Today in Labor History – October 8th


The Great Chicago Fire begins, a fire that would burn through the early morning hours of October 10.  The fire injured 30 of the city’s 185 firefighters, claimed the lives of hundreds of people, left nearly a third of the city homeless, and destroyed almost 20,000 buildings. – 1871

Structural Building Trades Alliance organizes in Indianapolis with goal of eliminating jurisdictional strikes that were seriously disrupting the industry and shoring up the power of international unions over local building trades councils. Conflicts between large and small unions doomed the group and it disbanded six years later – 1902

A General Strike was called to demand the release of Tom Mooney and amnesty for all political prisoners.  Mooney was a labor organizer who was falsely convicted of the fatal Preparedness Day bombing. He was not released until 1939.

SDS Weathermen launched their “Days of Rage” in Chicago, during which they blew up a statue commemorating the police involved in the 1886 Haymarket tragedy bombing which resulted in the execution of innocent anarchists. The statue was replaced and blown up again in 1970

In Poland, the union Solidarity and all other labor organizations are banned by the government – 1982

Upholsterers’ International Union of North America merges with United Steelworkers of America – 1985

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