Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Today in Labor History

July 25

Workers stage a general strike -- believed to be the nation’s first -- in St. Louis, in support of striking railroad workers. The successful strike was ended when some 3,000 federal troops and 5,000 deputized special police killed at least eighteen people in skirmishes around the city - 1877
[In Reviving the Strike: How Working People can Regain Power and Transform America, author Joe Burns draws on economics, history and current analysis in arguing that the labor movement must redevelop an effective strike based on the now outlawed traditional labor tactics of stopping production and workplace-based solidarity. Reviving the Strike offers a fundamentally different solution to the current labor crisis, showing how collective bargaining backed by a strike capable of inflicting economic harm upon an employer is the only way for workers to break free of the repressive system of labor control that has been imposed upon them by corporations and the government for the past seventy-five years. In the UCS bookstore now.]

New York garment workers win closed shop and firing of scabs after 7-month strike - 1890

The Teamsters and Service Employees unions break from the AFL-CIO during the federation's 50th convention to begin the Change to Win coalition, ultimately comprised of seven unions (4 by 2011: SEIU, Teamsters, UFCW and the UFW). They say they want more emphasis on organizing and less on electoral politics - 2005

SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

25,000 textile workers strike in Massachusetts. - 1904

"The strike, which lasted most of the summer, had little impact on the Fall River textile owners, but attention was brought to the child labor force in the United States (more than 250,000 children in mills, factories and mines), and the National Child Labor Committee was formed later in the year (1904)." - from

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