Today in Labor History – June 1st


The Ladies Federal Labor Union Number 2703, based in Illinois, was granted a charter from the American Federation of Labor. Women from a wide range of occupations were among the members, who ultimately were successful in coalescing women’s groups interested in suffrage, temperance, health, housing, and child labor reform to win state legislation in these areas – 1888

Union Carpenters win a 25-cents-per-day raise, bringing wages for a nine-hour day to $2.50 – 1898

Congress passes the Erdman Act, providing for voluntary mediation or arbitration of railroad disputes and prohibiting contracts that discriminate against union labor or release employers from legal liability for on-the-job injuries – 1898

3,500 immigrant miners begin Clifton-Morenci, Ariz. copper strike – 1903

U.S. troops arrived in Colorado to reclaim coal mines from striking miners, after the Colorado National Guard massacred 19 in the miners’ camp. 2 women and 11 children were among those killed – 1914

12,500 longshoremen strike the Pacific coast, from San Diego to Bellingham. Demands included a closed shop and a wage increase to 55 cents an hour for handling general cargo – 1916

As many as 60,000 railroad shopmen strike to protest cuts in wages – 1922

Farm workers under the banner of the new United Farm Workers Organizing Committee strike at Texas’s La Casita Farms, demand $1.25 as a minimum hourly wage – 1966

Dakota Beef meatpackers win 7-hour sit-down strike over speed-ups, St. Paul, Minn. – 2000

General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filling made the automaker the largest U.S. Industrial company to enter bankruptcy protection. It went on to recover thanks to massive help from the UAW and the federal government – 2009


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