Today in Labor History – October 27th

labor history october 27

The New York City Subway

The New York City subway opened on this date in 1904. The first rapid-transit system in America ran its first route from City Hall to Grand Central Station, then west to Times Square and north to 145th Street. More than 100 workers died during the construction of the first 13 miles of tunnels and track. – 1904

40,000 Philadelphia textile workers were fired in an attempt to purge the factories of “radicals”. – 1920

Three strikes on works-relief projects in Maryland were underway today, with charges that Depression-era Works Projects Administration jobs were paying only about 28 cents an hour, far less than was possible on direct relief. Civic officials in Cumberland, where authorities had established a 50-cent-per-hour minimum wage, supported the strikers. – 1935

The National Negro Labor Council was formed in Cincinnati to unite black workers in the struggle for full economic, political and social equality. The group was to function for five years before disbanding. Many union leaders of the Congress of Industrial Organization (CIO) and the American Federation of Labor (AFL) considered it a Communist front. In 1956, it was officially branded a communist front organization by the U.S. Attorney General Herbert Brownwell and disbanded. – 1951 

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