Today in Labor History – November 8th

port-of-no20,000 black & white workers launched a General Strike in New Orleans. In the wake of the streetcar drivers labor victory earlier in the year, in which they won a closed shop and shorter workday, a massive organizing campaign led to the creation of dozens of new unions and greater demands from the city’s workers. On October 24, several thousand members of the Triple Alliance (teamsters, scalesmen and packers) struck for overtime pay and the 10-hour day. Many members of the Alliance were African American. The bosses used race-baiting to try and divide the workers, but failed. Members of other unions started to join in solidarity, leading to a General Strike on November 8. The strike successfully bled the banks of half their pre-strike holdings. Finally the bosses agreed to sit down with both black and white union leaders and agreed to the 10-hour day and overtime pay, but not a universal closed union shop – 1892

President Franklin D. Roosevelt announces plans for the Civil Works Administration to create four million additional jobs for the Depression-era unemployed. The workers ultimately laid 12 million feet of sewer pipe and built or made substantial improvements to 255,000 miles of roads, 40,000 schools, 3,700 playgrounds, and nearly 1,000 airports (not to mention 250,000 outhouses still badly needed in rural America) – 1933

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