Today in Labor History – December 4th

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The National Federation of Postal Clerks was chartered on this date – 1906

President Roosevelt announces the end of the Work Projects Administration (WPA), concluding the four-year run of one of the American government’s most ambitious public works programs. It helped create jobs for roughly 8.5 million people during the Great Depression and left a legacy of highways and public buildings, among other public gains – 1943

Walter Reuther, President of the United Auto Workers, was elected head of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Four years later, he led the merger of the CIO and the American Federation of Labor to form the AFL-CIO – 1951

Cesar Chavez was jailed for 20 days for refusing to call off the grape boycott – 1970

The U.S. Department of Labor reports employers slashed 533,000 jobs the month before—the most in 34 years—as the Great Recession surged. The unemployment rolls had risen for seven months before that and were to continue to soar for another 10 months before topping 10 percent and beginning to level off late the following year – 2008

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