Here’s today’s labor history:
On this date in 1892, an explosion at Osage Coal and Mining Company’s Mine Number 11 near Krebs, Oklahoma killed 100 and injured 150 when an untrained worker accidentally set off a stash of explosives.
In 1939, Wobblie Tom Mooney, accused of a murder by bombing in San Francisco, was pardoned and freed after 22 years in San Quentin.
And on this date in 2009, the presidents of 12 of the nation’s largest unions met and called for reuniting the American labor movement, which split into two factions in 2005 when when seven unions left the AFL-CIO and formed a rival federation. The meeting followed signals from President-elect Barack Obama that he would prefer dealing with a united movement, rather than a fractured one that often had two competing voices. Unions from both sides of the split participated in the meeting, but the reunification effort failed.
Today’s labor quote is by Ray Marshall, who served as U. S. Secretary of Labor from 1977-1981:
"My conclusion is that unions are integral and necessary institutions in a democratic market economy. A union-free environment would jeopardize a free enterprise system. Unions will survive because this principle is well established in the democracies."