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Labor Movement History

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Labor Movement History

A place to discuss labor movement history throughout the world.

Location: international
Members: 21
Latest Activity: Mar 5

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National Union of Portworkers (UK) 4 Replies

 Does anyone know anything about the history of this union? It was started (I believe) by Sid Senior, a London docker, who became its first General Secretary. I know that it was extant in the 1970s,…Continue

Started by Jemmy Hope. Last reply by Jemmy Hope Mar 6, 2012.

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Comment by Joe Balkis on October 20, 2012 at 14:25

pullman

Comment by Joe Balkis on October 20, 2012 at 14:24

Comment by alexandria Knox on March 23, 2012 at 17:24

March 19
In an effort to block massive layoffs and end a strike, New York City moves to condemn and seize Fifth Avenue Coach, the largest privately owned bus company in the world - 1962

March 20
Michigan authorizes formation of workers’ cooperatives. Thirteen are formed in the state over a 25-year period. Labor reform organizations were advocating "cooperation" over "competitive" capitalism following the Civil War and several thousand cooperatives opened for business across the country during this era. Participants envisioned a world free from conflict where workers would receive the full value of their labor and freely exercise democratic citizenship in the political and economic realms - 1865

The American Federation of Labor issues a charter to a new Building Trades Dept. Trades unions had formed a Structural Building Trades Alliance several years earlier to work out jurisdictional conflicts, but lacked the power to enforce Alliance rulings - 1908

Members of the International Union of Electrical Workers reach agreement with Westinghouse Electric Corp., end a 156-day strike - 1956

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that employers could not exclude women from jobs where exposure to toxic chemicals could potentially damage a fetus - 1991

Three hundred family farmers at a National Pork Producers Council meeting in Iowa protest factory-style hog farms - 1997
[Jeremy Brecher’s spellbinding Strike! tells you something your school history books almost certainly did not: how working Americans for the past 125 years have used the strike again and again to win a degree of justice and fair play. Beginning with the Great Upheaval of 1877, STRIKE! tells of the nation’s great strikes and the social and political climates from which they grew. Readers see the evolution of the strike: from a class-wide struggle across industries to a time of collective bargaining in which “Workers think of their struggle in terms of their own industry or workplace alone.” In the UCS bookstore now.]

March 21
American Labor Union founded - 1853

March 22
Mark Twain, a lifelong member of the International Typographical Union (now part of CWA), speaks in Hartford, Conn., extolling the Knights of Labor’s commitment to fair treatment of all workers, regardless of race or gender - 1886

The Grand Coulee Dam on Washington state’s Columbia River begins operation after a decade of construction. 8,000 workers labored on the project; 77 died - 1941

800 striking workers at Brown & Sharpe in Kingstown, R.I. are tear-gassed by state and local police in what was to become a losing 17-year-long fight by the Machinists union - 1982

A 32-day lockout of major league baseball players ends with an agreement to raise the minimum league salary from $68,000 to $100,000 and to study revenue-sharing between owners and players - 1990

A bitter six and one-half year UAW strike at Caterpillar Inc. ends. The strike and settlement, which included a two-tier wage system and other concessions, deeply divided the union - 1998
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Comment by Ira M Wechsler on March 18, 2012 at 18:11

 April 28, 2012. The first May Day march in Brooklyn, NY since pre-WWII

days will be be held Saturday April  28th in the immigrant West Indian neighborhood of Flatbush.  Sponsored by Progressive Labor Party. PLP was the first group on the Left that had the chutspa to reinstitue May Day in the US in the post McCarthy era. The first group to demonstrate against the Vietnam War in the 1960's and the only group to openly and actively support the Harlem Rebellion of 1964.

Comment by alexandria Knox on March 18, 2012 at 15:10

March 17
The leadership of the American Federation of Labor selects the Carpenters union to lead the eight hour movement. Carpenters throughout the country strike in April; by May 1, some 46,000 carpenters in 137 cities and towns have achieved shorter hours - 1890

A U.S.-China treaty prevents Chinese laborers from entering the U.S. - 1894

Staffers at San Francisco progressive rock station KMPX-FM strike, citing corporate control over what music is played and harassment over hair and clothing styles, among other things. The Rolling Stones, Joan Baez, the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead and other musicians request the station not play their music as long as the station is run by strikebreakers - 1968

Boeing Co. and the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA) come to terms on a new contract, settling the largest white-collar walkout in U.S. history. SPEEA represented some 22,000 workers, of whom 19,000 honored picket lines for 40 days - 2000

March 18
Police evict retail clerks occupying N.Y. Woolworth’s in fight for 40-hour week - 1937

The Post Office’s first mass work stoppage in 195 years began in Brooklyn and Manhattan and spread to 210,000 of the nation’s 750,000 postal employees. Mail service was virtually paralyzed in several cities, and President Nixon declared a state of emergency. A settlement came after two weeks - 1970

The Los Angeles City Council passes the first living wage ordinance in California. The ordinance requires almost all city contractors to pay a minimum wage of $8.50 an hour, or $7.25 if the employer was contributing at least $1.25 toward health benefits, with annual adjustments for inflation - 1997

Wal-Mart agrees to pay a record $11 million to settle a civil immigration case for using illegal immigrants to do overnight cleaning at stores in 21 states - 2005
[Wage Theft in America: Why Millions Aren’t Getting Paid is an incisive handbook for activists, organizers, workers, and concerned citizens on how to prevent the flagrant exploitation of America’s working people. Nationally recognized labor activist Kim Bobo offers a sweeping analysis of the crisis, citing hard-hitting statistics and heartbreaking first-person accounts of exploitation at the hands of employers, as well as concrete solutions. In the UCS bookstore now.]

As the Great Recession continues, Pres. Obama signs a $17.6 billion job-creation measure a day after it is passed by Congress - 2010





Comment by alexandria Knox on March 18, 2012 at 15:10

March 15
Official formation of the Painters International Union - 1887

Supreme Court approves 8-Hour Act under threat of a national railway strike - 1917

Bituminous coal miners begin nationwide strike, demanding adoption of a pension plan - 1948
[The Historical Encyclopedia of American Labor is a tremendous resource, covering the history of organized labor in all of its complexity, from the dawn of the industrial revolution to the "post-industrial age." Put together with major support from the nation’s labor history community, this encyclopedia would be an invaluable addition to any union or public library collection, or the reference shelf of the serious labor editor, communicator, educator or officer. In the UCS bookstore now.]

The Wall Street Journal begins a series alleging insider stock deals at the union-owned Union Labor Life Insurance Co. (ULLICO). After three years a settlement was reached with Robert Georgine, a building trades leader serving as ULLICO president and CEO, requiring him to repay about $2.6 million in profits from the sale of ULLICO stock, forfeit $10 million in compensation and make other payments worth about $4.4 million. All but 2 of the company’s directors were said to have profited from the deals - 2002

March 16
The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) is formed in New York, to represent New York City public school teachers and, later, other education workers in the city - 1960

Comment by alexandria Knox on March 18, 2012 at 15:09

Catching way up here:

March 13
The term “rat,” referring to a worker who betrays fellow workers, first appears in print in the New York Daily Sentinel. The newspaper was quoting a typesetter while reporting on replacement workers who had agreed to work for two-thirds of the going rate - 1830
[The Lexicon of Labor is an invaluable resource for all unionists, from rank-and-file activists to newsletter editors to union leaders. It offers readable, informative descriptions of more than 500 key places, people and events in American labor history, from explaining who the Wobblies and Knights of Labor were to reporting on the 1997 Teamster strike at UPS. In the UCS bookstore now.]

A four-month UAW strike at General Motors ends with a new contract. The strikers were trying to make up for the lack of wage hikes during World War II - 1946

March 14
Henry Ford announced the new continuous motion method to assemble cars. The process decreased the time to make a car from 12½ hours to 93 minutes. Goodby, craftsmanship. Hello, drudgery - 1914

The Movie "Salt of the Earth" opens. The classic film centers on a long and difficult strike led by Mexican-American and Anglo zinc miners in New Mexico. Real miners perform in the film, in which the miners’ wives – as they did in real life – take to the picket lines after the strikers are enjoined - 1954

Comment by alexandria Knox on March 14, 2012 at 14:02

March 12
Greedy industrialist turned benevolent philanthropist Andrew Carnegie pledges $5.2 million for the construction of 65 branch libraries in New York City -- barely 1 percent of his net worth at the time. He established more than 2,500 libraries between 1900 and 1919 following years of treating workers in his steel plants brutally, demanding long hours in horrible conditions and fighting their efforts to unionize. Carnegie made $500 million when he sold out to J.P. Morgan, becoming the world’s richest man - 1901

The first tunnel under the Hudson River is completed after 30 years of drilling, connecting Jersey City and Manhattan. In just one of many tragedies during the project, 20 workers died on a single day in 1880 when the tunnel flooded - 1904

The Lawrence, Mass. "Bread and Roses" textile strike ends when the American Woolen Co. agrees to most of the strikers’ demands; other textile companies quickly followed suit - 1912

Lane Kirkland, president of the AFL-CIO from 1979 to 1995, born in Camden, South Carolina - 1922

Steelworkers approve a settlement with Oregon Steel Mills, Inc. and its CF&I Steel subsidiary, ending the longest labor dispute in the USWA’s history and resulting in more than $100 million in back pay for workers - 2004

March 13
The term “rat,” referring to a worker who betrays fellow workers, first appears in print in the New York Daily Sentinel. The newspaper was quoting a typesetter while reporting on replacement workers who had agreed to work for two-thirds of the going rate - 1830
[The Lexicon of Labor is an invaluable resource for all unionists, from rank-and-file activists to newsletter editors to union leaders. It offers readable, informative descriptions of more than 500 key places, people and events in American labor history, from explaining who the Wobblies and Knights of Labor were to reporting on the 1997 Teamster strike at UPS. In the UCS bookstore now.]

A four-month UAW strike at General Motors ends with a new contract. The strikers were trying to make up for the lack of wage hikes during World War II - 1946

March 14
Henry Ford announced the new continuous motion method to assemble cars. The process decreased the time to make a car from 12½ hours to 93 minutes. Goodby, craftsmanship. Hello, drudgery - 1914

The Movie "Salt of the Earth" opens. The classic film centers on a long and difficult strike led by Mexican-American and Anglo zinc miners in New Mexico. Real miners perform in the film, in which the miners’ wives – as they did in real life – take to the picket lines after the strikers are enjoined - 1954

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Comment by alexandria Knox on March 12, 2012 at 1:49

March 11
Luddites smash 63 “labor saving” textile machines near Nottingham, England - 1811

Fabled railroad engineer John Luther “Casey” Jones born in southeast Missouri. A member of the Railroad Engineers, he was the sole fatality in a wreck near Vaughan, Miss. on April 29, 1900. His skill and heroics prevented many more deaths - 1863

Transport Workers Union members at American Airlines win 11-day national strike, gaining what the union says was the first severance pay clause in industry - 1950


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Comment by alexandria Knox on March 10, 2012 at 15:48

Catching us up here:

March 08
Thousands of New York needle trades workers demonstrate for higher wages, shorter workday, and end to child labor. The demonstration became the basis for International Women’s Day - 1908

Three explosions at a Utah Fuel Co. mine in Castle Gate, Utah kill 171. Fifty of the fatalities were native-born Greeks, 25 were Italians, 32 English or Scots, 12 Welsh, four Japanese, and three Austrians (or South Slavs). The youngest victim was 15; the oldest, 73 - 1924

New York members of the Fur and Leather Workers Union, many of them women, strike for better pay and conditions. They persevere despite beatings by police, winning a 10 percent wage increase and five-day work week - 1926

The Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act took effect on this day. It limits the ability of federal judges to issue injunctions against workers and unions involved in labor disputes - 1932

César Chávez leads 5,000 striking farmworkers on a march through the streets of Salinas, Calif. - 1979
[Remembering Cesar: The Legacy of Cesar Chavez is a collection of remembrances by those who knew Cesar Chavez best, a portrait of an uncommonly complex man, both driven and focused, yet humble, empathetic and exceedingly principled. Contributors include the famous, including Edward James Olmos, Henry Cisneros, Martin Sheen, Corettta Scott King, Jerry Brown and others, along with members of the Chavez family, union staff, and farmworkers themselves. In the UCS bookstore now.]

March 09
The Westmoreland County (Pa.) Coal Strike – known as the "Slovak strike" because some 70 percent of the 15,000 strikers were Slovakian immigrants – begins on this date and continues for nearly 16 months before ending in defeat. Sixteen miners and family members were killed during the strike - 1912

Spurred by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. Congress begins its 100 days of enacting New Deal legislation. Just one of many programs established to help Americans survive the Great Depression: The Civilian Conservation Corps, which put 2.5 million young men on the government payroll to help in national conservation and infrastructure projects - 1933

Work begins on the $8 billion, 800-mile-long Alaska Oil pipeline connecting oil fields in northern Alaska to the sea port at Valdez. Tens of thousands of people worked on the pipeline, enduring long hours, cold temperatures, and brutal conditions. At least 32 died on the job - 1974

March 10
U.S. Supreme Court upholds espionage conviction of labor leader and socialist Eugene V. Debs. Debs was jailed for speaking out against World War I. Campaigning for president from his Atlanta jail cell, he won 6 percent of the vote - 1919
[The Bending Cross: A Biography of Eugene V. Debs is hands-down the best, most readable biography ever of the labor activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who captured the heart and soul of the nation’s working people. Debs was brilliant, sincere, compassionate and scrupulously honest. A founder of one of the nation’s first industrial unions, the American Railway Union, he went on to help launch the Industrial Workers of the World – the Wobblies. In the UCS bookstore now.]

New York City bus drivers, members of the Transport Workers Union, go on strike. After 12 days of no buses – and a large show of force by Irish-American strikers at the St. Patrick’s Day parade – Mayor Fiorello La Guardia orders arbitration - 1941

United Farm Workers leader César Chávez breaks a 24-day fast, by doctor’s order, at a mass in Delano, California’s public park. Several thousand supporters are at his side, including Sen. Robert Kennedy. Chavez called it “a fast for non-violence and a call to sacrifice” - 1968
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