Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Today in Labor History

May 09
Japanese workers strike at Oahu, Hawaii’s Aiea Plantation, demanding the same pay as Portugese and Puerto Rican workers. Ultimately 7,000 workers and their families remained out until August, when the strike was broken - 1909

Legendary Western Federation of Miners leader William “Big Bill” Haywood goes on trial for murder in the bombing death of former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg, who had brutally suppressed the state’s miners. Haywood ultimately was declared innocent - 1907

Longshoremen’s strike to gain control of hiring leads to general work stoppage, San Francisco Bay area - 1934

Hollywood studio mogul Louis B. Mayer recognizes the Screen Actors Guild.  SAG leaders reportedly were bluffing when they told Mayer that 99 percent of all actors would walk out the next morning unless he dealt with the union.  Some 5,000 actors attended a victory gathering the following day at Hollywood Legion Stadium; a day later, SAG membership increased 400 percent - 1937
[Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Unions tells the fascinating story of Hollywood animators, from the early days of Betty Boop and Popeye to today’s world of Pixar. Author Tom Sito describes fighting for unionism during the era of virulent anti-Communism in Hollywood, in which if an artist stood up against management he or she was labeled a Red. And he talks about the present day, in which big business is – no surprise here – sending work offshore to artists’ sweatshops. In the UCS bookstore now.] United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther and his wife May die in a plane crash as they travel to oversee construction of the union’s education and training facility at Black Lake, Mich. - 1971

4,000 garment workers, mostly Hispanic, strike for union recognition at the Farah Mfg. Co. in El Paso, Tex. - 1972

 SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

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