Today in Labor History January 18th

Labor History January 18th
Johnny Paycheck

Guards employed by the Agricultural Fertilizer Chemical Company in Chrome, New Jersey, opened fire on unarmed striking workers, killing two people and wounding eighteen others. The next day 31 deputy sheriffs were arrested, charged with first-degree murder, and held without bail. The workers eventually won a wage increase and nine of the deputies were convicted … Read more

Today in Labor History January 17th

labor history January 17th
Pablo Manlapit

Filipino labor organizer, lawyer, and migrant-rights activist Pablo Manlapit was born. He moved to Hawaii as a young man and worked on several sugar plantations before pursuing a law degree. Hawaii’s first Filipino lawyer, Manlapit worked tirelessly to represent Filipino workers. He helped organize the Filipino Labor Union and was a leading figure in the … Read more

Today in Labor History January 16th

labor history january 16th
Leonard Woodcock

The United States Civil Service Commission was established as the Pendleton Act went into effect. The Pendleton Act established that positions within the federal government should be awarded based on merit, not political affiliation. – 1883 Thousands of detainees, including foreign-born radicals and “labor agitators” arrested during the Palmer Raids, won their right to meet … Read more

Today in Labor History January 13th

Labor History January 13th
Tompkins Square Riot

The original Tompkins Square Riot occurred on this date. Unemployed workers were demonstrating in New York’s Tompkins Square Park, when mounted police charged into the crowd, beating men, women and children indiscriminately with clubs, leaving hundreds of casualties in their wake. Police Commissioner Abram Duryee said, “It was the most glorious sight I ever saw.” … Read more

Today in Labor History January 11th

Labor History January 11th
The "Bread and Roses" textile strike

The first American “Modern School”, based on ideas of Francisco Ferrer, was founded by a group including Leonard Abbott, Alexander Berkman, and Emma Goldman, in New York City. – 1911 The IWW-organized (Industrial Workers of the World) “Bread & Roses” textile strike of 32,000 women and children began on this date in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The … Read more

Today in Labor History January 10th

Labor history January 10th
Joe Hill

The Pemberton Mill suddenly collapsed in Lawrence, Massachusetts, trapping 900 workers, mostly Irish women. The mill then caught fire, seriously injuring 116 women and killing 88. The fire inquest revealed inferior construction that was too weak to support the brick walls and heavy machinery. The engineer in charge of construction, Captain Charles Bigelow, was aware of … Read more

Today in Labor History January 9th

labor history january 9th
Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union meeting

A Mediation Commission appointed by President Woodrow Wilson found that “industry’s failure to deal with unions” was the prime reason for labor strife in war industries. – 1918 Eighty thousand Chicago construction workers went on strike. -1922 The Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union led a Missouri Highway sit-down of 1,700 families. They had been evicted from … Read more