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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Today in Labor History

August 12

The national Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners is founded in Chicago in a gathering of 36 carpenters from 11 cities - 1881

Coal company guards kill 7, wound 40 striking miners who are trying to stop scabs, Virden, Ill. - 1898

With the news that their boss, Florenz Ziegfeld, was joining the Producing Managers’ Assn., the chorus girls in his Ziegfield Follies create their own union, the Chorus Equity Assn. They were helped by a big donation from superstar and former chorus girl Lillian Russell. In 1955 the union merged with the Actor’s Equity Assn. - 1919

Teamsters official William Grami is kidnapped, bound and beaten near Sebastopol, Calif. He was leading a drive to organize apple plant workers in the area - 1955

The North American Free Trade Agreement—NAFTA— was concluded between the United States, Canada and Mexico, despite protests from labor, environmental and human rights groups. It went into effect in January, 1994 - 1992

[NAFTA From Below: In testimonies from scores of Mexicans across that country, this book details the terrible impact NAFTA has had south of the border. These first-hand accounts of workers organizing for their rights, of farmers and indigenous peoples fighting to preserve their land, and of efforts north and south to build alternatives, document the courage of ordinary people who dare to join together and fight for decent working conditions, just salaries, a clean environment and lives with dignity. Co-editor Martha A. Ojeda worked in the maquiladoras for 20 years and was the leader of a wildcat strike of Sony workers in Nuevo Laredo in 1994. In the UCS bookstore now.]

What was to become a 232-day strike by major league baseball players over owners' demands for team salary caps began on this day; 938 games were cancelled - 1994

SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

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