Today in Labor History – August 25th

Labor History August 25th
A. Philip Randolph

Allen Pinkerton was born on this day, founder of the Pinkerton private police force, whose strike breaking detectives (Pinkertons, or ‘Pinks’) gave us the word ‘fink’ as they slaughtered dozens of workers in various labor struggles. – 1819 West Virginia Governor Ephraim Morgan asked President Warren Harding for Federal troops and military aircraft to suppress … Read more

Today in Labor History August 24th

Labor History August 24th
Salad Bowl Strike

The Mechanics Gazette, believed to be the first U.S. labor newspaper, was published in Philadelphia, the outgrowth of a strike by carpenters demanding a shorter, 10-hour day. The strike lost but labor journalism blossomed: within five years there were 68 labor newspapers across the country, many of them dailies. – 1827 The Gatling Gun Company, … Read more

Today in Labor History August 23rd

Labor History August 23rd
Malvina Reynolds

Folk and protest singer Malvina Reynolds was born on this day in San Francisco, California. Reynolds was denied a diploma by the city’s elite Lowell High School because her parents were opposed to US participation in World War I. She was perhaps best known for her satire of suburbia, “Little Boxes” which was most likely … Read more

Today in Labor History August 22nd

Labor History August 22nd
Joyce Miller, Vice President of the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers

Sam Gompers and other trade unionists met with New York mayor Gilroy pressing for a municipal public works program to relieve unemployment. – 1893 Five flight attendants formed the Airline Stewardess Association, the first labor union representing flight attendants. They were reacting to an industry in which women were forced to retire at the age … Read more

Today in Labor History August 20th

Labor History August 20th
Great Fire of 1910

The short-lived National Labor Union (U.S.) was formed on this date and called for the 8-hour workday. The union, led by William H. Sylvis, was the first American labor union to unite skilled and unskilled workers (preceding the Industrial Workers of the World by nearly 40 years). At its height, the union had 640,000 members. – 1866 … Read more

Today in Labor History August 19th

Labor History August 19th

The first edition of the IWW Little Red Songbook was published. Since the founding of the Industrial Workers of the World, also known as the IWW, songs have played a big part in spreading the message of the One Big Union (an idea in the late 19th and early 20th centuries among trade unionists to unite the interests of workers … Read more

Today in Labor History August 16th

Labor History August 16th
George Meany

William George Meany was born on this date. Meany was a labor leader for 57 years. He was the key figure in the creation of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and served as its first president from 1955-1979. Meany’s father was a union plumber, and George also became a plumber … Read more