Today's Labor History
This week’s Labor History Today podcast: “The Flintstones” and class struggle; The Ford Hunger March
Labor History Today producers Patrick Dixon and Alan Wierdak explore the labor history and class struggle lurking not too far beneath the surface of Fred's New Job, an episode from the third season of The Flintstones that originally aired in February 1963. Empathy Media Lab host Evan Papp visits the hallowed ground in Detroit where the labor battle known as the Ford Hunger March and Massacre took place. Plus this week’s Labor History in 2: Singing a Union Tune.
Last week’s show: Remembering Gene Debs; Waging Peace
Slave revolt led by Nat Turner begins in Southampton County, Va. - 1831
Five flight attendants form the Air Line Stewardesses Association, the first labor union representing flight attendants. They were reacting to an industry in which women were forced to retire at the age of 32, remain single, and adhere to strict weight, height and appearance requirements. The association later became the Association of Flight Attendants, now a division of the Communications Workers of America - 1945
International Broom & Whisk Makers Union disbanded - 1963
Joyce Miller, a vice president of the Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers, becomes first female member of the AFL-CIO Executive Council - 1980
International Longshore & Warehouse Union granted a charter by the AFL-CIO (it subsequently disaffiliated in 2013) - 1988
The U.S. Commission on Industrial Relations is formed by Congress, during a period of great labor and social unrest. After three years, and hearing witnesses ranging from Wobblies to capitalists, it issued an 11-volume report frequently critical of capitalism. The New York Herald characterized the Commission's president, Frank P. Walsh, as "a Mother Jones in trousers" - 1912
Italian immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, accused of murder and tried unfairly, were executed on this day. The case became an international cause and sparked demonstrations and strikes throughout the world - 1927
Seven merchant seamen crewing the SS Baton Rouge Victory lost their lives when the ship was sunk by Viet Cong action en route to Saigon - 1966
Farm Workers Organizing Committee (to later become United Farm Workers of America) granted a charter by the AFL-CIO (the UFW later disaffiliated) - 1966
The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act is modified, setting the minimum salary for exemption from overtime at $455 per week, or $23,600 per year. Employees earning less than that are now guaranteed overtime, regardless of whether they are hourly or salaried - 2004
- David Prosten
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