This week’s Labor History Today podcast: Paul Robeson and the 1948 Library of Congress cafeteria workers’ strike: With 95% of DC’s hotel and restaurant workers out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we look back at the history of cafeteria workers’ struggle at the Library of Congress for a union and how singer and activist Paul Robeson supported their 1948 strike. Plus: AFSCME's Lillian Roberts tells how a showdown with NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller over the right of state workers to organize led to her being jailed for two weeks in December, 1968; Mark Bradley, author of Blood Runs Coal, about the brutal 1968 murder of Jock Yablonski and his family by United Mineworkers president Tony Boyle, and how it inspired a surge in union democracy; The Beginning of the End of Apartheid.
Last week’s show: America’s last general strike. photo: mass picket outside the Federal Works Administration during the 1948 cafeteria strike.
AFL convention passes a one-cent per capita assessment to aid the organization of women workers. (Exact date uncertain) - 1913
The Kansas national guard is called out to subdue from 2,000 to 6,000 protesting women who were going from mine to mine attacking non-striking miners in the Pittsburgh coal fields. The women made headlines across the state and the nation: they were christened the "Amazon Army" by the New York Times - 1921
Eight days after the attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, the AFL pledges that there will be no strikes in defense-related plants for the duration of World War II - 1941
Meeting in its biennial convention, the AFL-CIO declares “unstinting support” for “measures the Administration might deem necessary to halt Communist aggression and secure a just and lasting peace” in Viet Nam - 1967
The U.S. Age Discrimination Employment Act becomes law. It bars employment discrimination against anyone age 40 or older - 1967
California's longest nurses strike ended after workers at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo and Pinole approved a new contract with Tenet Healthcare Corp., ending a 13-month walkout - 2003
Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers union organizer Clinton Jencks, who led New Mexico zinc miners in the strike depicted in the classic 1954 movie “Salt of the Earth,” dies of natural causes in San Diego at age 87 - 2005
- David Prosten