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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


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