Today in Labor History – October 4th

labor history october 4

Mt. Rushmore

Louisiana sugar workers went on strike, during which 37 unarmed black workers were murdered by Louisiana Militia, aided by bands of vigilantes. – 1887

An explosion at the T.A. Gillespie shell loading plant in Morgan, New Jersey, triggered a fire and subsequent explosions that continued for three days.  Hundreds of people were killed and injured and 60,000 people living in nearby towns were displaced.  The unidentified remains of some of the workers killed in the blast were buried in a mass grave. – 1918

Work began on the carving of Mt. Rushmore, a task 400 craftsmen would eventually complete in 1941. Despite the dangerous nature of the project, not one worker died. – 1927

President Truman ordered the U.S. Navy to seize oil refineries, breaking a 20-state post-war strike. – 1945

The United Mine Workers of America (UMW) re-affiliated with the AFL-CIO, after decades of conflict with the organization. The UMWA had left the AFL in the 1930s when they refused to organize the auto and steel industries and played a pivotal role in the formation of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). However, they withdrew from the CIO in 1942 in a dispute over labor-management relations during World War II. The were readmitted to the AFL in 1946, but left after a year when their president John L. Lewis refused to sign the non-Communist affidavit required by the Taft-Hartley Labor Act. – 1989

The Distillery, Wine & Allied Workers International Union merged with the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. – 1995

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