Friday, May 09, 2014

Today in Labor History

Japanese workers strike at Oahu, Hawaii’s Aiea Plantation, demanding the same pay as Portuguese and Puerto Rican workers. Ultimately 7,000 workers and their families remained out until August, when the strike was broken - 1909
Legendary Western Federation of Miners leader William “Big Bill” Haywood goes on trial for murder in the bombing death of former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg, who had brutally suppressed the state’s miners. Haywood ultimately was declared innocent - 1907
Longshoremen’s strike to gain control of hiring leads to general work stoppage, San Francisco Bay area - 1934
Hollywood studio mogul Louis B. Mayer recognizes the Screen Actors Guild. SAG leaders reportedly were bluffing when they2014.05.05history-turningthetide-bookcovertold Mayer that 99 percent of all actors would walk out the next morning unless he dealt with the union. Some 5,000 actors attended a victory gathering the following day at Hollywood Legion Stadium; a day later, SAG membership increased 400 percent - 1937
(“Bluffing” might have worked for SAG leaders in 1937, but it’s likely to be insufficient as a bargaining strategy.  Readers of Turning the Tide: Strategic Planning for Labor Unions will benefit from author David Weil’s experience working with national, regional and local unions, as well as his expertise in labor relations and economics, as he presents labor leaders with tools to strengthen both their unions and their relations with management.)
United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther and his wife May die in a plane crash as they travel to oversee construction of the union’s education and training facility at Black Lake, Mich. - 1971
Four thousand garment workers, mostly Hispanic, strike for union recognition at the Farah Manufacturing Co. in El Paso, Texas - 1972

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