Today in Labor History – October 17th

today labor history october 17th

John D. Rockefeller cut a contract with the Pennsylvania Railroad, giving his Standard Oil Company a rebate on all freight carried by the line. This arrangement allowed him to monopolize virtually all oil production and transportation in the U.S. – 1877

Labor activist Warren Billings was released from California’s Folsom Prison. Along with Thomas J. Mooney, Billings had been pardoned for a 1916 conviction stemming from a bomb explosion during a San Francisco Preparedness Day parade. He had always maintained his innocence. – 1939

The “Salt of the Earth” strike began by the mostly Mexican-American members of the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union Local 890 in Bayard, New Mexico. Strikers’ wives walked picket lines for seven months when their men were enjoined during the 14-month strike against the New Jersey Zinc Company. The strike inspired the film “Salt of the Earth,” which was blacklisted. – 1950

Twelve New York City firefighters died fighting a blaze in midtown Manhattan. – 1966

The International Printing Pressmen’s & Assistants’ Union of North America merged with the International Stereotypers’, Electrotypers’ & Platemakers’ Union to become Printing & Graphic Communications Union. – 1973

The Industrial Union of Marine & Shipbuilding Workers of America merged with the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers. – 1988

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