"Marchers back janitors seeking full-time jobs" by Evan Allen | Globe Correspondent, September 03, 2012
Hundreds of union workers marched from Boston Common to Copley Square Monday afternoon in a Labor Day rally supporting efforts to win 14,000 New England janitors full-time jobs — and benefits such as health insurance — when their contract expires at the end of the month....
About 750 people turned out for the march.
Chanting “Sí se puede” — a rallying cry that means “Yes we can” in Spanish — and carrying purple flags and homemade banners, they were joined by Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray, congressional candidate Joseph Kennedy III, and other politicians who threw their support to the workers’ fight. “Here we are on Labor Day,” said Murray, standing on the bandstand on Boston Common. “You epitomize the labor movement. You are the strength of the labor movement. We are your partners.”
For the janitors, full-time employment would mean stability, a chance to achieve a middle-class existence.
“My dream is to buy a home one day,” part-time janitor Filipa Ramos, 61, of Roxbury, said through a translator. “With full time, I would maybe be able to accomplish that. That’s a dream that almost all cleaning workers have.”
Janitors’ union OK’s strike unless new deal is reached
Janitors’ strike threat looms as contract expires
N.E. janitors sign four-year contract
Deal on janitors’ contract is a win for all sides
"100 years later, Bread and Roses tribute unveiled" by Jeremy C. Fox | Globe Correspondent, September 04, 2012
LAWRENCE — A century ago, thousands of mostly immigrant workers in Lawrence textile mills came together despite barriers of language and custom for a nine-week strike that became a landmark in the history of labor, now known as the Bread and Roses Strike....
The smell of french fries and funnel cakes filled the air as the monument was unveiled at Lawrence’s 28th annual Bread and Roses Festival, a Labor Day celebration focused on organized labor....
Jonas Smolkas, a Lithuanian mill worker killed in October 1912 for wearing an Industrial Workers of the World button, was one of three whose deaths were strike-related. Others were beaten by members of the state militia or by Harvard College students, who received course credit for helping intimidate workers, said Jonas Stundzia, cochair of the monument committee....
Also see: Food service workers sue Progressive Gourmet