Today in Labor History – May 29th

labor history may 29

Animators working for Walt Disney began what was to become a successful five-week strike for recognition of their union, the Screen Cartoonists’ Guild. The animated feature Dumbo was being created at the time and, according to Wikipedia, a number of strikers are caricatured in the feature as clowns who go to “hit the big boss for a raise”. – 1941

The United Mine Workers (UMWA) and the U.S. government signed a pact establishing one of America’s first union medical and pension plans. The UMWA Welfare and Retirement Fund permanently changed health care delivery in U.S. coal fields. The Fund was used to build eight hospitals in Appalachia. It also established many clinics and recruited doctors to practice in rural coalfield areas. – 1946

The United Auto Workers (UAW) at General Motors won a hospitalization plan. – 1950

The United Farm Workers of America reached agreement with Bruce Church Inc. on a contract for 450 lettuce harvesters, ending a 17-year-long boycott. The pact raised wages, provided company-paid health benefits to workers and their families, created a seniority system to deal with seasonal layoffs and recalls, and established a pesticide monitoring system. – 1996

UAW members at General Motors accepted major contract concessions in return for a 17.5 percent stake in the financially struggling company. – 2009 

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