Long Island takes action on this May Day

Congrats to the Long Island locals which worked so hard on putting together a whole week of activities. I’m driving south to attend tonight’s “Public Education at a Crossroads” event.

All tickets to the event sold out weeks ago. If you are one of the more than 1,100 attending, look for me if you have a story on why you’ll attend the June 8 rally in Albany. I will try to capture all the action and will tweet live at BetsyS48 and use #taxcaphurts in a lot of the messages.

Just a little union history: It’s no coincidence that this event is May 1, also known as International Workers’ Day. Today is the 127th anniversary of hundreds of labor rallies and a Saturday strike across our nation calling for an 8-hour workday.

Yes, back in 1886, most industrial workers had 9- to 14-hour work days, and they worked Saturdays too. U.S. labor unions called for a strike on May 1 in support of a 8-hour day. Estimates of the number of striking workers across the U.S. ranged from 300,000 to 500,000.

That tradition of labor speaking out to improve working conditions and against injustice continues with tonight’s event. Speakers will stand against over-reliance on testing, privatization efforts of public institutions and the disastrous effects of the tax cap.

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