Today in Labor History – February 24th

labor history february 24

Lawrence, Massachusetts Strike

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Muller v. Oregon to uphold the state’s restrictions on the working hours of women, setting a precedent to use sex differences, and in particular women’s childbearing capacity,  as a basis for separate legislation.  A laundry owner was fined $10 for making a female employee work more than 10 hours in a single day. – 1908

Women and children textile strikers were beaten by Lawrence, Massachusetts police during a 63-day walkout protesting low wages and work speedups. – 1912

A new national child labor law passed in Congress and was declared unconstitutional in 1924. A similar law passed two years earlier was declared unconstitutional in 1918. – 1919

Congress passed a Federal Child Labor Tax Law that imposed a 10 percent tax on companies that employed children, defined as anyone under the age of 16, working in a mine/quarry or under the age of 14 in a “mill, cannery, workshop, factory, or manufacturing establishment”. The Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional in 1922 in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co. – 1919

District 1199 Health Care Workers became the first U.S. labor union to oppose the war in Vietnam. – 1965

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