On this date in 1835, in the nation’s first general strike for a 10-hour day, 300 armed Irish longshoremen marched through the streets of Philadelphia calling on other workers to join them. Some 20,000 did, from clerks to bricklayers to city employees and other occupations. The city announced a 10-hour workday within the week and private employers followed suit three weeks later.
In 1887, thirty-seven Black striking Louisiana sugar workers were murdered when Louisiana militia, aided by bands of "prominent citizens," shot unarmed workers trying to get a dollar-per-day wage. Two strike leaders were lynched.
In 1918, the Malbone tunnel disaster took place in New York City when an inexperienced scab motorman crashed a five-car train during a strike; 97 killed, 255 injured.
And in 1979, the UAW began what was to become a successful 172-day strike against International Harvester. The union turned back company demands for weakened work rules and mandatory overtime.
- compiled/edited by David Prosten at Union Communication Services