Today in Labor History – October 9th

Morris Hillquit</center)

Morris Hillquit

Mary Heaton Vorse was born on this date in New York. Vorse was a labor journalist who wrote eyewitness accounts of many of the significant labor battles of her day. She also wrote the novel, “Strike!” which was made into a film in 2007. – 1874

United Hebrew Trades is organized in New York by shirtmaker Morris Hillquit and others. Hillquit would later would become leader of the Socialist Party – 1888

A lettuce strike occurred in Salinas, California. Fearing the communists, authorities removed the red flags that had appeared throughout town, only to find out later that they are part of a traffic check being done by the state highway division. – 1936

Retail stock brokerage Smith Barney reaches a tentative sexual harassment settlement with a group of female employees. The suit charged, among other things, that branch managers asked female workers to remove their tops in exchange for money and one office featured a “boom boom room” where women workers were encouraged to “entertain clients.” The settlement was never finalized: a U.S. District Court Judge refused to approve the deal because it failed to adequately redress the plaintiff’s grievances – 1997

3,300 sanitation workers working for private haulers in Chicago win a 9-day strike featuring a 28 percent wage increase over 5 years – 2003

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