Today in Labor History – April 26th

Child Labor in the coal mines

The Anti-Coolie Act of April 26th, 1862 was passed. It was titled “An Act to Protect Free White Labor.” The law was one of a series of xenophobic laws enacted specifically to block the immigration of Chinese to the U.S., particularly in California. – 1862

The U.S. Congress continued its xenophobic and racist practices by passing the second Chinese Exclusion Act, barring Chinese laborers from entering the U.S. for the next 10 years and denying citizenship to the Chinese already here. In 1904 the act was extended indefinitely. – 1902

The U.S. House of Representatives passed House Joint Resolution No. 184, a constitutional amendment to prohibit the labor of persons under 18 years of age. Click To TweetThe Senate approved the measure a few weeks later, but it was never ratified by the states and is still technically pending, not having been ratified by the requisite three-quarters of the states. – 1924

After management at Montgomery Ward repeatedly refused to comply with an order by the National War Labor Board (created to avert strikes in critical war-support industries) to recognize the workers’ union and abide by the collective bargaining agreement that the board worked out, President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the Army National Guard to seize the company’s property in Chicago and remove its chairman, Sewell Avery. – 1944

60,000 people marched on Washington, D.C., demanding jobs for all Americans. Angry people rushed the stage, which included mainstream politicians like Hubert Humphrey, and caused the rally to be shut down prematurely. – 1975

As the U.S. car industry tanked, the UAW agreed to concessions with Chrysler Corporation in return for a 55 percent stake in the company. The union then sold the shares to fund a trust that took over retiree health care costs. – 2009

Twenty thousand teachers walked out of Arizona schools to protest low pay and cuts to school funding. This was the third major education strike in a predominantly Republican state in 2018. By May 3rd, teachers had won another strike. While not getting everything they wanted, they went back to classes with a 19% raise over the next three years. – 2018

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