Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1892, the Homestead, Pennsylvania steel strike took place. Seven strikers and three Pinkertons were killed as Andrew Carnegie hired armed thugs to protect strikebreakers.
In 1922, one million railway shopmen struck.
In 1929, some 1,100 streetcar workers struck in New Orleans, spurring the creation of the po’ boy sandwich by a local sandwich shop owner and one-time streetcar man. "Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming," Bennie Martin later recalled, "one of us would say, ‘Here comes another poor boy.’" Martin and his wife fed any striker who showed up.
And in 1983, copper miners begin a years-long, bitter strike against Phelps-Dodge in Clifton, Arizona. Democratic Governor Bruce Babbitt repeatedly deployed state police and National Guardsmen to assist the company over the course of the strike, which broke the union.
Today’s labor quote is by Angel Rodriguez, former president of Morenci Miners Local 616 at Phelps-Dodge
“The union became the vehicle for Mexican Americans to run for political office...Membership in the union was an empowering experience that gave the miners and their families the ability to standup and fight for the right for their children to speak Spanish without being punished. They fought for the right to walk into the movie theater and sit in any area other than designated/segregated area. They fought for the right for their children to go to the swimming pool on any day of the week, not only on the day before the pool was to be drained, so the Anglo kids could go swimming in, quote, ‘clean’ water the following week. The union empowered the miners to desegregate the restaurants that didn’t serve ‘Mexicans.’ The miners’ families fought for the right to use the public library in Morenci. What workers could accomplish once they felt the power a union could bring them!”