Saturday, December 19, 2015

Today in Labor History

December 19  --  Union Communications Services, Inc.

An explosion in the Darr Mine in Westmoreland Co., Pa., kills 239 coal miners. Seventy-one of the dead share a common grave in Olive Branch Cemetery. December 1907 was the worst month in U.S. coal mining history, with more than 3,000 dead - 1907
A 47-day strike at Greyhound Bus Lines ends with members of the Amalgamated Transit Union accepting a new contract containing deep cuts in wages and benefits. Striker Ray Phillips died during the strike, run over on a picket line by a scab Greyhound trainee - 1983
Twenty-six men and one woman are killed in the Wilberg Coal Mine Disaster near Orangeville, Utah. The disaster has been termed the worst coal mine fire in the state’s history. Federal mine safety officials issued 34 safety citations after the disaster but had inspected the mine only days before and declared it safe - 1984
December 20
Delegates to the AFL convention in Salt Lake City endorse a constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote - 1899
The first group of 15 Filipino plantation workers recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association arrive in Hawaii. By 1932 more than 100,000 Filipinos will be working in the fields - 1906
Thousands of workers began what was to be a 2-day strike of the New York City transit system over retirement, pension and wage issues. The strike violated the state’s Taylor Law; TWU Local 100 President Roger Toussaint was jailed for ten days and the union was fined $2.5 million - 2005

December 18

General Motors announces it is closing 21 North American plants over the following four years and slashing tens of thousands of jobs - 1991

December 17

Int’l Union of Aluminum, Brick & Glass Workers merges with United Steelworkers of America - 1996

December 16
The National Civic Federation is formed by business and labor leaders, most prominently AFL president Sam Gompers, as a vehicle to resolve conflicts between management and labor. Not all unionists agreed with the alliance. The group turned increasingly conservative and labor withdrew after Gompers’ 1924 death - 1900
New York City’s Majestic Theater becomes first in the U.S. to employ women ushers - 1902
The Bagel Bakers of America union is continuing a work slowdown at 32 of New York’s 34 bagel bakeries in a dispute over health and welfare fund payments and workplace sanitation, the New York Times reports.  Coincidentally—or not—lox sales were down 30 percent to 50 percent as well.  The effect on the cream cheese market was not reported - 1951
Four railway unions merge to become the United Transportation Union: Trainmen, Firemen & Enginemen, Switchmen, and Conductors and Brakemen - 1968
Eight female bank tellers in Willmar, Minn., begin the first strike against a bank in U.S. history. At issue: they were paid little more than half what male tellers were paid. The strike ended in moral victory but economic defeat two years later - 1977
(United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism: At the turn of the twentieth century, American factory workers were often segregated by sex—males did heavier, dirtier, and better paid, work while women might be employed in a separate area performing related, lighter work. Men might cut bolts of fabric, for example, while women stitched cuffs onto sleeves. How this division of labor played out when an occupational group comprised of one sex went on strike is the subject of this book.)

No comments: