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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Today in Labor History

June 19

Eight-hour work day adopted for federal employees - 1912

AFL President Sam Gompers and Secretary of War Newton Baker sign an agreement establishing a three-member board of adjustment to control wages, hours and working conditions for construction workers employed on government projects.  The agreement protected union wage and hour standards for the duration of World War I - 1917

A pioneering sit-down strike is conducted by workers at a General Tire Co. factory in Akron, Ohio. The United Rubber Workers union was founded a year later.  The tactic launched a wave of similar efforts in the auto and other industries over the next several years – 1934

The Women’s Day Massacre in Youngstown, Ohio, when police use tear gas on women and children, including at least one infant in his mother's arms, during a strike at Republic Steel. One union organizer later recalled, "When I got there I thought the Great War had started over again. Gas was flying all over the place and shots flying and flares going up and it was the first time I had ever seen anything like it in my life..." - 1937

ILWU begins a four day general strike in sugar, pineapple, and longshore to protest convictions under the anti-communist Smith Act of seven activists, "the Hawai’i Seven." The convictions were later overturned by a federal appeals court - 1953

 SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

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