Monday, June 25, 2012

Today in Labor History

June 25

More than 8,000 people attend the dedication ceremony for The Haymarket Martyrs Monument in Chicago, honoring those framed and executed for the bombing at Haymarket Square on May 4, 1886 - 1893
[Staley: The Fight for a New American Labor Movement: In 1993 the A.E. Staley corn processing plant in Decatur, Illinois locked out 762 unionized workers and demanded the right to contract out every job and implement rotating 12-hour shifts. The workers rebelled, and this book does a fine job of chronicling one of the most hard-fought struggles in recent labor history. "One of the best accounts of a labor conflict ever written. Essential reading," says Jeremy Brecher, author of Strike! In the UCS bookstore now.]

Fair Labor Standards Act passes Congress, banning child labor and setting the 40-hour work week - 1938

At the urging of black labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, Franklin Roosevelt issues an executive order barring discrimination in defense industries - 1941

Congress passes the Smith-Connally War Labor Disputes Act over Pres. Franklin Roosevelt’s veto. It allows the federal government to seize and operate industries threatened by strikes that would interfere with war production. It was hurriedly created after the third coal strike in seven weeks - 1943

21 workers are killed when a fireworks factory near Hallett, Okla. explodes - 1985

Decatur, Ill. police pepper-gas workers at A.E. Staley plant gate one year into the company's two and one-half year lockout of Paperworkers Local 7837 - 1994

 SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

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