Today in Labor History – September 14th

G1167-Ella Mae Wiggins 9-17-1900 - 9-14-1929-She died carring the torch of social justice-Martyr of The 1929 Loray Mills Strike-J

Ella Mae Wiggins

The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers union called off an unsuccessful 3-month strike against U.S. Steel Corporation subsidiaries. – 1901

Gastonia, North Carolina textile mill striker and songwriter Ella Mae Wiggins, 29 and mother of nine, was killed when local vigilantes, thugs and a sheriff’s deputy forced the pickup truck in which she was riding off the road and began shooting. The strike collapsed in the aftermath of Wiggins’s death. Her union, the National Textile Workers Union, ultimately was too weak to challenge the economic and political power of the cotton manufacturers and to organize the labor force. – 1929

A striker was shot by a bog owner (and town-elected official) during a walkout by some 1,500 cranberry pickers, members of the newly-formed Cape Cod Cranberry Pickers Union Local 1. State police were called, more strikers were shot and 64 were arrested. The strike was lost.  – 1933

Congress passed the Landrum-Griffin Act. The law expanded many of the anti-labor provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, increasing union reporting requirements and restricting secondary boycotting and picketing. – 1959

Martyr of Loray Mill: Ella May and the 1929 Textile Workers' Strike in Gastonia, North Carolina

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