Here’s today’s labor history:
The worst rail accident in U.S. history occurred on this date in 1918 when two trains pulled by 80-ton locomotives collided head-on at Dutchman’s curve in west Nashville, Tenn. 101 people died, another 171 were injured.
In 1923, New England Telephone female operators struck for a seven-hour workday, and $27 weekly pay after four years' service.
New York City subway system managers in the Bronx attempted to make cleaning crews on the IRT line work faster in 1935 by forcing the use of a 14-inch squeegee instead of the customary 10-inch tool. Six workers were fired for insubordination; a two-day walkout by the Transport Workers Union won reversal of the directive and the workers’ reinstatement.
And in 2001, five thousand demonstrators rallied at the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina in support of the "Charleston Five," labor activists charged with felony rioting during a police attack on a 2000 longshoremen's picket of a non-union crew unloading a ship.
Today’s labor quote is by Abraham Lincoln:
“I am glad to see that a system of labor prevails in New England under which laborers can strike when they want to, where they are not obliged to work under all circumstances, and are not tied down and obliged to labor whether you pay them or not. I like the system which lets a man quit when he wants to, and wish it might prevail everywhere.”