White and Chinese immigrants battle in Rock Springs, Wyo., fueled by racial tensions and the practice of Union Pacific Railroad of hiring lower-paid Chinese over whites. At least 25 Chinese died and 15 more were injured. Rioters burned 75 Chinese homes - 1885
Operating railway employees win 8-hour day - 1916
Mineowners bomb West Virginia strikers by plane, using homemade bombs filled with nails and metal fragments. The bombs missed their targets or failed to explode - 1921
President Eisenhower signs legislation expanding Social Security by providing much wider coverage and including 10 million additional Americans, most of them self-employed farmers, with additional benefits - 1954
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was signed by President Ford,regulating and insuring pensions and other benefits, and increasing protections for workers - 1974
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African-American cotton pickers organize and strike in Lee County, Texas, againstmiserably low wages and other injustices, including a growers’ arrangement with local law enforcement to round up blacks on vagrancy charges, then force them to work off their fines on select plantations. Over the course of September a white mob put down the strike, killing 15 strikers in the process - 1891
Some 300 musicians working in Chicago movie houses strike to protest their impending replacement by talking movies - 1928
Twenty-five workers die, unable to escape a fire at the Imperial Poultry processing plant in Hamlet, N.C. Managers had locked fire doors to prevent the theft of chicken nuggets. The plant had operated for 11 years without a single safety inspection - 1991
Twelve thousand New York tailors strike over sweatshop conditions - 1894
More than 140 attendees at a benefit for a civil rights group are injured in the “Peekskill Riots” in Peekskill, N.Y. The victims were among the 20,000 people leaving a concert featuring African-American Paul Robeson, well-known for his strong pro-unionism, civil rights activism and left-wing affiliations. The departing concert-goers had to drive through a miles-long gauntlet of rock-throwing racists and others chanting "go on back to Russia, you niggers" and "white niggers" - 1949
Int’l Brotherhood of Bookbinders merged with Graphic Arts Int’l Union - 1972
In what many believe was to become the longest strike in U.S. history, 600 Teamster-represented workers walk out at the Diamond Walnut processing plant in Stockton, Calif., after the company refused to restore a 30-percent pay cut they had earlier taken to help out the company. The two sides ultimately agreed to a new contract after 14 years - 1991
- compiled/edited by David Prosten at Union Communication Services.
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