Today in Labor History January 14, 2020

A. Philip Randolph

'The essence of trade unionism is social uplift. The labor movement has been the haven for the dispossessed, the despised, the neglected, the downtrodden, the poor.' A Philip Randolph Click To Tweet

Eighty-five delegates from 41 locals held the third convention of the National Bricklayers Union in New York City to organize for the eight-hour workday. – 1868

A Brooklyn trolley strike began on this date and lasted until February 28. The militia was called out and martial law was declared in order to suppress it. Members of the Knights of Labor battled militiamen in the streets. – 1895

A Brooklyn trolley strike began, the trial of Suhr and Ford began, A Philip Randolph calls for a march on Washington, 14,000 GE employees go on strike, a 15-month lockout of the Twin Cities Musicians' ends and more. Click To Tweet

The trial of Suhr and Ford began on this date in Marysville, California. Suhr and Ford were IWW (Wobbly) organizers who were ultimately convicted for their alleged role in the gun battle at Durst Ranch in Wheatland. – 1914

A Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters called for a March on Washington to demand racial integration of the military and equal access to defense-industry jobs. – 1941

Clinton-era OSHA issued a confined space standard to prevent more than 50 deaths and 5,000 serious injuries annually for workers who enter confined spaces. – 1993

The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that bosses can fire workers for being gay. – 1995

Some 14,000 General Electric employees struck for two days to protest the company’s mid-contract decision to shift an average of $400 in additional health care co-payments onto each worker. – 2003

A 15-month lockout by the Minnesota Orchestra against members of the Twin Cities Musicians’ Union, Local 30-73 ended when the musicians agreed to a 15 percent pay cut (management wanted up to 40 percent) and increased health care cost-sharing. They did win a revenue-sharing deal based on the performance of the Orchestra’s endowments. It was the nation’s longest-running contract dispute for a concert orchestra. – 2014

30,000 teachers from the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the second-largest school district in the country, went on strike. Protesting low pay, large class size, inadequate support staff (nurses, librarians …) and the growth of charter schools in the district, the teachers went on strike for the first time in 30 years. After picketing outside schools for six school days, they won concessions on all their demands. – 2019

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