Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1876, novelist Jack London was born. The American author, journalist, and social activist was a passionate advocate of unionization, socialism, and worker’s rights. He wrote several powerful works dealing with these topics, such as his dystopian novel The Iron Heel, his non-fiction exposé The People of the Abyss, and The War of the Classes.
In 1919, Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson ordered police to raid an open-air mass meeting of shipyard workers in an attempt to prevent a general strike. Workers were brutally beaten. The strike began the following month, with 60,000 workers walking out in solidarity with some 25,000 metal tradesmen.
In 1942, President Roosevelt created the National War Labor Board to mediate labor disputes during World War II. Although 12 million of the nation’s workers were women -- rising to 18 million by war’s end -- the panel consisted entirely of men.
Today’s labor quote is Jack London’s classic definition of a scab, or strikebreaker:
"After God had finished the rattlesnake, the toad, the vampire, He had some awful substance left with which He made a scab. A scab is a two-legged animal with a cork-screw soul, a water-logged brain, a combination backbone of jelly and glue. Where others have hearts, he carries a tumor of rotten principles"