Today in Labor History – April 10th

Labor History April 10th
The “Saint of Labor Day” Frances Perkins

133 people, mostly women and girls, were killed when an explosion in the loading room tore apart the Eddystone Ammunition Works in Eddystone, Pennsylvania, near Chester. Fifty-five of the dead were never identified. – 1917 Labor leader, community organizer, civil rights activist, and feminist Dolores Huerta was born on this date. With Cesar Chavez, she co-founded … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 9th

Labor history April 9th
SS Leviathan

The United States Supreme Court ruled in Bunting v. Oregon, upholding Oregon’s 1913 state law that prescribed a ten-hour workday for both men and women and the state’s requirement that businesses in the state pay time-and-a-half for overtime up to three hours a day. The case was one of the first that upheld wage regulations … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 8th

Labor History April 8th
Emma Goldman

The 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, banning chattel slavery, but allowing a continuation of wage slavery and the forced labor of convicts without pay. – 1864 128 convict miners, mostly African-Americans jailed for minor offenses, were killed by a massive explosion at near Birmingham, Alabama. While the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, which occurred … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 7th

Labor History April 7th
National Federation of Telephone Workers on strike

Prohibition ended, allowing unions to once again freely organize workers in the bars and workers to once again drink freely. As Oscar Wilde said, “Work is the curse of the drinking class”. – 1933 National Labor Relations Board attorney Melton Boyd told ILWU members to “lie down like good dogs” in  Juneau, Alaska. – 1947 … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 6th

Labor History April 6th
Rose Schneiderman speaking at a Union meeting

Just north of Wall Street, New York City saw its first slave revolt in response to the execution of twenty-one blacks for killing nine whites. Conditions were ideal for a revolt, as black slaves and freemen worked in proximity to each other, making communication and planning easier. In the aftermath of the revolt, seventy black … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 5th

Labor History April 5th
A memorial to the victims of the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine

The longest strike in U.S. history began as workers at the Kohler Company in Sheboygen, Wisconsin went out on strike when the company failed to negotiate in good faith with their union, the United Auto Workers. More than six years later, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in the workers’ favor. It wasn’t until 1964 … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 4th

Labor History April 4th
Martin Luther King Jr.

The first issue of The Labor Review, a “weekly magazine for organized workers”, was published in Minneapolis. Edna George, a cigar packer in Minneapolis, won $10 in gold for suggesting the name “Labor Review”, The Labor Review has been published continuously since then, currently as a monthly newspaper. – 1907 The unemployed rioted in New York City’s … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 3rd

Labor History April 3rd
Gathering at the Botto House

Upton Sinclair, John Reed and others, who urged them to remain strong in their fight.  The Paterson strike lasted from February 1 until July 28, 1913. Workers were fighting for the eight-hour workday and better working conditions. Over 1,800 workers were arrested during the strike, including IWW leaders Big Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. Five were killed. … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 2nd

Labor History April 2nd
Hershey Workers hold up sign that says “We shall not be moved C.I.O”

Bread riots occurred in Richmond, Virginia due to a drought the previous year combined with a blockade by the Union and overall civil war-related shortages. Food riots occurred throughout the South around this time, led primarily by women. During the Richmond riot, women broken into storehouses and shops, stealing food, clothing and jewelry before the … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 1st

Labor History April 1st
Baseball Fans Protest Lockout

On this day, many believe that Cincinnati became the first U.S. city to pay firefighters a regular salary. Others say no, it was Boston in 1678, exact date unknown. – 1853 The United Mine Workers of America won eight-hour day. – 1898 San Francisco laundry workers went on strike for wage increases and an eight-hour … Read more

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