Today's Labor History
This week’s Labor History Today podcast: Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote
Professor Robyn Muncy, co-curator of “Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote,” on the role organized labor played in the lengthy and difficult struggle for women’s rights.
Plus Saul Schniderman on the origins of Women’s History Month and “Rise Up: Songs of the Women's Movement," the PBS show celebrating that history.
Last week’s show: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South
The Knights of Labor picket to protest the practices of the Southwestern Railroad system, and the company's chief, high-flying Wall Street financier Jay Gould. Some 9,000 workers walked off the job, halting service on 5,000 miles of track. The workers held out for two months, many suffering from hunger, before they finally returned to work - 1886
With the Great Depression underway, hundreds of thousands of unemployed workers demonstrated in some 30 cities and towns; close to 100,000 filled Union Square in New York City and were attacked by mounted police - 1930
Predominantly young workers at a Lordstown, Ohio GM assembly plant stage a wildcat strike, largely in objection to the grueling workpace: at 101.6 cars per hour, their assembly line was believed to be the fastest in the world - 1972
6,000 shoemakers, joined by about 20,000 other workers, strike in Lynn, Mass. They won raises, but not recognition of their union - 1860
3,000 unemployed auto workers, led by the Communist Party of America, braved the cold in Dearborn, Mich. to demand jobs and relief from Henry Ford. The marchers got too close to the gate and were gassed. After re-grouping, they were sprayed with water and shot at. Four men died immediately, 60 were wounded - 1932
IWW founder and labor organizer Lucy Parsons dies - 1942
Hollywood writers represented by the Writers Guild of America went on strike against 200 television and movie studios over residuals payments and creative rights. The successful strike lasted 150 days, one of the longest in industry history - 1988
Musicians strike Broadway musicals and shows go dark when actors and stagehands honor picket lines. The strike was resolved after four days - 2003
Thousands of New York needle trades workers demonstrate for higher wages, shorter workday, and end to child labor. The demonstration became the basis for International Women’s Day - 1908
New York members of the Fur and Leather Workers Union, many of them women, strike for better pay and conditions. They persevere despite beatings by police, winning a 10 percent wage increase and five-day work week - 1926
The Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act took effect on this day. It limits the ability of federal judges to issue injunctions against workers and unions involved in labor disputes - 1932
César Chávez leads 5,000 striking farmworkers on a march through the streets of Salinas, Calif. - 1979
- David Prosten
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