Today in Labor History December 15th

Labor History December 15th
Clinton Jencks on the picket line

A protest by 500 women in Kansas that began earlier in the week, organized in support of striking mine workers and against new anti-labor legislation that forced unions into arbitration and outlawed strikes in the state, swelled to 4,000, stretching a mile long. The women, dubbed the “Amazon Army” by the New York Times, disbanded … Read more

Today in Labor History December 11th

Labor History December 11th

A small group of black farmers organized the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Cooperative Union in Houston County, Texas. They had been barred from membership in the all-white Southern Farmers’ Alliance. Through intensive organizing, along with merging with another black farmers group, the renamed Colored Alliance in 1891 claimed a membership of 1.2 million. – … Read more

Today in Labor History December 8th

Labor History December 8th
Samuel Gompers

25 unions, representing 316,469 members, founded the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in Columbus, Ohio; Cigar Maker’s union leader Samuel Gompers was elected president. The AFL grew out of the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, which started in 1881 in Pittsburgh. The AFL’s founding document’s preamble reads: “A struggle is going on in all of … Read more

Today in Labor History December 7th

Labor History December 7th
Heywood Broun

Heywood Broun, journalist, and founder of the American Newspaper Guild (now The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America) was born on this day in Brooklyn, New York. “Appeasers,” Broun said, “believe that if you keep on throwing steaks to a tiger, the tiger will become a vegetarian.” – 1888 Eleven representatives from local unions met in Chicago … Read more

Today in Labor History December 6th

Labor History December 6th
362 Miners Die Monongal, WV

The U.S. ratified  the 13th amendment and abolished [chattel] slavery. Prisoners could (and can still) be forced to work without wages, while all workers were (and still are) subject to wage slavery. – 1865 African American delegates met in Washington, D.C., to form the Colored National Labor Union as a branch of the all-white National … Read more