Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1734, New York City maids organized to improve working conditions.
In 1920, the first meeting of the International Labor Organization was held.
In 1950, a 3¢ postage stamp was issued, honoring American Federation of Labor founder Samuel Gompers
On this date in 1969, a group of Detroit African-American auto workers known as the Eldon Avenue Axle Plant Revolutionary Union Movement led a wildcat strike against racism and bad working conditions. They were critical of both automakers and the UAW, condemning the seniority system and grievance procedures as racist.
And in 2014, Pete Seeger died in New York at age 94. A musician and activist, he was a revered figure on the American left, persecuted during the McCarthy era for his support of progressive, labor and civil rights causes. A prolific songwriter, he is generally credited with popularizing the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.” He actively participated in demonstrations until shortly before his death.
Today’s labor quote is by Pete Seeger:
“The world would never amount to a hill of beans if people didn't use their imaginations to think of the impossible.”
Pete Seeger, who also said: “I'd really rather put songs on people's lips than in their ears.”