Today in Labor History – December 5th

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Unionists John T. and James B. McNamara were sentenced to 15 years and life, respectively, after confessing to dynamiting the Los Angeles Times building during a drive to unionize the metal trades in the city. Twenty people died in the bombing. The newspaper was strongly conservative and anti-union – 1911

A wildcat strike occurred at the Dodge truck plant in Detroit, Michigan—one of many “illegal” wartime strikes – 1944

Ending a 20-year split, the two largest labor federations in the U.S. merge to form the AFL-CIO, with a membership estimated at 15 million – 1955

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney welcomes the collapse of World Trade Organization talks in Seattle, declaring “No deal is better than a bad deal” – 1999

The U.S. Dept. of Labor reports employers slashed 533,000 jobs the month before — the most in 34 years — as the Great Recession surged. The unemployment rolls had risen for 7 months before that and were to continue to soar for another 10 months before topping 10 percent and beginning to level off late the following year – 2008

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