Today in Labor History – May 24th

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After 14 years of construction and the deaths of 27 workers, the Brooklyn Bridge over New York’s East River opens. Newspapers call it “the eighth wonder of the world” – 1883

UAW labor leader Victor Reuther was shot and nearly killed at his Detroit home by police. His brother Walter had previously survived an attempted abduction in April 1938, a shotgun attack in 1948 and a bombing in 1949. He ultimately died in a plane crash in 1970, though curiously only one newspaper speculated that it might have been an assassination – 1949

An 11-day strike began at the state prison in Lucasville, Ohio. – 1973

Earth First! And IWW members Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney were bombed in Oakland, California. Police immediately arrested the victims, destroyed evidence, and went on a witch hunt of local activist groups like Earth First! and Seeds of Peace – 1990

2,300 members of the United Rubber Workers, on strike for 10 months against five Bridgestone-Firestone plants, agree to return to work without a contract. They had been fighting demands for 12-hour shifts and wage increases tied to productivity gains – 1995

 

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