Today in Labor History – May 13th


The Canadian government established the Department of Labour. It took the U.S. another four years. – 1909

4,000 dockworkers and members of the predominantly African-American Marine Transport Workers’ Local 8 of the Industrial Workers of the World began what would be a successful strike in Philadelphia over wages and union recognition. Through strikes, slow-downs, and other workplace actions, Local 8 secured raises for all dockworkers, including those who were not IWW members, well into the 1940s. – 1913

UAW President Douglas A. Fraser was named to the Chrysler Corporation board of directors, becoming the first union representative ever to sit on the board of a major U.S. corporation. – 1980

Organized by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, drivers in New York City went on a one-day strike to protest Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s proposed taxicab regulations. “City officials were stunned by the success of a strike by taxi drivers,” the New York Times reported, “when all but a few hundred of the city’s 12,187 cabs remained parked.” – 1998

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