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Friday, April 06, 2012

Today in Labor History

April 06

The first slave revolt in the U.S. occurs at a slave market in New York City’s Wall Street area. Twenty-one blacks were executed for killing nine whites. The city responded by strengthening its slave codes - 1712

Birth of Rose Schneiderman, prominent member of the New York Women's Trade Union League, an active participant in the Uprising of the 20,000, the massive strike of shirtwaist workers in New York City led by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union in 1909, and famous for an angry speech about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire: “Every week I must learn of the untimely death of one of my sister workers…Too much blood has been spilled. I know from my experience it is up to the working people to save themselves. The only way they can save themselves is by a strong working-class movement” - 1882
[Triangle: The Fire that Changed America: This excellent book vividly recounts the tragic fire but also tells us of life in the city during the early 1900s and brings us into the stories of the young women who lost their lives in the blaze. The author tells of their struggles against oppressive, inhumane conditions and poverty-level wages -- work lives not that different from many of today’s immigrant workers. In the UCS bookstore now.]

A sympathy strike by Chicago Teamsters in support of clothing workers leads to daily clashes between strikebreakers and armed police against hundreds and sometimes thousands of striking workers and their supporters. By the time the fight ended after 103 days, 21 people had been killed and 416 injured - 1905

What was to become a two-month strike by minor league umpires begins, largely over money: $5,500 to $15,000 for a season running 142 games. The strike ended with a slight improvement in pay - 2006

SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

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