Today in Labor History April 8, 2020

Emma Goldman

The 13th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, banning chattel slavery, but allowing a continuation of wage slavery and the forced labor of convicts without pay. – 1864 128 convict miners, mostly African-Americans jailed for minor offenses, were killed by a massive explosion near Birmingham, Alabama. While the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, which occurred just … Read more

Today in Labor History April 7, 2020

Labor History April 7th
National Federation of Telephone Workers on strike

Prohibition ended, allowing unions to once again freely organize workers in the bars and workers to once again drink freely. As Oscar Wilde said, “Work is the curse of the drinking class”. – 1933 National Labor Relations Board attorney Melton Boyd told ILWU members to “lie down like good dogs” in  Juneau, Alaska. – 1947 … Read more

Today in Labor History April 6, 2020

Rose Schneiderman speaking at a Union meeting

Just north of Wall Street, New York City saw its first slave revolt in response to the execution of twenty-one blacks for killing nine whites. Conditions were ideal for a revolt, as black slaves and freemen worked in proximity to each other, making communication and planning easier. In the aftermath of the revolt, seventy black … Read more

Today in Labor History April 5, 2020

Labor History April 5th
A memorial to the victims of the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine

The longest strike in U.S. history began as workers at the Kohler Company in Sheboygan, Wisconsin went out on strike when the company failed to negotiate in good faith with their union, the United Auto Workers. More than six years later, the National Labor Relations Board ruled in the workers’ favor. It wasn’t until 1964 … Read more

Today in Labor History April 4, 2020

Labor History April 4th
Martin Luther King Jr.

The first issue of The Labor Review, a “weekly magazine for organized workers”, was published in Minneapolis. Edna George, a cigar packer in Minneapolis, won $10 in gold for suggesting the name “Labor Review”, The Labor Review has been published continuously since then, currently as a monthly newspaper. – 1907 The unemployed rioted in New York City’s … Read more

Today in Labor History April 2, 2020

Hershey Workers hold up sign that says “We shall not be moved C.I.O”

Bread riots occurred in Richmond, Virginia due to a drought the previous year combined with a blockade by the Union and overall civil war-related shortages. Food riots occurred throughout the South around this time, led primarily by women. During the Richmond riot, women broken into storehouses and shops, stealing food, clothing, and jewelry before the … Read more