Today in Labor History – November 21st

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Six miners striking for better working conditions under the IWW banner were killed and many wounded in the Columbine Massacre at Lafayette, Colo. Out of this struggle Colorado coal miners gained lasting union contracts – 1927

The United Auto Workers Union strikes 92 General Motors plants in 50 cities to back up worker demands for a 30 percent raise. 200,000 workers are out – 1945

Staten Island and Brooklyn are linked by the new Verrazano Narrows Bridge, the longest suspension bridge in the world at
the time and still the longest in the U.S. Joseph Farrell, an apprentice Ironworker on the project, told radio station WNYC: “The way the wind blows over this water it would blow you right off the iron. That was to me and still is the most treacherous part of this business. When the wind grabs you on the open iron, it can be very dangerous.” Three workers died over the course of the five year project – 1964

A fire at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas kills 85 hotel employees and guests and sends 650 injured persons, including 14 firefighters, to the hospital. Most of the deaths and injuries were caused by smoke inhalation – 1980

Flight attendants celebrate the signing into law a smoking ban on all U.S. domestic flights – 1989

Congress approves the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), to take effect Jan. 1 of the following year – 1993

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act takes effect in the nation’s workplaces. It prohibits employers from requesting genetic testing or considering someone’s genetic background in hiring, firing or promotions – 2009

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