Today in Labor History May 23, 2020

Battle of Toledo

The first American nursery school was established in New York City as a way to “relieve parents of the laboring classes” and offer their children “protection from idleness” and other evils that typically infected the rabble. – 1827

An estimated 100,000 textile workers, including more than 10,000 children, went on strike in the Philadelphia area.  Among the issues: 60-hour workweeks, including night hours for the children. – 1903

100,000 strike in Philadelphia, 10,000 strikers battle sheriffs in the Battle of Toledo, women receive equal pay for equal work (not really) and Utah Phillips dies. Click To Tweet

The Battle of Toledo erupted when sheriffs arrested picket leaders at the Auto-Lite plant in Toledo, Ohio, and beat an old man. 10,000 strikers blockaded the plant for seven hours, preventing strikebreakers from leaving. Ultimately, the crowd was broken up with tear gas and water cannons. The National Guard was called in the following day. The strikers held their ground against the troops, who shot and killed two of their members and wounded 15 others, winning union recognition and a 5% raise after two weeks on the picket line. – 1934

A U.S. railroad strike starts and was later crushed when President Truman threatened to draft strikers. – 1946

Congress passed the first law to ensure women received equal pay for equal work. The legislation was originally submitted in 1947. – 1963

The Granite Cutters International Association of America merged with Tile, Marble, Terrazzo, Finishers and Shopmen, which five years later merged into the Carpenters. – 1983

Labor folk singer and IWW member Utah Phillips (1935-2008) died. – 2008

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