Today in Labor History – October 4th

today labor history october 4

Louisiana sugar workers went on strike, during which 37 unarmed black workers were murdered by Louisiana Militia, aided by bands of vigilantes. – 1887

An explosion at the T.A. Gillespie shell loading plant in Morgan, New Jersey, triggered a fire and subsequent explosions that continued for three days. ┬áHundreds of people were killed and injured and 60,000 people living in nearby towns were displaced. ┬áThe unidentified remains of some of the workers killed in the blast were buried in a mass grave. – 1918

Work began on the carving of Mt. Rushmore, a task 400 craftsmen would eventually complete in 1941. Despite the dangerous nature of the project, not one worker died. – 1927

President Truman ordered the U.S. Navy to seize oil refineries, breaking a 20-state post-war strike. – 1945

The United Mine Workers of America (UMW) re-affiliated with the AFL-CIO, after decades of conflict with the organization. The UMWA had left the AFL in the 1930s when they refused to organize the auto and steel industries and played a pivotal role in the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). However, they withdrew from the CIO in 1942 in a dispute over labor-management relations during World War II. The were readmitted to the AFL in 1946, but left after a year when their president John L. Lewis refused to sign the non-Communist affidavit required by the Taft-Hartley Labor Act. – 1989

The Distillery, Wine & Allied Workers International Union merged with the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. – 1995

Explosion at Morgan:: The World War I Middlesex Munitions Disaster

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