25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

January 1, 2024

January 11, 1999

LONDON — Thirty days after being sacked for a one-day strike, workers at the Skychef catering company at Heathrow airport are still standing firm. “We’re going to win it and that’s the end of the story,” said G.S. Mann, a driver, speaking at the 24-hour picket outside the factory.

The original one-day strike, the first of a projected series of four, was over broken promises by Skychef to compensate workers for big changes in working practices. Workers at other parts of the airport are supporting the strikers. There are 30,000 members of the Transport and General Workers union at Heathrow, including Skychef strikers.

A ramp worker at one of the airlines said, “This is an issue for all workers in the airport. People are increasingly thinking that if they defeat the union at Skychef, they’ll try and do the same in other parts of the airport.”

January 11, 1974

Labor party talk is heard again in union halls and at some union conventions. No resolution for a labor party has been adopted by any union convention for more than 20 years. But there is serious talk in the ranks and among some secondary officials of the need for independent political action by labor.

The economic and political crises, beginning with the 1971 wage freeze and continuing uninterrupted right up to the present energy crisis, has greatly weakened the illusion that the Democratic Party can or will serve the needs of workers.

Demands can be won only when the union movement is mobilized to fight for them. This will require political action by the unions independent of the political instruments of the employers. Labor party talk relates to the most urgent issues of the day, and there is no other way the unions can cope with them.

January 3, 1949

“I never realized how unpopular children are — how discriminated against, even how hated — until I went across America in search of apartments to rent,” Howard Whitman declares in the January Woman’s Home Companion.

“My mind still echoes with ‘No Children,’ ‘Adults only,’ ‘No dogs or children.’ Discrimination against children would be bad enough any time. It’s fantastic in the worst housing shortage in American history.” From coast to coast Whitman found apartment house doors barred to children.

Capitalism puts profits first. It always has and always will. Only under socialism will the welfare of the family be placed first and children welcomed as our most precious asset. A step in that direction can be taken right now by mobilizing public pressure on Congress for a federal housing program to relieve the present impossible conditions.