Today in Labor History – March 29th

Ohio made it illegal for children under 18 and women to work more than 10 hours a day. – 1852

Sam Walton, founder of the huge and bitterly anti-union Wal-Mart empire, was born on this date in Kingfisher, Oklahoma. He once said that his priority was to “Buy American”, but Wal-Mart is now the largest U.S. importer of foreign-made goods, often produced under sweatshop conditions. – 1918

The U.S. Supreme Court, in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish, upheld the constitutionality of minimum wage legislation enacted by the State of Washington, overturning a decision in 1923 that held that federal minimum wage legislation for women was an unconstitutional infringement of liberty of contract. The case was brought by Elsie Parrish, a hotel housekeeper who lost her job and did not receive back wages in line with the state’s minimum wage for women law. – 1937

The “Battle of Wall Street” occurred as police charged strikers lying down in front of stock exchange doors. 43 were arrested. – 1948

The National Maritime Union of America merged with the National Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association. – 1988

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