Click here to check out this week's Today in Labor History, a new podcast produced by Union City Radio and the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. Labor History Today will continue through the holidays; click here for the latest shows, posted each Sunday.
A group of building trades unions from the Midwest meet in St. Louis to form the National Building Trades Council. The Council disbanded after several years of political and jurisdictional differences - 1897
Twenty-one Chicago firefighters, including the chief, died when a building collapsed as they were fighting a huge blaze at the Union Stock Yards. By the time the fire was extinguished, 26 hours after the first alarm, 50 engine companies and seven hook-and-ladder companies had been called to the scene. Until September 11, 2001, it was the deadliest building collapse in American history in terms of firefighter fatalities - 1910
Amid a widespread strike for union recognition by 395,000 steelworkers, approximately 250 alleged “anarchists,” “communists,” and “labor agitators” were deported to Russia, marking the beginning of the so-called “Red Scare” - 1919
AFL officers are found in contempt of court for urging a labor boycott of Buck's Stove and Range Co. in St Louis, where the Metal Polishers were striking for a 9-hour day - 1908
Construction workers top out the North Tower of the World Trade Center at 1,368 feet, making it the tallest building in the world - 1970
Walmart Stores Inc., the nation's largest employer, with 1.4 million "associates," agrees to settle 63 wage and hour suits across the U.S., for a grand total of between $352 million and $640 million. It was accused of failure to pay overtime, requiring off-the-clock work, and failure to provide required meal and rest breaks - 2008
Seventy-two copper miners’ children die in panic caused by a company stooge at Calumet, Mich., who shouted “fire” up the stairs into a crowded hall where the children had gathered. They were crushed against closed doors when they tried to flee - 1913
Compiled/edited by Union Communication Services
Staff and OPEIU Local 2 members at AFGE and IBEW really stepped up their efforts this year to help local needy families during the Community Services Agency's Holiday Basket Project. "This is really terrific and helps CSA promote the Holiday Basket Project and our other programs," said a grateful Sonte' DuCote, CSA's Assistant Executive Director. The AFGE/OPEIU 2 efforts raised over $4,000 in funds, gifts and gift cards for their two adopted families, and also included a brief video about the program. The IBEW activities included adopting a family which has faced long-term job loss, and collected over $400 worth of food, funds, toys and other presents and gift cards. "We love working with CSA on this project, and we challenge more national unions to run United Way campaigns as well participate in CSA’s Holiday Basket Project next year!" said IBEW's Rachel Bryan. The IBEW raised over $53,660 for United Way this year.
photo: IBEW United Way Campaign Committee 2017: Anna Jerry, Denise Johnson, Rachel Bryan, Jackie Lewis and Suzanne Finn
The New Year isn’t here just yet, but mark your 2018 calendar now for the Great Labor Arts Exchange, June 21-24 at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring. “Join us for a weekend of workshops, films, music, spoken word, jam sessions and open mike!” says Elise Bryant of the Labor Heritage Foundation. “Bring your instrument, your voice, your beat box, your song, your poem, your story or just yourself!” The focus of the 2018 Exchange will be remembering the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as celebrating the 25th anniversary of the founding of Local 1000 of the American Federation of Musicians.
- photo of 2017's GLAE Choral Convergence
Chief Justice (and former president) William Howard Taft, who declared that picketing was, in part, "an unlawful annoyance and hurtful nuisance..."