Today in Labor History – December 1st

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks

“Tony” Boyle, future president of the United Mine Workers (UMW) was born on this date. He served as president from 1963 to 1972. – 1904

The rustling card system was put into place by the Anaconda Mining and Smelter Company. Agitators were identified by spies and refused cards and jobs. – 1912

The Ford Motor Company introduced the continuous moving assembly line which could produce a complete car every two-and-a-half minutes. – 1913

The famous labor song, “Solidarity Forever,” was written on this date by IWW songwriter Ralph Chaplin. Click To Tweet He wrote the song for a hunger march to be led by Lucy Parsons in Chicago. – 1914

Solidarity Forever

(To the tune of Glory Glory Hallelujah)
When the union’s inspiration through worker’s blood shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
For the union makes us strong.
Is there aught we hold in common with the greedy parasite
Who would lash us into serfdom & would crush us with his might?
is there anything left to us but to organize & fight?
For the union makes us strong
In our hands is placed a power greater than their hoarded gold,
Greater than the might of armies magnified a thousand fold;
We can bring to birth a new world from the ashes of the old,
For the union makes us strong.
[Chorus]: Solidarity forever, Solidarity forever, Solidarity forever,
For the union makes us strong

Kellogg Company, maker of Kellogg’s cereal, adopted a 6-hour day. –  1930

The United Garment Workers of America merged with the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. – 1994

Rosa Parks, a 43-year-old African-American seamstress, boarded a bus in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, and refused to move to the back. She was arrested, triggering a year-long boycott of the city bus system and legal actions which ended racial segregation on municipal buses throughout the southern United States. – 1955

The Metal Polishers, Buffers, Platers & Allied Workers International Union & United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum & Plastics Workers of America merged with the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers. – 1996

The Youngstown General Duty Nurses Association (YGDNA) became the first nurses in Ohio to engage in a mass resignation or “strike.” According to the American Nurses Association, it may have been the first concerted action by nurses in a labor dispute in the nation. – 1966

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