Today in Labor History – August 30th

labor history august 30

Luisa Moreno

Union delegates from New York, Boston, Philadelphia and other East Coast cities met in a convention to form the National Trades’ Union, which united craft unions to oppose “the most unequal and unjustifiable distribution of the wealth of society in the hands of a few individuals”. The union faded after a few years but paved the way for more than 60 new unions. – 1834

Luisa Moreno, labor and social activist was born today. A Guatemalan immigrant, she started organizing while working in a cafeteria in New You in the 1930s.   She spent  20 years organizing workers before taking a “voluntary departure under and warrant of deportation” on the grounds that she had once been a member of the Communist party. She was offered citizenship in exchange for testifying against a labor leader, but she refused, stating that she would not be “a free woman with a mortgaged soul.” – 1907

President Franklin Roosevelt’s Revenue Act of 1935 (often called the “Wealth Tax Act”)  increased taxes on higher income levels. It was a progressive tax that took up to 75 percent of the highest incomes. – 1935

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) published scaffold safety standards, designed to protect 2.3 million construction workers and prevent 50 deaths and 4,500 injuries annually. – 1996

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