Today in Labor History October 3rd

Woody Guthrie

President Theodore Roosevelt met with miners and coal field operators in an attempt to settle the anthracite coal strike, then in its fifth month. It marked the first time a president had personally intervened in a labor-management dispute. Three weeks later, the miners agreed to settle and accept recommendations made by a commission appointed by Roosevelt. – 1902

All 164 students at Kincaid High School in Illinois walked out on strike to protest their school’s use of scab labor to provide heating coal. – 1932

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The Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America was founded in Camden, New Jersey. It eventually merged with the International Association of Machinists in 1988. – 1933

Pacific Greyhound Lines bus drivers in seven western states began what was to become a three-week strike, eventually settling for a 10.5 percent raise. – 1945

The United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA) was formed as a self-governing union, an outgrowth of the CIO’s (Congress of Industrial Workers) Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee. UPWA merged with the Meat Cutters union in 1968, which in turn merged with the Retail Clerks in 1979, forming the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). – 1943

The United Auto Workers called for a company-wide strike against Ford Motor Company to win higher wages and better benefits for its members. It was the first company-wide strike since Ford had agreed to a collective-bargaining deal in 1941. Ford had been the last of the Big Three automakers to recognize the union, and it did so grudgingly; the UAW would organize his workers, Henry Ford famously declared, “over my dead body.” – 1961

Folk singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie (“This Land is Your Land”, “Union Maid” and hundreds of others) died of Huntington’s disease in New York at the age of 55. – 1967

Baseball umpires called their first strike (against employers instead of players). After a one-day strike during the 1970 playoffs, the union was recognized by both the National and American League presidents. – 1970

Marriott International employees in Boston went on strike starting what would be a wave of strikes at Marriott spanning seven time zones and 8,800 employees. Along with Boston, San Francisco, Maui, Oahu, San Diego, Oakland, San Jose, and Detroit all went on strike, for a total of 23 hotels. The strike ended on December 3rd in San Francisco with the final contract being ratified. The contracts included wage and benefit increases, as well as sexual harassment and safety protections. – 2018

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