Today in Labor History – June 12th

labor history june 12

Philip Vera Cruz

Fifty thousand members of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen employed in meatpacking plants walked off their jobs; their demands included equalization of wages and conditions throughout US plants. – 1904

Massachusetts became the first state to adopt a minimum wage law. Other states passed similar laws later that year. – 1912

The US Supreme Court invalidated two sections of a Florida law: one required state licensing of paid union business agents, the other required registration with the state of all unions and their officers. – 1945

A Major League Baseball strike began, forcing the cancellation of 713 games. Most observers blamed team owners for the strike; they were trying to recover from a court decision favoring the players in free agency. – 1981

Farmworker, labor leader, and Asian American civil rights activist Philip Vera Cruz died Vera Cruz was one of the founders of the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee, composed mainly of Filipino workers. Their strike in 1965 against Delano, California grape growers was joined by the mostly Latino union, the National Farm Workers Association. The two groups went on to merge to become the United Farm Workers. Vera Cruz remained an activist for social justice throughout his life. – 1994

This day marks the World Day Against Child Labour, an annual observance established in 2002 by the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) to raise awareness about and activism around the issue of child labor, defined as “work performed by children who are under the minimum age legally specified for that kind of work, or work which, because of its detrimental nature or conditions, is considered unacceptable for children and is prohibited.” – 2013

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