Today in Labor History – April 9th

SS Leviathan

The United States Supreme Court ruled in Bunting v. Oregon, upholding Oregon’s 1913 state law that prescribed a ten-hour workday for both men and women and the state’s requirement that businesses in the state pay time-and-a-half for overtime up to three hours a day. The case was one of the first that upheld wage regulations in addition to hours regulations.- 1917

The IWW organized the 1,700 member crew of the Leviathan, then the world’s largest vessel. – 1930Click To Tweet

Public school teachers went on strike in Minneapolis, violating court orders not to walk out. The members of the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers sought pay raises and the right to collectively bargain. Local Union President Norm Moen said, “As an English teacher, I remember the example of Thoreau. We are taking a courageous action against an oppressive and repressive law”. With support from AFL-CIO unions and despite the opposition of groups such as the American Legion (which evicted the union from its building), the teachers reached a reasonable settlement, including amnesty for the strikers. A year later, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Public Employment Labor Relations Act (PELRA), strengthening collective bargaining rights for public employees. – 1970

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