This Week In Labor History October 9-15


1888 United Hebrew Trades is organized in New York by shirt maker Morris Hillquit and others. Hillquit would later become leader of the Socialist Party.
1997 Retail stock brokerage Smith Barney reaches a tentative sexual harassment settlement with a group of female employees. The suit charged, among other things, that branch managers asked female workers to remove their tops in exchange for money and one office featured a “boom room” where women workers were encouraged to “entertain clients.” The settlement was never finalized: a U.S. District Court judge refused to approve the deal because it failed to adequately redress the plaintiff’s grievances.
2003 An estimated 3,300 sanitation workers working for private haulers in Chicago win a nine-day strike featuring a 28 percent wage increase over five years.

1933 Six days into a cotton field strike by 18,000 Mexican and Mexican-American workers in Pixley, Calif., four strikers are killed and six wounded; eight growers were indicted and charged with murder.

1873 The Miners’ National Association is formed in Youngstown, Ohio, with the goal of uniting all miners, regardless of skill or ethnic background.
1948 – Nearly 1,500 plantation workers strike Olaa Sugar, on Hawaii’s Big Island.

1898 Company guards kill at least eight miners who are attempting to stop scabs in Virden, Ill. Six guards are also killed, and 30 persons wounded.

1933 Some 2,000 workers demanding union recognition close down dress manufacturing in Los Angeles.
1976 More than one million Canadian workers demonstrate against wage controls.

1934 American Federation of Labor votes to boycott all German-made products as a protest against Nazi antagonism to Organized Labor within Germany.
1985 More than 1,100 office workers strike Columbia University in New York City. The mostly female and minority workers win union recognition and pay increases.
1998 National Basketball Association cancels regular season games for the first time in its 51-year history, during a player lockout. Player salaries and pay caps are the primary issue. The lockout lasts 204 days.
2000 Hundreds of San Jose Mercury News newspaper carriers end four-day walkout with victory.

1883 Int’l Working People’s Association founded in Pittsburgh, Pa.
1938 The Seafarers Int’l Union (SIU) is founded as an AFL alternative to what was then the CIO’s National Maritime Union. SIU is an umbrella organization of 12 autonomous unions of mariners, fishermen and boatmen working on U.S.-flagged vessels.
2013 Formal construction began today on what was expected to be a five-year, $3.9 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River. It’s estimated the project would be employing 8,000 building trades workers over the span of the job.

1914 President Woodrow Wilson signs the Clayton Antitrust Act — often referred to as “Labor’s Magna Carta” — establishing that unions are not “conspiracies” under the law. It for the first time freed unions to strike, picket and boycott employers. In the years that followed, however, numerous state measures and negative court interpretations weakened the law.

(Compiled by David Prosten, founder Union Communication Services)


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