Today in Labor History February 25th

The Paterson, New Jersey silk strike began, with 25,000 immigrant textile workers walking out when mill owners doubled the size of the looms without increasing staffing or wages. The strike was organized by the Industrial Workers of the World but collapsed when mill owners exploited divisions between skilled and unskilled workers, successfully getting the skilled workforce to agree to return to work. Five strikers were killed during the 208-day walkout. – 1913

The Paterson silk strike begins, Edgar Daniel (ED) Nixon dies, and 100,000 gather at the Wisconsin State Capitol to protest Scott Walker's plan to cripple public employee bargaining. Click To Tweet

The Amalgamated Association of Street & Electric Railway Employees of America changed their name to the Amalgamated Transit Union. – 1965

The Order of Railroad Telegraphers changed their name to the Transportation-Communication Employees Union. – 1965

Labor organizer and civil rights activist Edgar Daniel (“E.D.”) Nixon died on this date. While working as a Pullman porter, Nixon organized the Montgomery local of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and served as its president for many years. He was a key organizer of the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 and co-founder of the Montgomery Improvement Association. – 1987

A crowd estimated to be 100,000 strong rallied at the Wisconsin State Capitol in protest of what was ultimately was to become a successful push by the state’s Republican majority to cripple public employee bargaining rights. – 2011 – Note, I was there and ti was a blast.

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