Today in Labor History – March 4th

dontbuyjobs

In his inaugural address, President Thomas Jefferson declares: “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” – 1801

The Industrial Workers of the World won their free speech fight in Spokane, Washington, when the licenses of 18 “employment” agencies were revoked. The campaign was intended to dissuade workers from “buying” jobs in the streets from the job sharks (“employment” agencies) that routinely swindled workers. The fight began in late 1908 and continued through 1909 – 1910

Pres. William Howard Taft signs legislation creating the Department of Labor. Former United Mine Workers Secretary Treasurer William B. Wilson is named to lead the new department – 1913

President Franklin D. Roosevelt names a woman, Frances Perkins, to be Secretary of Labor. Perkins became the first female cabinet member in U.S. history – 1933

The UAW won their sit-down strike in Flint, Michigan. The strike at the Fisher Body Plant Number One lasted 40 days and was the longest sit-down strike in history. 5,000 armed workers circled the plant to protect the workers inside. Following police attacks with tear-gas, workers fought back with fire hoses. 13 workers were injured by police gunfire. By the time the National Guard arrived, sympathy strikes had spread to GM plants across the country – 1937

The International Association of Machinists struck Eastern Airlines, with 8,500 ramp service workers, mechanics, aircraft cleaners and stock clerks joined by 6,000 flight attendants and 3,400 pilots in the nationwide strikt. Owner Frank Lorenzo refuses to consider the unions’ demands; Eastern ultimately went out of business – 1989

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