Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Today in Labor History

May 01

Mary Harris “Mother” Jones born in County Cork, Ireland - 1830

Cigar makers in Cincinnati warn there could be a strike in the Fall if factory owners continue to insist that they pay 30 cents per month for gas heat provided at work during mornings and evenings - 1883

Eight-hour day demonstration in Chicago and other cities begins tradition of May Day as international labor holiday – 1886
[May Day: A Short History of the International Workers’ Holiday is noted labor scholar Philip Foner’s short history of May Day, a day born out of Chicago’s Haymarket Massacre in 1886, and marked ever since as a workers’ holiday the world over. Foner writes of the dramatic origins of the day and recounts highlights of May Day celebrations through the years and around the globe in a story filled with heroes and heroines who protest the injustice of their time as they unite to demand shorter hours of labor and an end to the most dehumanizing effects of capitalism. In the UCS bookstore now.]

The Cooks’ and Waiters’ Union strikes in San Francisco, demanding one day of rest per week, a ten-hour work day and a union shop for all restaurants in the city - 1901

Mother Jones’ 100th birthday celebrated at the Burgess Farm in Adelphi, Md. She died six months later - 1930

New York City’s Empire State Building officially opens. Construction involved 3,400 workers, mostly immigrants from Europe, and hundreds of Mohawk iron workers. Five workers died during construction - 1931

Congress enacts amendments to the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act, extending protections to the employees of state and local governments – protections which didn’t take effect until 1985 because of court challenges and regulation-writing problems - 1974

The Federal minimum wage rises to $2.00 per hour - 1974

International Molders & Allied Workers Union merges with Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics & Allied Workers International Union - 1988

Woodworkers of America International merges with International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers - 1994

International Leather Goods, Plastics & Novelty Workers Union merges with Service Employees International Union - 1996

Rallies in cities across the U.S. for what organizers call “A Day Without Immigrants.” An estimated 100,000 immigrants and sympathizers gathered in San Jose, Calif., 200,000 in New York, 400,000 each in Chicago and Los Angeles.  In all, there were demonstrations in at least 50 cities - 2006

SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

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