Today in Labor History – July 1st

labor history july 1st

The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union Pickets

Steel workers in Cleveland, led by the Poles and Czech wire mill workers, began a violent strike in what was to be an 88-week strike against wage cuts. – 1885

The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers staged what was to become an unsuccessful three-month strike against U.S. Steel Corp. Subsidiaries. – 1901

The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union (ILGWU) organized the “Great Revolt”, a strike involving 50,000 cloakmakers that lasted over 4 months. Following the lead from women, the mostly male cloakmakers won uniform wages, a shorter workweek and paid holidays. As with the result of the strikes in 1909 and 1910, the ILGWU swelled in membership. – 1910

Some 1,100 streetcar workers went on strike in New Orleans, spurring the creation of the po’ boy sandwich by local sandwich shop owners and one-time streetcar men. “Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming,” Bennie Martin later recalled, “one of us would say, ‘Here comes another poor boy.’” Martin and his brother Clovis fed any striker who showed up. – 1929

The Great Railroad strike of 1922, commonly know as the “Big Strike” was a nationwide strike of railroad workers. Launched by seven of the sixteen railroad labor organizations in existence at the time, the strike lasted just over a month before collapsing. At least ten people, most of them strikers or family, were killed in connection with the strike. – 1922

The Hawaiian longshore strike brought together Japanese, Filipino and other ethnic plantation workers into one labor union. – 1937

The United Auto Workers (UAW), under the leadership of Walter Reuther, left the American Federation of Labor (AFL). They left because of conflicts between Reuther and AFL president George Meany. Reuther died in a plane crash in 1970, and the UAW did not rejoin the AFL until 1981. – 1968

The National Association of Post Office & General Service Maintenance Employees, the United Federation of Postal Clerks, the National Federation of Post Office Motor Vehicle Employees and the National Association of Special Delivery Messengers merge to become the American Postal Workers Union. – 1971

The International Jewelry Workers Union merged with Service Employees International Union. – 1980

The Graphic Arts International Union merged with the International Printing & Graphic Communications Union to become the Graphic Communications International Union, now a conference of the Teamsters. – 1983

Copper miners began a  years-long, bitter strike against Phelps-Dodge in Clifton, Arizona. Democratic Governor Bruce Babbitt repeatedly deployed state police and National Guardsmen to assist the company over the course of the strike, which broke the union. – 1983

The Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union merged with International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union to form the Union of Needletrades, Industrial & Textile Employees. – 1995

The International Chemical Workers Union merged with the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. – 1996

The Newspaper Guild merged with the Communications Workers of America. – 1997

The United American Nurses affiliated with the AFL-CIO. – 2001

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