Voters in eight states go to the polls today with the main event focused on California where voters choose the top two candidates, regardless of party, who will face off in November. Californians call it the “jungle primary” which was instituted back when Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, was governor. Arnold thought that it would bring …
Tag: New Jersey
Aug 05 2013
The Great Philadelphia Textile Strike of 1903
The Central Textile Workers Union of Philadelphia held a meeting the evening of May 27, 1903. A vote was taken and a general strike call was issued. That general strike eventually caused 100,000 textile workers to go out on strike in the Philadelphia area. 16,000 of those were children under the age of 16, some as young as 8 or 9 years of age. The textile industry of the day employed children at a higher rate than any other industry. The number given from the 1900 census was 80,000. In cotton textiles, they made up 13.1% of the work force, and that rate reached 30% in the South.
The Central Textile Workers’ Union issued this statement:
Thirty-six trades, representing 90,000 people, ask the employers to reduce working hours from sixty to fifty-five hours a week. They are willing that wages be reduced accordingly. They strike for lower wages in an effort to get shorter hours.
Three trades, representing 10,000 people, ask for the same reduction in working hours, but, in addition, they ask for the same weekly wages or a slight increase, averaging ten per cent.
The request for shorter hours is made primarily for the sake of the children and women. For six years the organized textile workers of Philadelphia have been trying in vain to persuade the politician-controlled Legislature of Pennsylvania to pass a law which would reduce the working hours of children and women and stop them from doing night work.
Average wages for adults for 60 hours of work were $13. Children working 60 hours(!) got $2.
On Monday June 1st, at least 90,000 textile workers went out on strike in the Philadelphia area. Of the 600 mills in the city, about 550 were idle. Philadelphia now had more workers out on strike than at any other time in her history. Several thousand workers had already been on strike before the textile strike began, including: the carriage and wagon builders, and the carpenters along with others working in the building trades. It appeared that the city would be in for a long hot summer.
By the next day, Tuesday, the strike spread to the hosiery mills, increasing the army of idle workers by 8,000 Most of these were women and children employed in the Kensington district. This class of workers was unorganized, but they decided to join the ranks of the unionist in other branches of the textile trade as they witnessed the magnitude of the fight for a shorter work week. The Manufacturers vowed they would not submit to the union demands even if they had to shut down their factories indefinitely.
Jan 28 2012
On Tuesday, the New Jersey Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines to clear then Marriage Equality and Religious Exemption Act (S1 and A1, identical). WHen Senator Kip Bateman, R-Somerville, voted No, a member of the audience yelled, “Chicken!” There was a crowd of about 150 onlookers at the 4 hour meeting, with only about 25 against marriage equality.
At the same time as the meeting, Gov. Chris Christie was in Bridgewater calling for a voter referendum to be placed on the 2012 ballot, transparently trying to affect New Jersey’s voting for president.
And he actually had the audacity to say,
The institution of marriage is too serious to be treated like a political football. I would hope the Legislature would be willing to trust the people the way I’m willing to trust the people.
Jul 16 2011
Sometimes there are so many small stories swirling around that I feel the need to gather them together in one larger compendium. In the present case, some of them are updates to previous stories and some of them just don’t seem to fit anywhere else.
Irish Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton will publish legislation in the next year to provide for recognition of the acquired gender of transgender people. The long-awaited report on legal recognition of transsexual people in Ireland was presented to the Cabinet on Wednesday. Irish transgender rights law…or rather, the lack of same…was found to be in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights some time ago.
Jun 26 2011
Ed Schultz rails against the latest attack on the middles class, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s bill ending collective bargaining on health care for state employees and reducing their benefits.
This is an outrageous attack on state employees and unions that will hurt them for years. The bill will increase the costs of contributions to pension funds and limit access to health care at the same time it could increase subscriber costs by several hundred percent. It removes the right to choose where they go for treatment unless they purchase an even more expensive plan. Most public employees have no collective bargaining rights except for health care, this bill ends that right.
It also freezes retirees cost of living adjustments (COLA) for the next 30 years. These raises have fluctuated and for the last two years have been 0%. Without some raises the elderly in New Jersey may well find themselves impoverished.
While the bill was opposed by many Democrats, it was the Democratic leadership, including Senate President Stephen Sweeney, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Assemblyman Lou Greenwald, who sold out betrayed the fundamental Democratic values. Any Democrat that voted for this horrendous bill should be primaried by a real Democrat.
Nov 22 2010
I have a few pleasant photography stories to tell from a week ago. Between the autumn color and the desperation of one last warm weather week, it was a good week for a photo buff. Now don’t go busting my bubble by just looking at the photos because you can learn a lot from a photographer. We see things.
Below you will find a Third Rock from the Sun brief encounter during an evening walk in the Village. I have several memories from a lecture I attended on photojournalism. There is a pleasant Veterans Day walk under the George Washington Bridge on the New Jersey side followed by a sunset from the New York side. Then a Friday afternoon walk in Central Park with some music videos I made and all day Saturday there too. There is even a little taste of Florence, Italy.
Sep 28 2010
copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
In the Fall, this year and every year, in this nation talk turns to Education. The President of the United States delivers a speech to students. Articles appear in the news. Television broadcasts beckon us to think about our Education Nation. In 2010, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, did what many thought novel. He donated $100 million dollars to Newark City Schools. Some were skeptical of his motives. More rejoiced. Certainly with abundant cash in the coffers, change would come to the nations schools, or at least to the chosen educational institutions. However, it might not.
Jul 06 2010
I really didn’t have the heart to go out to a fireworks display yesterday, and so, in my worst form of thinking not so far ahead, this was my effort to keep the despair at bay. I live in New Jersey. I can’t really afford to live here, and not too far from now that’s going to become a desperate situation, which may mean I’ll need to move or find some other form of support in an economy where I don’t really expect any real solution, unless one appears by magic or kismet.
Making odd little videos is one desperate measure among many to keep the hounds in my mind at bay. Please feel free to pass this one along, if you find it amusing.
Too many of the jokes are in the video description, I’m afraid.
Since YouTube has redesigned their pages to make descriptions all but invisible to those who go there to look, I’m adding the description here as well:
Warning: THIS VIDEO IS VUVUZELA-COMPATIBLE
July 4, 2010 – Whackaninny County Court House, Gorp’s River, NJ
Whackaninny County Board of Supervisors regret to announce that, due to extreme budget cuts and a really fat governor, this year’s Fireworks display has been reduced drastically. We hope you understand. Jack’s nephew Walter has offered this video in place of fireworks. It’s about twice as long as the actual display, and contains special effects we could never afford to contract out, at least not in the state of New Jersey.
Please stop calling. Due to budget cuts we had to hock the answering machine and sell the receptionist into slavery. We tried to cancel the phone service but discovered we could not afford the disconnection fee.
Mar 19 2010
I spent the morning reading a 97-page pdf so that you don’t have to. It’s a Motion in Aid of Litigants’ Rights.
Yesterday, Lambda Legal went back to court here in New Jersey, filing a motion seeking marriage equality. The New Jersey Supreme Court ordered equality on October 25, 2006, in a case referred to as Lewis v Harris, but made the mistake of telling the legislature to implement that equality, which it has failed to do.’
|Civil unions are a failed legislative experiment in providing equality in New Jersey–marriage equality is the only solution.
–Hayley Gorenberg, Lambda Legal Deputy Legal Director
Jan 12 2010
Now in 14 States.
The lame duck Assembly, in it’s final day passed by 48-14 a considerably weaker bill than had cleared the senate a year ago, and adjourned, leaving the Senate with a take it or leave it on the Assembly draft. The Senate took it, 25-13.
Removed, provisions allowing patients to grow their own. Left in, non-profit “compassion centers,” analogous to dispensaries. Gov Corzine says he’ll sign, before leaving office on Jan. 19th. Incoming Republican Gov. Christie has indicated he’d also sign, if it’s left to him.
Next up, Wisconsin, where we’re also hearing from legislators uncomfortable with the grow at home provision. While negotiations are still underway in relevant committees to iron out details, I’m still confident we’ll get SOME bill passed before the end of the session in April. Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act
For New Jersey, I want to congratulate, in particular Jim Miller, whose wife Cheryl, stricken with Multiple Sclerosis, used to have him bring her, strapped in her rolling hospital bed, to lobby both in Trenton and the Capitol in DC.
When she passed away in 2003, he re-dedicated himself to completing her mission.
Jan 08 2010
The other day there was a Kossack who told me that Worker’s Rights were what it (presumably the Democratic Party) all should be about:
My point is that we have taken our focus off the core purpose of the Democratic party by elevating fringe interests above the major problems.
Fringe interests? Aren’t the people on the fringe also workers? Although numbers about the “least of us” are often difficult to uncover, one source lists the unemployment rate for transgender people at 35% and claims that 60% of us earn less that $16K per year. Another source “more generously” claims rather that 40% of us earn less than $20K.
Both are appalling, if you ask me.
Anyway, the truth is that I would much rather be working on issues more central to the human condition, but someone has to stand firm for the people on the fringe.
If not me, who? If not now, when?
There is a simple way to satisfy those of us who are on the fringe. Give us equal rights. Then we can work wholeheartedly on those “more important issues.”
Nov 28 2008
It’s ironic that WalMart has become an iconic symbol of the very same small towns that they’ve destroyed. Main Street sits, rotting if even in a beautiful way, as a vacant reminder of the not-too-distant past when we built walkable communities that worked. Places worth caring about, aesthetically pleasing mixed-use human scale neighborhoods that grew organically over time as the need arised. Buildings designed and built by real people, kept up with pride by the business owners who lived in an apartment on top of the store itself, or in a house a few blocks away. One with a long porch, on a street with sidewalks…so they could greet their neighbors as they walked by on a Sunday morning.
I’m not gonna think that I can influence the shopping habits of America with one blog post, but I am going to ask you the favor of at least considering what I have to say. If you’re gonna shop tomorrow, at least consider our neighbors and our neighborhoods. America is in the late stages of a serious disease, but fortunately there’s a cure…