Today in Labor History – March 2nd

labor history march 2

GreyHound strike

Congress abolished the African slave trade. The first American slave ship, Desire, sailed from Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1637. Since then, nearly 15 million blacks had been transported as slaves to the Americas. Overall, the African continent had lost 50 million people to slavery and the deaths associated with it. Another 250,000 slaves continued to be imported illegally up to the Civil War. – 1807

Congress granted postal workers an eight-hour work day. – 1913

6,000 Greyhound bus drivers went on strike over wages and job security. The company hired 3,000 scabs to permanently replace the striking workers, declared the strike over two months later, and filed for bankruptcy in June. In 1993, Greyhound agreed to rehire 550 striking drivers, paying them 22 million dollars in back pay. – 1990

Earth First! activist and IWW organizer Judi Bari (b.1949) died on this date from cancer. Bari and her comrade Darryl Cherney survived a terrorist bomb in Oakland, California in 1990. The police and FBI immediately blamed her for the bombing, claiming that she was the terrorist and that the bomb was intended for the logging companies. She was arrested and handcuffed to her hospital bed. Bari and Cherney were eventually exonerated and won a hefty settlement for the FBI’s role in violating their civil liberties. – 1997

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