Today in Labor History – June 20th

Eugene Debs formed the American Railway Union (ARU), one of the earliest unions to organize by industry and regardless of race or ethnicity (see Knights of Labor and IWW) . Within a few months the union was leading an 18-day strike against the Great Northern Railroad, successfully forcing management to reverse three wage cuts despite […]

Today in Labor History – June 19th

Slaves were declared free in Texas, a date now celebrated each year as the holiday “Juneteenth.” – 1865 The kangaroo trial of eight anarchists for the Haymarket bombing began in Chicago on this date. – 1886 Silk workers struck in Paterson, New Jersey. The event escalated into a riot. Silk workers had struck several times […]

Today in Labor History – June 18th

The American Federation of Teachers issued a charter to the St. Paul Federation of Women Teachers Local 28. One year later, they issued a charter to the men’s teachers’ local. Both locals participated in the first organized teachers’ strike in the nation in 1946. – 1918 Union leader A. Philip Randolph met with President Franklin […]

Today in Labor History – June 17th

20 workers were killed and many others were seriously injured in an explosion at the US Arsenal in Washington, D.C.  The workers were girls and young women, mostly Irish immigrants, making ammunition for the Union Army. The funeral procession, which included President Abraham Lincoln, stretched for more than a mile.  A monument was erected in […]

Today in Labor History – June 16th

Eight local unions organized the International Fur Workers Union of US and Canada. The union later merged with the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen. – 1913 Eugene Debs delivered his famous Canton, Ohio anti-war speech. America was at war with Germany at the time, and radicals were being routinely rounded up and jailed, often […]

Today in Labor History – June 15th

  The Metal Trades Department of what now the AFL-CIO is founded. – 1908 The Congress of Industrial Organizations expels the Fur and Leather Workers union and the American Communications Association for what it describes as communist activities. – 1947 Battle of Century City, as police in Los Angeles attack some 500 janitors and their […]