Today in Labor History – June 1st

W. E. DuBois
W. E. DuBois

Based in Illinois, the Ladies Federal Labor Union Number 2703 was granted a charter from the American Federation of Labor. Women from a wide range of occupations were among the members, who were ultimately successful in coalescing women’s groups interested in suffrage, temperance, health, housing, and child labor reform to win state legislation in these areas. – 1888

Union Carpenters won a 25-cents-per-day raise, bringing wages for a nine-hour day to $2.50. – 1898

Congress passed the Erdman Act, providing for voluntary mediation or arbitration of railroad disputes. It prohibited contracts that discriminated against union labor or released employers from legal liability for on-the-job injuries. – 1898

3,500 immigrant miners began the Clifton-Morenci, Arizona copper strike. – 1903

W. E. DuBois founded the NAACP. – 1909

US troops arrived in Colorado to reclaim coal mines from striking miners after the Colorado National Guard massacred 19 in the miners’ camp. Two women and eleven children were among those killed. – 1914

12,500 longshoremen struck the Pacific coast, from San Diego to Bellingham. Their demands included a closed shop and a wage increase to 55 cents an hour for handling general cargo. – 1916

Farm workers at La Casita Farms in Starr County, Texas went on strike over wages and union recognition. The melon strike became the first major civil rights event in the state during the late 1960s. Brutality by Texas Rangers and local law enforcement broke the strike after a year. – 1966

Two Filipino longshore labor organizers, Domingo and Viernes, were assassinated in Seattle, Washington on orders of US-backed dictator Ferdinand Marcos. – 1981

Meatpackers at the Dakota Premium Foods plant in St. Paul, Minnesota carried out a successful seven-hour sit-down strike to protest a speedup on the production line that was causing increased injuries on the job.  The workers went on to join the UFCW Local 789. – 2000

General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing made the automaker the largest U.S. Industrial company to enter bankruptcy protection. It went on to recover thanks to massive help from the UAW and the federal government – 2009

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