workers who lost their livelihoods due to the fire, closure of the factory, and the arrest of factory owners and confiscation of their assets and bank accounts.
To press for these demands, plans for a large worker rights rally at Regal Chawk at 4pm on Saturday, September 29, were announced. [LINAC]
We'll keep you posted on the new movement's progress.
[Image credit: nasirjumani2008, Creative Commons.]