Today in Labor History September 5th

The First Labor Day

Between 20,000 and 30,000 marchers participated in New York’s first Labor Day parade, demanding the 8-hour day. The parade was filled with banners: “Labor Built the Republic – Labor Shall Rule It”; “To the Workers Should Belong the Wealth”; “Down with the Competitive System”; “Down with Convict Contract Labor”; “Down with the Railroad Monopoly”; and “Children in School Not in Factories”, among others. – 1882

[click_to_tweet tweet=”Up to 30,000 marchers participated in New York’s fir Labor Day Parade, 10,000 besiege a factory in Fall River, Ma, and a general strike began across the US maritime industry.” quote=”Up to 30,000 marchers participated in New York’s fir Labor Day Parade, 10,000 besiege a factory in Fall River, Ma, and a general strike began across the US maritime industry.”]

Ten thousand angry textile strikers, fighting for better wages and working conditions, besieged a factory in Fall River, Massachusetts where 300 strikebreakers were working. The scabs were rescued by police using tear gas and pistols on the strikers. – 1934

A general strike began across the U.S. maritime industry, stopping all shipping. The strikers were objecting to the government’s post-war National Wage Stabilization Board order that reduced pay increases negotiated by maritime unions. – 1946

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4 thoughts on “Today in Labor History September 5th”

  1. Workers then had less rights under U.S. law but also far less fear. Taft-Hartley hasn’t been undone but workers have to remember that breaking the law is the only way to win worker power.

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