Today's Labor History
Click here to check out this week's Labor History Today podcast. On this week's show: racial justice activist Bill Fletcher reminds us of an 1893 strike in California by Chinese, Portuguese and Paiute Indians…Lauren Coodley, author of “Upton Sinclair: California Socialist, Celebrity Intellectual”… ATU’s Chris Townsend’s memories of Solidarity Day…our Labor History Object of the Week is original correspondence from the American Federation of Labor on expanding Social Security’s coverage.
75 workers die in explosion at Allegheny Arsenal, Pittsburgh, Pa. - 1862
At a New York convention of the National Labor Congress, Susan B. Anthony calls for the formation of a Working Women's Association. As a delegate to the Congress, she persuaded the committee on female labor to call for votes for women and equal pay for equal work. But male delegates deleted the reference to the vote - 1868
One hundred thousand Pennsylvania anthracite coal miners go on strike. Their average annual wage is $250. They are paid by the ton, defined by Pennsylvania as 2,400 pounds but which mine operators have increased to as much as 4,000 pounds - 1900
photo (below): Breaker boys, Woodward Coal Mines, Kingston, Pennsylvania., ca. 1900; photo courtesy Wikipedia
National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) formed at a convention in Washington, D.C. In 1999 it became part of the Intl. Assoc. of Machinists (IAM) - 1917
Some Depression-era weekly paychecks around the New York area: physician, $55.32; engineer, $40.68; clerk, $22.15; salesman, $25.02; laborer, $20; typist, $15.09 - 1933
Southern employers meeting in Greenville, N.C. ready their big counter-offensive to break the textile labor strikes that have hit the Eastern seaboard. Ultimately they deploy 10,000 national guardsmen and 15,000 deputies, but fail to drive hundreds of thousands of strikers back to work - 1934
A Southern Pacific train loaded with sugar beets strikes a makeshift bus filled with 60 migrant workers near Salinas, Calif., killing 32. The driver said the bus was so crowded he couldn't see the train coming - 1963
Ninety-eight United Mine Workers of America members and a minister occupy the Pittston Coal Company's Moss 3 preparation plant in Carbon, Va., beginning a year-long strike (top right). Among other issues: management demands for drastic limitations in health and pension benefits for retired and disabled miners and their dependents and beneficiaries - 1989
photo courtesy Bristol Herald Courier
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