Today in Labor History – November 5th

labor history November 5

Eugene V. Debs was born on this day. He was a labor leader, socialist, three-time candidate for president, and first president of the American Railway Union.. “The Republican and Democratic parties, or to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles.”  – 1855

The Everett Massacre occurred in Everett, Washington. Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) labor activists were killed by the Everett police. On October 30, in the midst of a depression, forty IWW members arrived by boat in Everett to help support the shingle workers strike, but before they could land they were clubbed and jailed by local deputies. Later that night they were beaten. On Nov. 5, 250 more IWW supporters arrived to fight for free speech and to support their jailed comrades, but gunfire broke out as soon as they arrived. Between 5 and 12 Wobblies were killed, and another 31 were injured. Both Big Bill Haywood and Samuel Gompers called on the federal government to protect the rights of working-class citizens in Everett, but no action was taken. –  1916

For the first time ever, the Farmer Labor Party appeared on the ballot in Minnesota. David Evans, a hardware merchant from Tracy, ran for governor and Tom Davis, a prominent Minneapolis labor attorney, campaigned for the office of attorney general. – 1918

12,000 television and movie writers began what was to become a three-month strike against producers. The action was over demands for an increase in pay for movies and television shows released on DVD and for a bigger share of the revenue from work delivered over the Internet. – 2007

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