Friday, December 30, 2016

Today in Labor History

December 30  --  Union Communications Services, Inc.

Gathering in the back room of Behrens’ cigar shop in Sedalia, Mo., 33 railroad clerks form Local Lodge Number 1 of a union they named the Order of the Railroad Clerks of America - 1899
Idaho Gov. Frank Steunenberg, who had brutally suppressed the state’s miners, is killed by an assassin's bomb. Legendary Western Federation of Miners and IWW leader William "Big Bill" Haywood and two other men were put on trial for the death but were ultimately declared innocent - 1905
GM sit-down strike spreads to Flint, Mich., will last 44 days before ending in union victory - 1936

December 29

After years of intensive lobbying by the labor movement, a comprehensive national safety law is enacted as President Nixon signs the Occupational Safety & Health Act of 1970, creating the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) - 1970
More than 15,000 United Steel Workers members at 16 Goodyear Tire & Rubber plants end an 86-day strike, ratify 3-year contract - 2006

December 28

The coffee percolator is patented by James H. Mason of Franklin, Mass., placing himself forever in the debt of millions of caffeine-dependent working people – 1865
Auto workers begin sit-down strike for union recognition at GM’s Fisher Body plant in Cleveland - 1936

Country music legend Hank Williams attends what is to be his last musicians’ union meeting, at the Elite (pronounced E-light) cafĂ© in Montgomery, Ala.  He died of apparent heart failure three days later in the back seat of a car driving north.  He was 29 - 1952

December 27

President Roosevelt seizes the railroads to avert a nationwide strike. His decision to temporarily place the railroads under the “supervision” of the War Department prompts the five railroad brotherhoods to agree to his offer to arbitrate the wage dispute - 1943

December 26 
Knights of Labor founded. Constitution bars from membership “parasites,” including stockbrokers and lawyers - 1869
Workingmen’s Party is reorganized as the Socialist Labor Party - 1877

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