Today in Labor History November 29th

The Battle in Seattle

Retail workers at Boston Stores in Milwaukee launched a strike at the beginning of the Christmas rush. The strike was a united effort between three unions, including clerks, teamsters and building-service employees. An extremely cold winter and the store’s willingness to hold out through the holiday season eventually broke the strike. For the next 60 years, none of the city’s major department stores were unionized. – 1934

Workers at Boston Stores in Milwaukee go on strike, 29 crewmen die in SS Daniel J. Morrell sinking, the WTO comes to Seattle and more. Click To Tweet

The SS Daniel J. Morrell, a 603-foot freighter, broke in two during a strong storm on Lake Huron. Twenty-eight of its 29 crewmen died; survivor Daniel Hale was found the next day, near frozen and floating in a life raft with the bodies of three of his crewmates. He had survived for nearly 40 hours in frigid temperatures wearing only a pair of boxer shorts, a life jacket, and a pea coat. – 1966

The National Labor Relations Board ruled that medical interns could unionize and negotiate wages and hours. – 1999

Thousands of activists, students, union members, environmentalists, and others shut down the World Trade Organization (WTO) summit in Seattle. It was the first large-scale demonstration in the United States to protest the “corporate agenda” and “globalization” and the beginning of many similar protests, including the current Occupy Wall Street movement. The WTO protest, like the OWS movement, was effective at raising awareness of corporate greed while simultaneously promoting the delusion that, with a few reforms, capitalism and democracy would serve the needs of the people. – 1999

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