Today in Labor History – August 1st

Sid Hatfield

Sid Hatfield

After organizing a strike of metal miners against the Anaconda Company, Wobblie organizer Frank Little is dragged by six masked men from his Butte, Mont. hotel room and hung from the Milwaukee Railroad trestle. Years later writer Dashiell Hammett would recall his early days as a Pinkerton detective agency operative and recount how a mine company representative offered him $5,000 to kill Little. Hammett says he quit the business that night – 1917

Sid Hatfield, police chief of Matewan, W. Va., a longtime supporter of the United Mine Workers union, is murdered by company goons. This soon led to the Battle of Blair Mountain, a labor uprising also referred to as the Red Neck War – 1921

Police in Hilo, Hawaii open fire on 200 demonstrators supporting striking waterfront workers. The attack became known as “the Hilo Massacre” – 1938

The American Federation of Musicians begins a strike against the major American recording companies in a fight over royalty payments.  Decca records settled with the union after one year, followed shortly by Capitol Records, while Victor and Columbia held out for another year before agreeing to the union’s terms.  The strike did not affect musicians performing on live radio shows or in concerts – 1942

A 17-day, company-instigated wildcat strike in Philadelphia tries to bar eight African-American trolley operators from working. Transport Workers Union members stay on the job in support of the men – 1944

Government & Civic Employees Organizing Committee merges into State, County & Municipal Employees – 1956

Window Glass Cutters League of America merges with Glass Bottle Blowers – 1975

Ten-month strike against Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel wins agreement guaranteeing defined-benefit pensions for 4,500 Steelworkers – 1997

California School Employees Association affiliates with AFL-CIO – 2001

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