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   Vol. 70/No. 18           May 8, 2006  
 
 
25, 50 and 75 years ago
 
May 8, 1981
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Some 20-25,000 rail workers demonstrated here April 29. The massive protest united all American railway unions in opposition to Reagan’s budget cuts against Conrail, Amtrak, and railroad retirement funds.

AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland, United Transportation Union President Fred Hardin, and Railway Labor Executives Association and Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks head Fred Kroll spoke to the rally in front of the Capitol building.

Kroll said: “We will win this battle through legislation or on the picket line, like our brave brothers and sisters the coal miners.” Cheers and chants of “Strike! Strike! Strike!” greeted his speech.

After the Washington rally, many rail workers tried to lobby their senators and members of Congress.  
 
May 7, 1956
The fascist regime of General Franco is fighting for its very existence on three fronts. The strike wave in Northern Spain which appeared to have ebbed is now gripping the industrial city of Bilbao. Student unrest, which the regime has met with arrests, trials and prison terms is persisting. The Spanish North African Empire is disintegrating under the impact of the Arab National revolution.

The strikes that took place last month throughout northern Spain in defiance of the laws forbidding all such actions, developed originally in protest against the inadequate wage concessions Franco had made to the demands of the workers. The meager increases, moreover, were swallowed up instantly when the cost of basic foods rose the day that the wage increases went into effect.  
 
May 15, 1931
Having exhausted every resource to maintain himself upon a throne that has been tottering for years, Alfonso of Bourbon found himself compelled to quit the country [Spain] on April 14. The monarchy fell to pieces at one blow, nobody—absolutely nobody—stood up to defend it. It really fell like a rotted fruit. And the republic was proclaimed all over the country without combatů.

This circumstance has only still further stimulated the democratic illusions of the masses who naively imagine that the victory over the monarchy was obtained thanks to the municipal elections of the 12th. This illusion is also shared by the anarcho-syndicalist elements of the National Confederation of Labor. The official organ of the N.C. of L., wrote literally on April 23: “Under a regime of liberty, the bloodless revolution is still more possible, still easier than under the monarchy.”  
 
 
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