Today in Labor History – December 5th


James and John McNamara

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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One thought on “Today in Labor History – December 5th

  1. The McNamara brothers should have stayed with Job Harriman and Austin Lewis at their attorneys and not brought in Darrow. Harriman and Lewis would have had enough sense and concern for self preservation of the movement not to have bribed a juror – and get caught.

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