The New York City subway, the first rapid-transit system in America, opens. More than 100 workers died during the construction of the first 13 miles of tunnels and track – 1904 (Survival of the Fittest: Thanks to unions, construction jobs don’t cost lives the way they used to. If you’d like to know more about construction unions, especially if you’re considering a career in the trades, read this book. In clear, easy-to-read language it explains how to be successful in the trades and, directly linked to that success, how to make union construction thrive and prosper.)
Three strikes on works-relief projects in Maryland were underway today, with charges that Depression-era Works Projects Administration jobs were paying only about 28 cents an hour—far less than was possible on direct relief. Civic officials in Cumberland, where authorities had established a 50-cent-per-hour minimum wage, supported the strikers - 1935
The National Labor Council is formed in Cincinnati to unite Black workers in the struggle for full economic, political and social equality. The group was to function for five years before disbanding, having forced many AFL and CIO unions to adopt non-discrimination policies - 1951
After eight years and at least 1,000 worker deaths—mostly Irish immigrants—the 350-mile Erie Canal opens, linking the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Father John Raho wrote to his bishop that "so many die that there is hardly any time to give Extreme Unction (last rites) to everybody. We run night and day to assist the sick." - 1825
What many believe to be the first formal training on first aid in American history took place at the Windsor Hotel in Jermyn, Penn., when Dr. Matthew J. Shields instructed 25 coal miners on ways to help their fellow miners. Upon completion of the course each of the miners was prepared and able to render first aid. The training led to marked decreases in serious mining injuries and fatalities - 1899
Some 25,000 silk dye workers strike in Paterson, N.J. - 1934
In what becomes known as the Great Hawaiian Dock Strike, a 6-month struggle to win wage parity with mainland dock workers, ends in victory - 1949
The Tribune Co. begins a brutal 5-month-long lockout at the New York Daily News, part of an effort to bust the newspaper’s unions - 1990
John Sweeney, president of the Service Employees Int’l Union, elected president of AFL-CIO – 1995
After a two-year fight, workers at the Bonus Car Wash in Santa Monica, Calif., win a union contract calling for pay increases, better breaks and other gains. “They didn’t treat us like people,” nine-year employee Oliverio Gomez told the Los Angeles Times - 2011
The 40-hour work week goes into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act, signed by President Roosevelt two years earlier - 1940
October 17 - Union Communications Services, Inc. A huge vat ruptures at a London brewery, setting off a domino effect of similar ruptures, and what was to become known as The London Beer Flood. Nearly 1.5 million liters of beer gushed into the streets drowning or otherwise causing the deaths of eight people, mostly poor people living in nearby basements - 1814
Labor activist Warren Billings is released from California's Folsom Prison. Along with Thomas J. Mooney, Billings had been pardoned for a 1916 conviction stemming from a bomb explosion during a San Francisco Preparedness Day parade. He had always maintained his innocence - 1939
"Salt of the Earth" strike begins by the mostly Mexican-American members of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union Local 890 in Bayard, N.M. Strikers' wives walked picket lines for seven months when their husbands were enjoined during the 14-month strike against the New Jersey Zinc Co. A great movie, see it! - 1950 (Working Stiffs, Union Maids, Reds, and Riffraff: An Expanded Guide to Films About Labor: This wonderful book is an encyclopedic guide to 350 labor films from around the world, ranging from those you’ve heard of—Salt of the Earth, The Grapes of Wrath, Roger & Me—to those you’ve never heard of but will fall in love with once you see them.)
Twelve New York City firefighters die fighting a blaze in midtown Manhattan - 1966
Int’l Printing Pressmen's & Assistants' Union of North America merges with Int’l Stereotypers', Electrotypers' & Platemakers' Union to become Printing & Graphic Communications Union - 1973
Industrial Union of Marine & Shipbuilding Workers of America merges with Int’l Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers - 1988
October 15 -- Union Communications Services, Inc. President Woodrow Wilson signs the Clayton Antitrust Act—often referred to as "Labor’s Magna Carta"—establishing that unions are not "conspiracies" under the law. It for the first time freed unions to strike, picket and boycott employers. In the years that followed, however, numerous state measures and negative court interpretations weakened the law - 1914
Former Electrician at the Los Angeles Times Olympic Production Facility, Norm West, has passed from complications from pneumonia. Norm retired from the Los Angeles Times in 2001 and moved to Lake Havasu, Arizona. He was a very friendly and nice man. No information available at this time regarding his funeral. May he rest in peace * UPDATE: The family of Norm West plans to have a private memorial at a later time. If you would like to send messages of condolences please drop an email my way. firstname.lastname@example.org
Int’l Working People's Association founded in Pittsburgh, Pa. - 1883
The Seafarers Int’l Union (SIU) is founded as an AFL alternative to what was then the CIO’s National Maritime Union. SIU is an umbrella organization of 12 autonomous unions of mariners, fishermen and boatmen working on U.S.-flagged vessels - 1938
Formal construction began today on what is expected to be a five-year, $3.9 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. It's estimated the project would be employing 8,000 building trades workers over the span of the job - 2013
LA Times staffers in NYC to collect their Pulitzer: I believe that's Sarah Parvini at left, then Priya Krishnakumar, Alexandra Manzano, Marcus Yam and Paloma Esquivel. Photo posted to Twitter by Los Angeles Times editor-in-chief and publisher Davan Maharaj....
October 13 -- Union Communications Services, Inc. American Federation of Labor votes to boycott all German-made products as a protest against Nazi antagonism to organized labor within Germany - 1934 More than 1,100 office workers strike Columbia University in New York City. The mostly female and minority workers win union recognition and pay increases - 1985 National Basketball Association cancels regular season games for the first time in its 51-year history, during a player lockout. Player salaries and pay caps are the primary issue. The lockout lasts 204 days - 1998 Hundreds of San Jose Mercury News newspaper carriers end 4-day walkout with victory - 2000
When most of the inhabitants of the city are asleep, when the streets are finally breathing their sighs of relief... and the only time when darkness is comforting...that's when they crawl out passing through the lanes and by-lanes only to bring the world to your doorstep...
They are one of the reasons why Dubai is called a city that never sleeps. Here's a night in the life of a newspaper boy, Nijabudeen Nijam who hails from Chennai, India.
October 12 -- Union Communications Services, Inc. Company guards kill at least eight miners who are attempting to stop scabs, Virden, Ill. Six guards are also killed, and 30 persons wounded - 1898 Fourteen miners killed, 22 wounded at Pana, Ill. - 1902 Some 2,000 workers demanding union recognition close down dress manufacturing, Los Angeles - 1933 More than one million Canadian workers demonstrate against wage controls - 1976
October 11 -- Union Communications Services, Inc. The Miners’ National Association is formed in Youngstown, Ohio, with the goal of uniting all miners, regardless of skill or ethnic background - 1873 Nearly 1,500 plantation workers strike Olaa Sugar, on Hawaii’s Big Island - 1948 October 10 Six days into a cotton field strike by 18,000 Mexican and Mexican-American workers in Pixley, Calif., four strikers are killed and six wounded; eight growers were indicted and charged with murder - 1933
The blog was started to talk about issues impacting the pressroom both positively and negatively. The views expressed here are not of the LA Times, but of each individual's opinion. The Pressmen's Club is composed of men and women who have printed the paper for twenty years or more. Semi-annual dinners are held in March and October. See Ed Padgett for more information.