Here’s today's labor history:
On this date in 1835, in the nation’s first general strike for a 10-hour day, 300 armed Irish longshoremen marched through the streets of Philadelphia calling on other workers to join them. Some 20,000 did, from clerks to bricklayers to city employees and other occupations. The city announced a 10-hour workday within the week and private employers followed suit three weeks later.
In 1887, thirty-seven Black striking Louisiana sugar workers were murdered when Louisiana militia, aided by bands of, quote unquote "prominent citizens," shot unarmed workers trying to get a dollar-per-day wage. Two strike leaders were lynched.
And in 1979, the UAW began what was to become a successful 172-day strike against International Harvester. The union turned back company demands for weakened work rules and mandatory overtime.
Today’s labor quote is by American labor and community organizer MOTHER JONES, from a speech she made on the front steps of the capital in Charleston, South Carolina on August 15, 1912
"The labor movement was not originated by man. The labor movement, my friends, was a command from God Almighty. He commanded the prophets thousands of years ago to go down and redeem the Israelites that were in bondage, and he organized the men into a union and went to work. And they said, 'The masters have made us gather straw; they have been more cruel than they were before.' 'What are we going to do?' The prophet said, 'A voice from heaven has come to get you together.' They got together and the prophet led them out of the land of bondage and robbery and plunder into the land of freedom. And when the army of the pirates followed them the Dead Sea opened and swallowed them up, and for the first time the workers were free."