Today's Labor History
This week’s Labor History Today podcast: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South
William P. Jones on “The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South,” plus a letter from Eleanor Roosevelt to AFL-CIO urging the formation of a “Committee on Inquiry Into the Administration of Justice in the Freedom Struggle.” Interviews by Chris Garlock and Alan Wierdak. (Show originally released 2/24/2019)
2020 Bonus: Patrick Dixon on Chaplin’s “City Lights” as a labor film.
Last week’s show: Striking Images: Labor on Screen and in the Streets
U.S. Supreme Court finds that a Utah state law limiting mine and smelter workers to an eight-hour workday is constitutional - 1898
The minimum age allowed by law for workers in mills, factories, and mines in South Carolina is raised from twelve to fourteen - (Actually Leap Year Feb. 29) 1915
Members of the Chinese Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in San Francisco’s Chinatown begin what is to be a successful four-month strike for better wages and conditions at the National Dollar Stores factory and three retail outlets - 1938
Screen Actors Guild member Hattie McDaniel becomes the first African-American to win an Academy Award (see video), honored for her portrayal of “Mammy” in “Gone with the Wind” - 1940
The Granite Cutters National Union begins what is to be a successful nationwide strike for the 8-hour day. Also won: union recognition, wage increases, a grievance procedure and a minimum wage scale - 1900
Joseph Curren is born on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. At age 16 he joined the Merchant Marines and in 1937 went on to lead the formation of the National Maritime Union. He was the union’s founding president and held the post until 1973. He died in 1981 - 1906
IWW strikes Portland, Ore. sawmills - 1907
CIO president John L. Lewis and U.S. Steel President Myron Taylor sign a landmark contract in which the bitterly anti-union company officially recognized the CIO as sole negotiator for the company's unionized workers. Included: the adoption of overtime pay, the 40-hour work week, and a big pay hike - 1937
- David Prosten
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