Today in Labor History – April 6th

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Rose Schneiderman

New York City saw its first slave revolt, which occurred just north of Wall Street, in response to the execution of twenty-one blacks for killing nine whites. Conditions were ideal for a revolt, as black slaves and freemen worked in proximity to each other, making communication and planning easier. In the aftermath of the revolt, 70 black men were jailed, with six “committing suicide” in custody. Twenty of those arrested were executed by burning and one was executed on the “breaking wheel.” New regulations were also put into place, prohibiting black men from meeting in groups larger than three or carrying firearms. Free men were also denied the right to own propertys – 1712

Birth of Rose Schneiderman, prominent member of the New York Women’s Trade Union League, an active participant in the Uprising of the 20,000, the massive strike of shirtwaist workers in New York City led by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in 1909, and famous for an angry speech about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire: “Every week I must learn of the untimely death of one of my sister workers…Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement” – 1882

A sympathy strike by Chicago Teamsters in support of clothing workers leads to daily clashes between strikebreakers and armed police against hundreds and sometimes thousands of striking workers and their supporters. By the time the fight ended after 103 days, 21 people had been killed and 416 injured – 1905

What was to become a two-month strike by minor league umpires begins, largely over money: $5,500 to $15,000 for a season running 142 games. The strike ended with a slight improvement in pay – 2006

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