Today in Labor History – April 15th

sleeping car porters

Labor leader and civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph is born. In 1925, Randolph helped to found the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and led the union’s twelve-year fight for recognition as the bargaining agent for porters working at the Pullman Company. “Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted.”. – 1889

IWW union Agricultural Workers Organization formed in Kansas City, Mo. – 1915

Teacher unionists gather at the City Club on Plymouth Court in Chicago to form a new national union: the American Federation of Teachers – 1916

Start of ultimately successful six-day strike across New England by what has been described as the first women-led American union, the Telephone Operators Department of IBEW – 1919

Transport Workers Union founded – 1934

The first McDonald’s Restaurant opens, in Des Plaines, Ill., setting the stage years later for sociologist Amitai Etzioni to coin the term “McJob.” As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, a McJob is “An unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of the service sector.” – 1955

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