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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Today in Labor History

June 04

Massachusetts becomes the first state to establish a minimum wage - 1912

The House of Representatives approves the Taft-Hartley Act. The legislation allows the President of the United States to intervene in labor disputes. President Truman vetoed the law but was overridden by Congress - 1947

The AFL-CIO opens its new headquarters building, in view of the White House - 1956

Gov. Jerry Brown signs the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, the first law in the U.S. giving farmworkers collective bargaining rights. The legislation came after years of effort by the United Farm Workers union - 1975
[No man in this century has had more of an impact on the lives of Hispanic Americans, and especially farmworkers, than the legendary Cesar Chavez. The Fight in the Fields tells of Chavez and his union’s struggles: to raise farmworker pay; to win union recognition from savagely resistant grape and lettuce growers; to stop the use of deadly pesticides that were killing children in the fields. The pacifist Chavez endured several month-long fasts to counteract what he saw as a growing tendency toward violence in the farmworker movement, and many think those heroic acts contributed to his early death, at the age of 64. In the UCS bookstore now.]

June 05
Thirty-five members of the Teamsters, concerned about the infiltration of organized crime in the union and other issues, meet in Cleveland to form Teamsters for a Democratic Union - 1976

A strike begins at a General Motors Corp. parts factory in Flint, Mich. that spreads and ultimately forces the closure of GM plants across the country for seven weeks.  The Flint workers were protesting the removal of key dies from their plant and feared their jobs would be lost. The company ended the dispute by assuring the plant would remain open until at least the year 2000 - 1998

June 06
The U.S. Employment Service was created - 1933

A general strike by some 12,000 autoworkers and others in Lansing, Mich. shuts down the city for a month in what was to become known as the city’s “Labor Holiday.” The strike was precipitated by the arrest of nine workers, including the wife of the auto workers local union president: The arrest left three children in the couple’s home unattended - 1937

U.S. President Harry S Truman and American Federation of Musicians President James Petrillo perform a piano duet at the union’s convention in Asbury Park, NJ. - 1948

Labor Party founding convention opens in Cleveland, Ohio – 1996

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