1896 – Militia sent to Leadville, Colo., to break miners’ strike.
1912 – Mother Jones leads a march of miners’ children through the streets of Charleston, W. Va.
1982 – National Football League Players Association members begin what is to become a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever.
1991 – Members of five unions at the Frontier Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas begin what was to become the longest successful hotel strike in U.S. history. All 550 workers honored the picket line for the entirety of the six-year, four-month, 10-day fight against management’s insistence on cutting wages and eliminating pensions.
1862 – President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary proclamation warning that he will order the emancipation of all slaves in any state that does not end its rebellion against the Union by January 1, 1863.
1910 – Eighteen-year-old Hannah (Annie) Shapiro leads a spontaneous walkout of 17 women at a Hart Schaffner & Marx garment factory in Chicago. It grows into a months-long mass strike involving 40,000 garment workers across the city, protesting 10-hour days, bullying bosses and cuts in already-low wages.
1919 – Great Steel Strike begins; 350,000 workers demand union recognition. The AFL Iron and Steel Organizing Committee calls off the strike, their goal unmet, 108 days later.
1922 – Martial law rescinded in Mingo County, W. Va., after police, U.S. troops and hired goons finally quell coal miners’ strike.
1931 – U.S. Steel announces it will cut the wages of 220,000 workers by 10 percent.
1934 – United Textile Workers strike committee orders strikers back to work after 22 days out, ending what was at that point the greatest single industrial conflict in the history of American Organized Labor. The strike involved some 400,000 workers in New England, the mid-Atlantic states and the South.
1935 – Some 400,000 coal miners strike for higher wages in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and Ohio.
1953 – The AFL expels the Int’l Longshoremen’s Association for racketeering; six years later the AFL-CIO accepted them back into the house of Labor.
2005 – OSHA reaches its largest-ever settlement agreement, $21 million, with BP Products North America following an explosion at BP’s Texas City, Texas, plant earlier in the year that killed 15 and injured 170.
2006 – Eleven Domino’s employees in Pensacola, Fla., form the nation’s first union of pizza delivery drivers.
2006 – San Francisco hotel workers end a two-year contract fight, ratify a new five-year pact with their employers.
1868 – The Workingman’s Advocate of Chicago publishes the first installment of The Other Side, by Martin A. Foran, president of the Coopers’ Int’l Union. Believed to be the first novel by a trade union leader and some say the first working-class novel ever published in the U.S.
1886 – A coalition of Knights of Labor and trade unionists in Chicago launch the United Labor party, calling for an eight-hour day, government ownership of telegraph and telephone companies, and monetary and land reform. The party elects seven state assemblymen and one senator.
1996 – A 42-month strike by Steelworkers at Bayou Steel in Louisiana ends in a new contract and the ousting of scabs.
2002 – California Gov. Gray Davis (D) signs legislation making the state the first to offer workers paid family leave.
1918 – Canada declares the Wobblies illegal.
1891 – Two African-American sharecroppers are killed during an ultimately unsuccessful cotton-pickers’ strike in Lee County, Ark. By the time the strike was suppressed, 15 African-Americans had died and another six had been imprisoned. A white plantation manager was killed as well.
1903 – The Old 97, a Southern Railway train officially known as the Fast Mail, derails near Danville, Va., killing engineer Joseph “Steve” Broady and 10 other railroad and postal workers. Many believe Broady had been ordered to speed to make up for lost time. The Wreck of the Old 97 inspired balladeers; a 1924 recording is sometimes cited as the first million-selling country music record.
1908 – The first production Ford Model T leaves the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Mich. It was the first car ever manufactured on an assembly line, with interchangeable parts. The auto industry was to become a major U.S. employer, accounting for as many as one of every eight to 10 jobs in the country.
1875 – Striking textile workers in Fall River, Mass., demand bread for their starving children.
1893 – The Int’l Typographical Union renews a strike against the Los Angeles Times; a boycott runs intermittently from 1896 to 1908. A local anti-Times committee in 1903 persuades William Randolph Hearst to start a rival paper, the Los Angeles Examiner. Although the ITU kept up the fight into the 1920s, the Times remained totally nonunion until 2009, when the GCIU —
now the Graphic Communications Conference of the Teamsters — organized the pressroom.
1909 – Int’l Ladies’ Garment Workers Union begins strike against Triangle Shirtwaist Co. This would become the “Uprising of the 20,000,” resulting in 339 of 352 struck firms — but not Triangle — signing agreements with the union. The Triangle fire that killed 146 would occur less than two years later.
2002 – Twenty-nine west coast ports lock out 10,500 workers in response to what management says is a worker slowdown in the midst of negotiations on a new contract. The ports are closed for 10 days, reopen when President George W. Bush invokes the Taft-Hartley Act.
(Compiled by David Prosten, founder Union Communication Services)