25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

August 20, 2018

August 23, 1993

PERCY, Illinois — On July 27 another 1,000 miners joined the United Mine Workers of America strike for a contract.

This was the eighth expansion of the national coal strike, which began May 10. There are now 17,000 UMWA members on the picket lines in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Dan Spinnie, a striking coal miner who just returned from a speaking tour in the West, said the news media was surprised to see the overwhelming solidarity he got from other workers.

“What in the world could flight attendants and coal miners have in common?” a reporter asked him after he addressed a meeting of Alaska Airlines flight attendants fighting for a contract.

“I told him we’re all working people,” Spinnie said.

August 23, 1968

BERKELEY — GIs and veterans of the Vietnam war held a successful “GI-Teach-in” here attended by 800 people, including about 100 soldiers. The teach-in was held in response to a call by the Student Mobilization Committee for demonstrations on the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. After speeches against the war by several veterans, the microphone was opened to GIs and veterans in the audience.

Of 17 servicemen who took the mike, only one spoke in favor of the war.

Dennis Steele was a sergeant in the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam two months ago. Steele is one of several GIs and veterans who have begun publishing a free antiwar newspaper for GIs.

“The war is causing the destruction of a civilian population by the United States of America,” Steele stated, “for no other reason than to advance America’s political and economic interests.”

August 21, 1943

The rising cost of living, which lines the pockets of the profit-mad capitalists, has struck hardest at the 4,000,000 American workers who earn less than 40 cents an hour. These people — “white collar” workers, retail clerks, food workers, etc. — work in industries that have no union organizations.

Price rises have lowered living standards for 20,000,000 more.

The capitalist class, responsible for the plight of these millions of people, is attempting to take advantage of the situation to drive a deep wedge between the white collar and the industrial workers in order to better exploit both.

The labor movement can win the leadership of these millions of white collar people only if it adopts a comprehensive and bold program of action which shows these people that labor has both the program and the will to resolve the crisis.