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Friday, June 01, 2012

Today in Labor History

 June 01


The Ladies Federal Labor Union Number 2703, based in Illinois, was granted a charter from the American Federation of Labor. Women from a wide range of occupations were among the members, who ultimately were successful in coalescing women’s groups interested in suffrage, temperance, health, housing, and child labor reform to win state legislation in these areas - 1888
[Rocking the Boat: Union Women’s Voices, 1915-1975 tells the stories of eleven dedicated union women from a wide range of backgrounds and how they dealt with issues of work, sex, fear, leadership and tradition tobecome activists and leaders in their unions. Women have had to fight for their rightful place in American life -- the right to own property, to vote, to work in "men’s" jobs. They’ve had to fight for their place in the labor movement as well, and this book does a great job of recounting that struggle. In the UCS bookstore now.]

Union Carpenters win a 25-cents-per-day raise, bringing wages for a nine-hour day to $2.50 - 1898

Congress passes the Erdman Act, providing for voluntary mediation or arbitration of railroad disputes and prohibiting contracts that discriminate against union labor or release employers from legal liability for on-the-job injuries - 1898

3,500 immigrant miners begin Clifton-Morenci, Ariz. copper strike – 1903

12,500 longshoremen strike the Pacific coast, from San Diego to Bellingham. Demands included a closed shop and a wage increase to 55 cents an hour for handling general cargo - 1916

As many as 60,000 railroad shopmen strike to protest cuts in wages – 1922

Extinguishing the light of hope in the hearts and aspirations of workers around the world, the Mexican government abolishes siestas –- a mid-afternoon nap and work break which lengthened the work day but got people through brutally hot summer days - 1944

Farm workers under the banner of the new United Farm Workers Organizing Committee strike at Texas’s La Casita Farms, demand $1.25 as a minimum hourly wage - 1966

Dakota Beef meatpackers win 7-hour sit-down strike over speed-ups, St. Paul, Minn. – 2000

General Motors filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. The filing made the automaker the largest U.S. industrial company to enter bankruptcy protection. It went on to recover thanks to massive help from the federal government - 2009

SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

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