Today's Labor History
Click here to check out this week's Labor History Today podcast. On this week’s show: William P. Jones on “The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History Of Civil Rights,” plus a 1961 memo to George Meany about the Freedom Rides (right), and a confidential “report on union racial progress.” Interviews by Chris Garlock and Alan Wierdak.
Representatives of the Knights of Labor and the United Mine Workers meet in St. Louis with 20 other organizations to plan the founding convention of the People’s Party. Objectives: end political corruption, spread the wealth, and combat the oppression of the rights of workers and farmers - 1892
Albert Shanker dies at age 68. He served as president of New York City’s United Federation of Teachers from 1964 to 1984 and of the American Federation of Teachers from 1974 to 1997 – 1997
Some 34,000 public school teachers throughout West Virginia struck today in protest of poor pay (they were ranked as the 48th worst-paid throughout the 50 states) and concerns over health care costs. They returned to work March 7 after scoring a 5 percent raise. The strike inspired aggressive teacher action in several other low-wage states including Oklahoma, Kentucky and Arizona - 2018
W.E.B. DuBois, educator and civil rights activist, born - 1868
The National Marine Engineers Association (now the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association), representing deck and engine officers on U.S. flag vessels, is formed at a convention in Cleveland, Ohio - 1875
The Journeyman Bakers’ National Union receives its charter from the American Federation of Labor - 1887
William Randolph Hearst’s San Francisco Examiner began publishing articles on the menace of Japanese laborers, leading to a resolution in the California legislature that action be taken against their immigration - 1904
Woody Guthrie wrote “This Land Is Your Land” following a frigid trip—partially by hitchhiking, partially by rail—from California to Manhattan. The Great Depression was still raging. Guthrie had heard Kate Smith’s recording of “God Bless America” and resolved to himself: “We can’t just bless America, we’ve got to change it” - 1940
Association of Flight Attendants granted a charter by the AFL-CIO - 1984
Following voter approval for the measure in 2003, San Francisco’s minimum wage rises to $8.50, up from $6.75 - 2004
U.S. Supreme Court upholds Oregon state restrictions on the working hours of women, justified as necessary to protect their health. A laundry owner was fined $10 for making a female employee work more than 10 hours in a single day - 1908
Women and children textile strikers beaten by Lawrence, Mass., police during a 63-day walkout protesting low wages and work speedups - 1912
Congress passes a federal child labor tax law that imposed a 10 percent tax on companies that employ children, defined as anyone under the age of 16 working in a mine/quarry or under the age 14 in a “mill, cannery, workshop, factory, or manufacturing establishment.” The Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional three years later - 1919
Labor history courtesy Union Communication Services.
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