Today in Labor History October 9th

Morris Hillquit

Mary Heaton Vorse was born on this date in New York. Vorse was a labor journalist who wrote eyewitness accounts of many of the significant labor battles of her day. She also wrote the novel, “Strike!” which was made into a film in 2007. – 1874

United Hebrew Trades was organized in New York by shirtmaker Morris Hillquit and others. Hillquit would later become the leader of the Socialist Party. – 1888

A lettuce strike occurred in Salinas, California. Fearing communists, authorities removed the red flags that had appeared throughout town, only to find out later that they were part of a traffic check being done by the state highway division. – 1936

Retail stock brokerage Smith Barney reached a tentative sexual harassment settlement with a group of female employees. Click To Tweet The suit charged, among other things, that branch managers asked female workers to remove their tops in exchange for money and one office featured a “boom boom room” where women workers were encouraged to “entertain clients”. The settlement was never finalized: a U.S. District Court Judge refused to approve the deal because it failed to adequately redress the plaintiff’s grievances. – 1997

3,300 sanitation workers working for private haulers in Chicago won a 9-day strike featuring a 28 percent wage increase over 5 years. – 2003

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