Why we wear RED on Thursdays
In 1989, along with many of our Union brothers and sisters across the country, CWA was on strike against Bell Atlantic. It was a long, 18-day strike, but we stood strong, and we still enjoy many of that strike. The company looks at a strike as business as usual, and in a very impersonal maker, but this is our livelihood, and it affects us; not just us, but our families as well. A strike is never easy, and it is always our last resort to protect our future.
One of our members walking the picket line was E. Gerald Hogan. Chief Steward, CWA Local 1103. On August 15th, 1989, a Thursday morning, Mr. Hogan was killed. His death was a result from injuries he sustained when he was run down by a “scab” as he walked picket duty. The driver of the vehicle who killed him was a manager’s daughter, who was working as a “scab” during the strike.
In the CWA’s long storied history, he is the only member killed on the picket line.
The idea started small; we asked all of our members to wear red on Thursdays to remind the company of the blood they had spilled, and to show support for our fallen brother and it quickly spread nationwide as a sign of solidarity. Wearing red is a simple, but effective way to show the company that we stand together as a Union. We all have personal lives and beliefs, but in the workplace, every member needs to share the same goals; better wages, benefits, job security, and respect in the workplace.
No company that we represent can take away the wages and benefits that we have fought so hard to achieve when we stand together. Our solidarity will make these companies prosperous and provide good jobs for generations to come, but only when we stand united.