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Friday, August 31, 2012

Today in Labor History

August 31

SOURCE: Union Communications Services, Inc.

John Reed forms the Communist Labor Party in Chicago. The Party’s motto: "Workers of the world, unite!" - 1919

10,000 striking miners began a fight at Blair Mountain, W.Va., for recognition of their union, the UMWA. Federal troops were sent in, and miners were forced to withdraw 5 days later, after 16 deaths - 1921

The Trade Union Unity League is founded as an alternative to the American Federation of Labor, with the goal of organizing along industrial rather than craft lines. An arm of the American Communist Party, the League claimed 125,000 members before it dissolved in the late 1930s - 1929

"Solidarity" workers movement founded as a strike coordination committee at Lenin Shipyards, Gdansk, Poland. The strike launched a wave of unrest in the Soviet Union that ultimately led to its dissolution in 1991 - 1980

325,000 unionists gathered in Washington, D.C. for a Solidarity Day march and rally for workplace fairness and healthcare reform - 1991

Detroit teachers begin what is to become a nine day strike, winning smaller class sizes and raises of up to four percent - 1999
Working Class Heroes

Aug 31, 1921: "The Battle of Blair Mountain, the culmination of the largest armed insurrection in the United States since the Civil War, ended on September 4, 1921." - from http://www.wvculture.org/history/thisdayinwvhistory/0904.html (many other good links here)
 
 
"Meanwhile, Logan County Sherriff Don Chafin, whose salary was heavily subsidized by coal companies, learned of the miners' intentions and began organizing local recruits to help stop the march." - from http://www.pawv.org/news/blairhist.htm

Check out "Coal Country Tours" - http://coalcountrytours.com/index.html
 
10,000 striking miners began a fight at Blair Mountain, W.Va., for recognition of their union, the UMWA. Federal troops were sent in, and miners were forced to withdraw 5 days later, after ...
16 deaths - 1921

"The battle ended after approximately one million rounds were fired, and the United States Army intervened by presidential order." - from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Blair_Mountain

"The miners were about to break through the defenders’ lines when three Army regiments were called in to halt the fighting and save the coal-operator forces from being over-run." - from http://blairmountainmuseum.org/the-battle/
 
 

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