Today in Labor History – February 15th

Labor History February 15th

The Uprising of the Twenty Thousand

Susan B. Anthony, suffragist, abolitionist, labor activist, was born in Adams, Massachusetts. – 1820

“The Uprising of the Twenty Thousand”, the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union Shirtwaist strike that began September 27, was declared officially over on this date by the ILGWU. By this date, 339 manufacturing firms had reached agreements with the union. Thirteen firms, including the Triangle Shirtwaist Company, did not settle. One of the demands had been for adequate fire escapes and for open doors to the streets for emergencies. In 1911, 146 girls and women were killed in the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. – 1910

U.S. legislators passed the Civil Works Emergency Relief Act, providing funds for the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. The Administration funneled money to states plagued by Depression-era poverty and unemployment and oversaw the subsequent distribution and relief efforts. – 1934

Union activist and co-founder and president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) Baldemar Velasquez was born. His experiences with miserable housing, bad working conditions, low wages, and wage theft as a child migrant farm worker propelled him to organize migrant farm workers in northwest Ohio in 1967. – 1947

The Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) expelled the Mine, Mill & Smelter Workers; the Food, Tobacco & Agricultural Workers; and the United Office & Professional Workers for “Communist tendencies”. Other unions expelled for the same reason (dates uncertain): Fur and Leather Workers, the Farm Equipment Union, the International Longshoremen’s Union, and the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers. – 1950

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