Today in Labor History – November 4th

labor history November 4th

Will Rogers

Populist humorist Will Rogers was born on this day near Oologah, Indian Territory (later Oklahoma). One of his many memorable quotes: “I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.” – 1879

3,000 dairy farmers demonstrated in Neillsville, Wisconsin, ultimately leading to the freeing of jailed leaders of a milk strike over low prices set by large dairy plants. Tons of fresh milk was dumped on public roads, trains carrying milk were stopped, and some cheese plants were bombed during the fight. – 1933

Luisa Moreno, labor and social activist died 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.” – 1992

After a struggle lasting more than two years, 6,000 Steelworkers members at Bridgestone/ Firestone won a settlement in which strikers displaced by scabs got their original jobs back. The fight started when management demanded that the workers accept 12-hour shifts. – 1996

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