Today in Labor History – December 9th


The Knights of Labor was founded on this date in Philadelphia as a secret society open to all members of the producing classes except “parasites” like stockbrokers, gamblers and lawyers. The Knights were one of the most important labor organizations of the late 1800s, reaching a membership of 700,000 by 1886. While other unions were fighting for a 10-hour work day, the Knights were demanding a 8-hour day, as well as an end to child and convict labor. They were also one of the earliest labor organizations to accept blacks and women. Yet they supported the Chinese Exclusion Act and participated in anti-Chinese riots – 1869

Bloggers note: There seems to be multiple dates for the founding ot the Knights of Labor. I apologize if this is not the correct date. If anyone can offer a definitive date, it would be appreciated as I seem to have at least three now.

Ratification of a new labor agreement at Titan Tire of Natchez, Miss. ends the longest strike in the history of the U.S. tire industry, which began May 1, 1998 at the company’s Des Moines, Iowa, plant – 2001

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