Today in Labor History – November 14th

Joe McCarthy

Joe McCarthy

The National Women’s Trade Union League was formed in Boston. It was organized as a coalition of working-class women, professional reformers, and women from wealthy and prominent families. Its purpose was to “assist in the organization of women wage workers into trade unions and thereby to help them secure conditions necessary for healthful and efficient work and to obtain a just reward for such work.” – 1903

Senator Joe McCarthy (R-WI), right-wing lunatic, alcoholic and shame of the nation, was born on this day. Click To Tweet McCarthyism destroyed the lives of thousands of good Americans and Union members by falsely accusing them of Communism. McCarthy stomped on civil liberties and the exercise of freedoms with impunity until he was censured by the Senate. (McCarthyism was  used by Montana Republican Senator Steve Daines during his 2014 campaign to smear his opponent). – 1909

The American Railway Supervisors Association was formed at Harmony Hall in Chicago by 29 supervisors working for the Chicago & North Western Railway. They organized after realizing that those railroaders working under their supervision already had the benefits of unionization and were paid more for working fewer hours. – 1934

The Depression-era Public Works Administration agreed with New York City on this day to begin a huge slum clearance project covering 20 acres in Brooklyn, where low-cost housing for 2,500 families would be completed. It was the first of many such jobs-and-housing projects across the country. – 1934

The National Federation of Telephone Workers,  later to become the Communications Workers of America, which is now one of the largest unions in the United States, was founded in New Orleans. – 1938

Jimmy Carter-era OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) published standards reducing permissible exposure to lead, protecting 835,000 workers from damage to nervous, urinary and reproductive systems. – 1978

The Federation of Professional Athletes was granted a charter by the AFL-CIO. – 1979

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