Today in Labor History – February 8th

Labor History February 8th
Mary Kenney O’Sullivan

Mary Kenney O’Sullivan Mary Kenney O’Sullivan was born in Hannibal, Missouri.  At age 28 she was appointed the first female general organizer for the American Federation of Labor by AFL President Samuel Gompers. – 1864 The IWW was engaged in a free speech fight in San Diego, California. Vigilantes routinely kidnapped and beat Industrial Workers … Read more

Today in Labor History – February 6th

Labor History February 6th
General Strike

General Strike A strike by shirtwaist workers, primarily immigrant women and girls, in Philadelphia’s garment sweatshops ends. Despite mass arrests, intimidation, scabs, and media blasts against them, the workers refused to back down until their demands for improved working conditions, reduced working hours, increased wages, and union recognition were met. – 1910 The Seattle General Strike … Read more

Today in Labor History – February 5th

Labor History February 5th
Modern Times

Modern Times The first daily labor newspaper, the N.Y. Daily Sentinel, began publication. – 1830 The movie Modern Times premiered. The tale of the tramp (Charlie Chaplin) and his paramour (Paulette Goddard) mixed slapstick comedy and social satire, as the couple struggled to overcome the difficulties of the machine age, including unemployment and nerve wracking factory work. – … Read more

Today in Labor History – February 4th

Labor History February 4th
Big Bill Haywood

Big Bill Haywood The Ohio legislature authorized construction of the 249-mile Miami and Erie Canal to connect Toledo to Cincinnati. Local historians said “Irish immigrants, convicts and local farmers used picks, shovels and wheelbarrows,” at 30 cents per day, to construct the 249-mile-long waterway. – 1825 The International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing … Read more

Today in Labor History – February 3rd

Labor History February 3rd
Mary Harris "Mother" Jones

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones The US Supreme Court ruled the United Hatters Union violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by organizing a nationwide boycott of Danbury Hatters of Connecticut. – 1908 Mary Harris “Mother” Jones addressed Milwaukee brewery workers during a two-month stint working alongside women bottle-washers while on leave from the United Mine Workers: ”Condemned … Read more

Today in Labor History – January 30th

Labor History January 30th
Saul Alinsky

Saul Alinsky Organizer Saul Alinsky was born on this date in Chicago, Illinois. – 1909 The Paris Peace Conference established the Commission on International Labour Legislation to draft the constitution of a permanent international labor organization, founding the International Labour Organization (ILO).  Today, as part of the United Nations, the ILO is charged with drafting … Read more