Today in Labor History – April 26th

The Anti-Coolie Act of April 26th, 1862 was passed. It was titled “An Act to Protect Free White Labor.” The law was one of a series of xenophobic laws enacted specifically to block the immigration of Chinese to the U.S., particularly in California. – 1862 The U.S. Congress continued its xenophobic and racist practices by … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 24th

Mumia Abu Jamal, death row activist, journalist and former Black Panther, was born on this date. – 1954 The International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union halted shipping on the West Coast in solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Philadelphia journalist whom many believed was on death row because he was an outspoken African-American. – 1999 An eight-story … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 21st

Bituminous coal miners across the country went on strike over wage cuts. The nationwide strike was met with violence from scabs, company security, sheriff’s deputies, and the National Guard. It ended in eight weeks and severely weakened the United Mine Workers of America, which had been founded just four years earlier. – 1894 Company guards … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 19th

More than 6,000 furniture workers went on strike in Grand Rapids, Michigan, over hours, wages, working conditions, and the right to bargain collectively. The strike – which affected nearly all of the 60+ furniture manufacturers in the city – lasted throughout the summer, bringing much of the city to a standstill for four months. A … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 18th

Clarence Darrow was born. Darrow was the lawyer who defended Eugene V. Debs and the Wobblies, as well as John Scopes, the teacher who was prosecuted for teaching evolution in the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial”. – 1857 Canada’s Prime Minister Sir John Macdonald introduced the Trade Union Act to legalize unions in the country. Two … Read more

Today in Labor History – April 16th

Jacob Coxey was born on this date in Massillon, Ohio. Coxey, a populist businessman, proposed ending the 1893 depression by issuing Treasury notes to pay for a work-relief program. When Congress refused to pass his bill, Coxey led an “Army of the Poor” from Ohio to Washington, DC, where Coxey and his lieutenants were arrested … Read more