Thursday, 18 October 2007

Successful Dishwasher book honours radical dishwashers

In his book Dishwasher, Pete Jordan honours the radical dishwashers who played pioneering roles in labour disputes of the past.
Dishwasher is first of all a hilarious book about Jordan’s attempt to wash dishes in all fifty states of the USA, but it also contains stories about his predecessors.
“Decades before I ever picked up a scrub brush, pearl divers were in the streets battling for their rights and - intentionally or unintentionally - for the rights of the dishers of future generations. Absolutely remarkable! Their legacy needed to be honoured”, Jordan wrote.
In New York, Jordan taped a piece of paper to a hotel, saying: “On this spot in 1934, dishwasher Ramon Bolasquez smashed the windows of the Waldorf-Astoria during a strike by culinary union workers”.
When washing dishes at the University of Wisconsin campus, Jordan found out that his predecessors had fought for his right to leftovers - among other things. He taped a piece of paper to the union offices saying: “On this spot in March 1972, fifteen dishwashers fought for workers’ rights by staging a successful wildcat strike. And I, for one, thank them”.
Jordan talks about dishwashers and trade unionism in this interview

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