Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Today in Labor History

Haymarket martyrs hanged, convicted in the bombing deaths of eight police during a Chicago labor rally – 18872014.11.10history-landmarks.bookcover
(Inventory of American Labor Landmarks: You’ll want to visit the Haymarket Memorial in Chicago, one of several labor tributes in the state of Illinois.  Find out where these and many others are across the U.S. when you buy this inexpensive booklet. The Labor Heritage Foundation has a comprehensive, ongoing inventory of labor landmarks across the country.)
A confrontation between American Legionnaires and Wobblies during an Armistice Day Parade in Centralia, Wash., results in six deaths. One Wobbly reportedly was beaten, his teeth bashed in with a rifle butt, castrated and hanged: local officials listed his death as a suicide - 1919
A total of 57 crewmen on three freighters die over a 3-day period when their ships sink during a huge storm over Lake Michigan - 1940

November 10
2014.11.10history-hormel-strikersSit-down strike begins at Austin, Minn., Hormel plant with the help of a Wobbly organizer, leading to the creation of the Independent Union of All Workers. Labor historians believe this may have been the first sit-down strike of the 1930s.  Workers held the plant for three days, demanding a wage increase. Some 400 men crashed through the plant entrance and chased out nonunion workers. One group rushed through the doors of a conference room where Jay Hormel and five company executives were meeting and declared: “We’re taking possession.  So move out.”  Within four days the company agreed to binding arbitration - 1933
The ship Edmund Fitzgerald—the biggest carrier on the Great Lakes—and crew of 29 are lost in a storm on Lake Superior while carrying ore from Superior, Wisc., to Detroit. The cause of the sinking was never established - 1975
Tile, Marble, Terrazzo Finishers, Shop Workers & Granite Cutters Int’l Union merges into United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners - 1988

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