Today in Labor History – November 1st

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Workers in Philadelphia organize a successful general strike for a 10-hour workday. Three hundred armed Irish longshoremen marched through the streets calling workers to join them on strike. 20,000 leather workers, printers, carpenters, bricklayers, masons, city employees, bakers, clerks, and painters joined in. Within a week, the city government announced a 10-hour workday for its employees; three weeks later, private employers followed suit. – 1835

Thirty-seven black striking Louisiana sugar workers were murdered when Louisiana militia, aided by bands of “prominent citizens,” shot unarmed workers trying to get a dollar-per-day wage. Two strike leaders were lynched – 1887

A scab driver crashed a New York City subway train in the Malbone Tunnel during a labor dispute. 97 died and 255 were injured in the tragedy. New York changed the name of the tunnel to erase the memory of the horrible accident and the infamous trial that followed. It is now called Prospect Park and Malbone St. – 1918

Over 400,000 miners across the country went on strike. Insurgent miners took over the United Mine Workers (UMW) convention in Cleveland — even though union officials tried to exclude rebellious locals. The union was so concerned with suppressing wildcat strikes and dissension among their ranks that they supplied scabs to help mine owners put down the wildcat strikes! The coal miners ignored their union’s orders to cancel the strike for nearly a month. – 1919

United Stone & Allied Products Workers of America merge with United Steelworkers of America – 1972

The UAW begins what was to become a successful 172-day strikeagainst International Harvester. The union turned back company demands for weakened work rules, mandatory overtime – 1979

Honda assembles the first-ever Japanese car manufactured in a U.S. plant, in Marysville, Ohio. By 2009 the plant was making 440,000 cars a year and Honda – just one of the foreign manufacturers with multiple plants operating in the U.S. – said it had sold 20 million cars since its American operation

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