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Cafeteria workers strike Government Printing Office: 1938 | by Washington Area Spark
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Cafeteria workers strike Government Printing Office: 1938

Cafeteria workers at the Government Printing Office pose for a photo as they go on strike September 19, 1938 in a contract dispute.

 

Nearly 100 predominantly white members of the Hotel & Restaurant Union, AFL struck for nearly three weeks in a quest for better benefits and pay.

 

The strike took place against the backdrop of a citywide organizing drive by the rival and newly formed predominantly African American United Cafeteria & Restaurant Employees Local 471, CIO.

 

The new-found militancy of at the GPO produced a contract with substantial wage improvements, sick leave, improved vacation pay and pay for holidays—benefits that cafeteria workers across the city were seeking.

 

For more information and related images, see flic.kr/s/aHskkgxehC

 

The photographer is unknown. The image is a Newspaper Enterprise Association photo obtained via an Internet sale.

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Taken on September 19, 1938