Today in Labor History – December 1st

labor history december 1

A. “Tony” Boyle, future president of the United Mine Workers (UMW) was born on this date. He served as president from 1963 to 1972. – 1904

The rustling card system was put into place by the Anaconda Mining and Smelter Company. Agitators were identified by spies and refused cards and jobs. – 1912

The Ford Motor Company introduced the continuous moving assembly line which could produce a complete car every two-and-a-half minutes. – 1913

The famous labor song, “Solidarity Forever,” was written on this date by IWW songwriter Ralph Chaplin. He wrote the song for a hunger march to be led by Lucy Parsons in Chicago. – 1914

Solidarity Forever

(To the tune of Glory Glory Hallelujah)
When the union’s inspiration through worker’s blood shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
For the union makes us strong.
[Chorus]
Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite
Who would lash us into serfdom & would crush us with his might?
is there anything left to us but to organize & fight?
For the union makes us strong
[Chorus]
In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold,
Greater than the might of armies magnified a thousand fold;
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old,
For the union makes us strong.
[Chorus]: Solidarity forever, Solidarity forever, Solidarity forever,
For the union makes us strong

Kellogg Company, maker of Kellogg’s cereal, adopted a 6-hour day. –  1930

The United Garment Workers of America merged with the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. – 1994

Rosa Parks, a 43-year-old African-American seamstress, boarded a bus in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, and refused to move to the back. She was arrested, triggering a year-long boycott of the city bus system and legal actions which ended racial segregation on municipal buses throughout the southern United States . – 1955

The Metal Polishers, Buffers, Platers & Allied Workers International Union & United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum & Plastics Workers of America merged with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers. – 1996

The Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association (YGDNA) became the first nurses in Ohio to engage in a mass resignation or “strike.” According to the American Nurses Association, it may have been the first concerted action by nurses in a labor dispute in the nation. – 1966

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