Today in Labor History – December 30th

Harry Orchard

Harry Orchard

Gathering in the back room of Behrens’ cigar shop in Sedalia, Missouri, 33 railroad clerks formed Local Lodge Number 1 of a union they named the Order of the Railroad Clerks of America. – 1899

Governor Frank Steunenberg of Idaho was assassinated by a bomb during a period of bitter labor disputes in the state. Click To Tweet Steunenberg, had become governor of Idaho on a Populist Party “defend the working man” ticket, but then called on federal troops to crush the 1899 miners’ strike. Members of the radical Western Federation of Miners (WFM) were implicated by the actual assassin, Harry Orchard, a union member and paid informant for the Cripple Creek Mine Owners’ Association. – 1905

Autoworkers at the General Motors Fisher Body No. 1 plant in Flint, Michigan, occupied the factory and begin a sit-down strike that lasted 44 days. The strike ended in a victory for the workers on February 11, 1937, when GM signed a contract with the United Auto Workers, recognizing the union as the sole bargaining agent for the workers in all of its plants. – 1936

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