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 … Read more

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. – 1913Eugene 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 illegally, … Read more

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 … Read more

Today in Labor History – June 14th

In West Virginia, which was under martial law due to ongoing violence between miners and thugs hired by the mining companies, state police and vigilantes raided the Lick Creek tent colony. 47 strikers were arrested. Within a few months, much of Southwestern West Virginia would be engaged in the largest civil uprising in US history, … Read more

Today in Labor History – June 12th

Fifty thousand members of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen employed in meatpacking plants walked off their jobs; their demands included equalization of wages and conditions throughout US plants. – 1904 Massachusetts became the first state to adopt a minimum wage law. Other states passed similar laws later that year. – 1912 The US … Read more

Today in Labor History – June 11th

Representatives from the AFL, Knights of Labor, populists, railroad brotherhoods and other trade unions held a unity conference in St. Louis but failed to overcome their differences. – 1894 Cops shot black and white IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) members and AFL maritime workers who were striking against United Fruit company in New Orleans, … Read more

Today in Labor History – June 9th

Labor activist Helen Marot was born on this day. Marot was a librarian from a wealthy family in Philadelphia, who investigated working conditions among children and women. During her life, she participated in numerous labor organizations, particularly those dedicated to the interests of women, such as the Women’s Trade Union League and the Bookkeepers, Stenographers, … Read more

Today in Labor History – June 8th

The first documented labor strike in San Francisco occurred when Chinese laborers demanded a raise while working on the Parrott Block granite building. – 1852 A battle between the Militia and striking miners at Dunnville, Colorado ended with six union members dead and 15 taken prisoner. Seventy-nine of the strikers were deported to Kansas two … Read more