Today in Labor History – June 23rd

labor history june 23

(l-r) Charles Moyer, Bill Haywood, and George Pettibone

Charles Moyer, president of the Western Federation of Miners, went to Butte, Montana in an attempt to mediate a conflict between factions of the miner’s local there. It didn’t go well. Gunfight in the union hall killed one man. Moyer and other union officers left the building, which was then leveled in a dynamite blast. – 1914

The anti-worker Taft-Hartley Act was passed, overriding President Harry Truman’s veto. The act rolled back many of the labor protections created by the 1935 Wagner Act. Taft-Hartley weakened unions in numerous ways, including the banning of the general strike. It also allowed states to exempt themselves from union requirements. Twenty states immediately enacted anti-union open shop laws. – 1947

OSHA issued standards on cotton dust to protect 600,000 workers from byssinosis, also known as “brown lung”. – 1978

The newly-formed Jobs With Justice group staged its first big support action, backing 3,000 picketing Eastern Airlines mechanics at Miami Airport. – 1987

After a 25-year-long struggle, textile workers at six Fieldcrest Cannon plants in North Carolina voted for union representation by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE). The combined facilities made up the biggest textile mill in the country, employing more than 5,000 workers and theirs was the largest union victory in a Southern textile mill in US history. – 1999

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