Thursday, February 04, 2016

Today in Labor History

February 04  --  Union Communications Services, Inc.

The Ohio legislature authorizes construction of the 249-mile Miami and Erie Canal, to connect Toledo to Cincinnati.  Local historians say "Irish immigrants, convicts and local farmers used picks, shovels and wheelbarrows," at 30 cents per day, to construct the 249-mile-long waterway - 1825
"Big Bill" Haywood born in Salt Lake City, Utah: Leader of Western Federation of Miners, Wobblies (IWW) founder - 1869
Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a White man launched the 1955 Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott and the birth of the civil rights movement, is born in Tuskeege, Ala. - 1913
Unemployment demonstrations take place in major U.S. cities - 1932
Thirty-seven thousand maritime workers on the West Coast strike for wage increases - 1937
President Barack Obama imposes $500,000 caps on senior executive pay for the most distressed financial institutions receiving federal bailout money, saying Americans are upset with "executives being rewarded for failure" - 2009

February 03
The U.S. Supreme Court rules the United Hatters Union violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by organizing a nationwide boycott of Danbury Hatters of Connecticut - 1908

U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Wages and Hours (later Fair Labor Standards) Act banning child labor and establishing the 40-hour work week - 1941
An explosion at a Thiokol chemical plant near Woodbine, Georgia kills 29 workers, seriously injures 50.  An investigation found that contributing factors to the explosion were mislabeled chemicals, poor storage procedures and insufficient fire protection - 1971

February 02
Three hundred newsboys organize to protest a cut in pay by the Minneapolis Tribune - 1917
Legal secretary Iris Rivera fired for refusing to make coffee; secretaries across Chicago protest - 1977
The 170-day lockout (although management called it a strike) of 22,000 steelworkers by USX Corp. ends with a pay cut but greater job security.  It was the longest work stoppage in the history of the U.S. steel industry - 1987

February 01
Led by 23-year-old Kate Mullaney, the Collar Laundry Union forms in Troy, N.Y., and raises earnings for female laundry workers from $2 to $14 a week - 1864

Bricklayers begin working 8-hour days - 1867

Some 25,000 Paterson, N.J., silk workers strike for 8-hour work day and improved working conditions. Eighteen hundred were arrested over the course of the six-month walkout, led by the Wobblies. They returned to work on their employers’ terms - 1913
(In this expanded edition of Strike! you can read about labor-management conflicts that have occurred over the past 140 years. Here you’ll learn much about workers’ struggle to win a degree of justice, from the workers’ point of view. The author also examines the ever-shifting roles and configurations of unions, from the Knights of Labor of the 1800s to the AFL-CIO of the 1990s. A new chapter, “Beyond One-Sided Class War,” looks at how modern protest movements, such as the Battle of Seattle and Occupy Wall Street, were ignited and considers the similarities between these challenges to authority and those of labor’s past.)

The federal minimum wage increases to $1.60 per hour - 1968

Int’l Brotherhood of Firemen & Oilers merges with Service Employees Int’l Union - 1995

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