This followed progress made in the previous session on job security and evaluations, but pensions, wages and health benefits are still on the table.
Here’s today’s labor history: On this date in 1915, Ralph Chaplin, in Chicago for a demonstration against hunger, completed writing the labor anthem “Solidarity Forever.” A member of the IWW, Chaplin had begun writing the song in 1914 during a miners’ strike in Huntington, West Virginia.
In 1919, seventeen workers died when a large molasses storage tank in Boston’s North End neighborhood burst, sending a 40-foot wave of molasses surging through the streets at an estimated 35 miles per hour. In all, 21 people died and 150 were injured. The incident is variously known as the Boston Molasses Disaster, the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy. Some residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses.
On this date in 1929, Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. was born.
In 1938, the CIO miners' union in California’s Grass Valley area struck for higher wages, union recognition, and the 8-hour day. The strike was defeated when vigilantes and law enforcement officials expelled 400 miners and their families from the area.
Today’s labor quote is the first verse of Ralph Chaplin’s song, “Solidarity Forever,” which has been sung at countless labor struggles over the last 100 years:
When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
But the union makes us strong