Today in Labor History – March 7th

Lucy Parsons

Lucy Parsons

6,000 shoemakers, joined by about 20,000 other workers, struck in Lynn, Massachusetts. They won raises, but not recognition of their union. – 1860

The Knights of St. Crispin and the Daughters of St. Crispin organized to win regulation of the use of machinery in the shoe industry, which threatened handcrafted work. – 1868

3,000 unemployed auto workers, led by the Communist Party of America, braved the cold in Dearborn, Michigan to demand jobs and relief from Henry Ford. The marchers got too close to the gate and were gassed. After re-grouping, they were sprayed with water and shot at.  Four men died immediately, 60 were wounded. – 1932

The Steel Workers Organizing Committee, soon to become the United Steel Workers, signed its first-ever contract with Carnegie-Illinois for $5 a day in wages, benefits. – 1937

Lucy Parsons, anarchist, feminist, and labor organizer died on this date. “My conception of the strike of the future is not to strike and go out and starve, but to strike and remain in and take possession of the necessary property of production.” – 1942

Hollywood writers represented by the Writers Guild of America went on strike against 200 television and movie studios over residuals payments and creative rights. The successful strike lasted 150 days, one of the longest in industry history. – 1988

Members of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 802, went on strike on Broadway in New York City over the League of American Theaters and Producers’ proposed reduction in minimum orchestra size requirements. Union actors and stagehands supported the musicians and a settlement was reached on March 11. – 2003


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