Today in Labor History – February 24th

Lawrence, Massachusetts Strike The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Muller v. Oregon to uphold the state’s restrictions on the working hours of women, setting a precedent to use sex differences, and in particular women’s childbearing capacity,  as a basis for separate legislation.  A laundry owner was fined $10 for making a female employee work more […]

Today in Labor History – February 23rd

Woody Guthrie 19-year-old Irish immigrant Kate Mullany led members of the Collar Laundry Union, the first all-female union in the United States, in a successful strike in Troy, New York. The union asked for  increased wages and improved working conditions. Women working in commercial laundries spent 12 to 14 hours a day ironing and washing […]

Today in Labor History – February 21st

Oregon passed the first legislation in the country to officially recognize the “workingman’s holiday” Labor Day. By 1894, 30 other states had adopted the holiday and on June of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September each year a federal holiday. – 1887 The Transportation-Communication Employees Union merged with the […]

Today in Labor History – February 20th

Frederick Douglass Responding to a 15 percent wage cut, women textile workers in Lowell, Massachusetts organized a “turn-out” (a strike), in protest. The action failed. Two years later they formed the Factory Girl’s Association in response to a rent hike in company boarding houses and the increase was rescinded. One worker’s diary recounts a “stirring […]

Today in Labor History – February 19th

Pittston Strike The American Federation of Labor issued a charter to its new Railroad Employees Department. – 1909 A few weeks after workers asked for a 25 cent hourly wage, the Philadelphia Rapid Transit (streetcar) Company fired 173 union members “for the good of the service” and brought in replacements from New York City. Striker-scab […]