Today in Labor History – December 10th

labor history december 10

August Spies

August Spies, anarchist labor organizer and Haymarket martyr was born on this date. Spies once said, “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today”. – 1865

The IWW launched the first sit-down strike in the U.S. at a General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York. Their method was later adopted by the labor movement in the 1930s, with the Flint Sit-Down Strike being the most well-known. – 1906

Today is International Human Rights Day, commemorating the signing at the United Nations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, in part:  everyone has the right to good working conditions, equal pay for equal work, fair compensation, the right to form and join a trade union, and limited working hours. “Everyone has the right to form and join trade unions for the protection of his interests.” – 1948

The American Federation of Teachers Local 89 in Atlanta, Georgia disaffiliated from the national union because of an AFT directive that all its locals integrate. A year later, the AFT expelled all locals that refused to do so. – 1956

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