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Friday, September 21, 2012

Today in Labor History

September 21

Militia sent to Leadville, Colo., to break miners strike - 1896

Mother Jones leads a march of miners' children through the streets of Charleston, W. Va. - 1913
[The Worst Children’s Jobs in History: The next time your children complain about having to help with the dishes or mow the lawn, put this book in front of them. The Worst Children’s Jobs in History takes you back to the days when being a kid was no excuse for getting out of hard labor. From chimney sweep to cesspool cleaner, from tooth-donor(!) to turnip-picker, from manure-shoveler to matchbox maker -- and much more, this book will tell you things you probably didn’t want to know about the back-breaking realities of being a child in the past. In the UCS bookstore now.]

National Football League Players Assn. members begin what is to become a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever - 1982

Members of five unions at the Frontier Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas begin what was to become the longest successful hotel strike in U.S. history. All 550 workers honored the picket line for the entirety of the six year, four month, ten day fight against management’s insistence on cutting wages and eliminating pensions - 1991

September 20

Upton Sinclair, socialist and author of "The Jungle"—published on this day in 1906—born in Baltimore, MD - 1878

According to folklorist John Garst, steel-drivin’ man John Henry, born a slave, outperformed a steam
hammer on this date at the Coosa Mountain Tunnel or the Oak Mountain Tunnel of the Columbus and Western Railway (now part of the Norfolk Southern) near Leeds, Ala. Other researchers place the contest near Talcott, W. Va. - 1887

International Hod Carriers, Building & Common Laborers Union of America changes name to Laborers' International Union - 1965



September 19

Chinese coal miners forced out of Black Diamond,
Wash. - 1885

400,000 to 500,000 unionists converge on Washington D.C. for a Solidarity Day march and rally protesting Republican policies - 1981






September 18The Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) is formally founded at an Ohio convention, during a period of serious corruption in the union. Two years earlier at an IBT convention in Las Vegas a union reform leader who (unsuccessfully) called for direct election of officers and a limit on officers’ salaries had been beaten by thugs - 1978

Nine strikebreakers are killed in an explosion at Giant (gold) Mine near Yellowknife, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Miner Roger Warren confessed that he planted the explosives that caused the deaths. He recanted the confession but later confessed once again - 1992

A 20-month illegal lockout of 2,900 Steelworkers members at Kaiser Aluminum plants in three states ends when an arbitrator orders a new contract. Kaiser was forced to fire scabs and fork over tens of millions of dollars in back pay to union members - 1999

One week after the September 11, 2001 attacks, anthrax spores are mailed by an unknown party to several news media offices and two U.S. Senators. Five people exposed to the spores died, including two workers at Washington, D.C.’s USPS Brentwood facility: Thomas Morris Jr. and Joseph Curseen - 2001

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