Today in Labor History – September 9th

labor history september 9

In convention at Topeka, Kansas, delegates created the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of America. The men who repaired the nation’s rail cars were paid 10 or 15¢ an hour, working 12 hour days, often seven days a week. – 1890

The first strike by African-American plantation workers occurred on this date in Georgia and Arkansas. The were fighting for wages of $1.00 a day. They lost the strike. – 1891

Boston police walked off the job during the strike wave that was spreading across the country. The police had affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, prompting the police commissioner to suspend 19 of them for their organizing efforts, forcing other to go on strike in solidarity. Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge announced that none of the strikers would be rehired and he called in the state police to crush the strike. An entirely new police force was ultimately created from unemployed veterans of World War I. – 1919

The Hanapēpē Massacre occurred towards the end of a long-lasting strike. Filipino sugar workers on  KauaʻiHawaiʻi were attacked by local police who shot nine strikers dead and fatally wounded seven. Strikers shot and stabbed three sheriffs to death and fatally wounded one. A total of 20 people died. The massacre brought an end to armed protest in Hawaii. – 1924

Sixty striking Filipino workers were run out of Yakima, Washington by state police and vigilantes. -1943

United Auto Workers President Leonard Woodcock is named on President Richard Nixon’s “Enemies List,” a White House compilation of Americans Nixon regarded as major political opponents.  Another dozen union presidents were added later.  The existence of the list was revealed during Senate Watergate Committee hearings. – 1973

In a press conference, Mayor Daley admitted what we’ve known all along: “The policeman isn’t there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder”. –  1968

The Attica prison riot began near Buffalo, New York. – 1971

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