Today in Labor History – December 16th

Striking Willmar, Minnesota Bank Tellers

Striking Willmar, Minnesota Bank Tellers

The National Civic Federation was formed by business and labor leaders, most prominently AFL president Sam Gompers, as a vehicle to resolve conflicts between management and labor. Not all unionists agreed with the alliance. The group turned increasingly conservative and labor withdrew after Gompers’ 1924 death. – 1900

New York City’s Majestic Theater became the first in the U.S. to employ women ushers. – 1902

The New York Times reported on December 17 that the “metropolitan area was threatened with a bagel famine yesterday as thirty-two of the city’s thirty-four bagel bakeries remained closed in a dispute between 300 members of Local 338 of the Bagel Bakers of America, A.F.L., and the Bagel Bakers Association.” The union settled its dispute over health and welfare payments and workplace sanitation in late January. – 1951

The Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Enginemen & Switchmen’s Union of North America merged to become United Transportation Union. – 1968

Eight female bank tellers in Willmar, Minnesota began the first strike against a bank in U.S. history. At Click To Tweet issue: they were paid little more than half what male tellers were paid. The strike ended in moral victory but economic defeat two years later. – 1977

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