July 21, 2019: A Day to Honor the First Work Stoppage by Polish Craftsmen and Skilled Artisans

WHEREAS, July 21, 2019, marks the 400th anniversary of the first work stoppage recorded in American history by Polish craftsmen and skilled artisans in Jamestown, Virginia; and,

 

WHEREAS, this stoppage was not for wages, but for civil liberty, political rights, and the right to vote, which were already granted to English persons, but not to the Polish; and,

 

WHEREAS, the stoppage resulted in the Virginia Company of London enfranchising the Polish and assigning apprentices to the craftsmen, which created the apprenticeship system in the New World; and,

 

WHEREAS, the efforts and achievements of Poles, who fought for their civil, economic, democratic, and political freedoms and rights should be honored and recognized;

 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim July 21, 2019, as a Day to Honor the First Work Stoppage by Polish Craftsmen and Skilled Artisans in Michigan in celebration of its 400th anniversary, and I encourage all Polish American organizations to commemorate this strike in recognition of the freedoms and rights that are enjoyed by the Polish and all peoples today.