Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Today in Labor History

July 10
Mary McLeod Bethune, educator and civil rights activist, born - 1875

14,000 federal and state troops finally succeed in putting down the strike against the Pullman Palace Car Co., which had been peaceful until July 5, when federal troops intervened in Chicago, against the repeated protests of the Governor and Chicago’s mayor. Some 34 American Raily Union members were killed by troops over the course of the strike - 1894

A powerful explosion rips through the Rolling Mill coal mine in Johnstown, Pa., killing 112 miners, 83 of whom were immigrants from Poland and Slovakia - 1902

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce holds a mass meeting of more than 2,000 merchants to organize what was to become a frontal assault on union strength and the closed shop. The failure of wages to keep up with inflation after the 1906 earthquake had spurred multiple strikes in the city - 1916

Sidney Hillman dies at age 59. He led the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, was a key figure in the founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and was a close advisor to Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt - 1946 

July 09

The worst rail accident in U.S. history occurred when two trains pulled by 80-ton locomotives collided head-on at Dutchman’s curve in west Nashville, Tenn. 101 people died, another 171 were injured - 1918

New England Telephone "girls" strike for seven-hour workday, $27 weekly pay after four years' service - 1923

New York City subway system managers in the Bronx attempt to make cleaning crews on the IRT line work faster by forcing the use of a 14-inch squeegee instead of the customary 10-inch tool. Six workers are fired for insubordination; a two-day walkout by the Transport Workers Union wins reversal of the directive and the workers’ reinstatement - 1935

United Packinghouse, Food & Allied Workers merge with Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen - 1968

Five thousand demonstrators rally at the state capitol in Columbia, S.C. in support of the "Charleston Five," labor activists charged with felony rioting during a police attack on a 2000 longshoremen's picket of a non-union crew unloading a ship - 2001
[On The Global Waterfront: The Fight to Free the Charleston Fivetells the story of longshoremen in South Carolina who confronted attempts to wipe out their union, the state’s most powerful black organization, and rallied the nation and labor around the world in their successful fight. It is a compelling narrative of a local struggle, a transformed union leader, and a newly-energized international worker movement. In the UCS bookstore now.]

SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

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