Today in Labor History – August 10th

Mike Quill

The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) was founded at a meeting in Chicago attended by 24 activists from across the country. It is now the largest pilot union with over 53,000 members in 31 U.S. and Canadian airlines. The ALPA won its first contract in 1939, signing a deal with American Airlines. – 1931.

Hundreds of Transport Workers Union members descended on a New York City courthouse, offering their own money to bail out their president Mike Quill , and four other union leaders arrested while making their way through Grand Central Station to union headquarters after picketing the IRT offices in lower Manhattan. – 1935

President Roosevelt signed amendments to the 1935 Social Security Act, broadening the program to include dependents and survivors’ benefits. – 1939

Construction on the St. Lawrence Seaway began. Ultimately 22,000 workers spent five years building the 2,342-mile route, including 15 locks, from the Atlantic to the northernmost part of the Great Lakes. – 1954

I.W. Abel died on this day, at age 79. Abel was the president of the United Steelworkers of America from 1965 to 1977. – 1987

President Barack Obama signed a $26 billion bill designed to protect 300,000 teachers, police and others from layoffs spurred by budgetary crises in states hard-hit by the Great Recession. – 2010

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