IBEW Local 131 Information Center




This Week In Labor History


Today in labor history for the week of September 13, 2010 

Septmeber 13
The Post Office Department orders 25,000 railway mail clerks to shoot to kill any bandits attempting to rob the mail - 1926

Eleven AFSCME-represented prison employees, 33 inmates die in four days of rioting at New York State’s Attica Prison and the retaking of the prison. The riot caused the nation to take a closer look at prison conditions, for inmates and their guards alike - 1971

September 14
The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers union calls off an unsuccessful three-month strike against U. S. Steel Corporation subsidiaries - 1901

Gastonia, N.C. textile mill striker and songwriter Ella Mae Wiggins, 29, the mother of nine, is killed when local vigilantes, thugs and a sheriff's deputy force the pickup truck in which she is riding off the road and begin shooting - 1929

A striker is shot by a bog owner (and town elected official) during a walkout by some 1,500 cranberry pickers, members of the newly-formed Cape Cod Cranberry Pickers Union Local 1. State police were called, more strikers were shot and 64 were arrested. The strike was lost - 1933

Congress passes the Landrum-Griffin Act. The law expands many of the anti-labor provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act, increasing union reporting requirements and restricting secondary boycotting and picketing - 1959

September 15
Some 5,000 female cotton workers in and around Pittsburgh, Pa. strike for a 10-hour day. The next day, male trade unionists become the first male auxiliary when they gather to protect the women from police attacks. The strike ultimately failed - 1845

President Kennedy signs off on a $900 million public-works bill for projects in economically depressed areas - 1962

More than 350,000 members of the United Auto Workers begin what is to become a 69-day strike against General Motors - 1970

International Association of Siderographers merges with International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers - 1992

September 16
More than 43,000 oil workers strike in 20 states, part of the post-war strike wave - 1945

A player lockout by the National Hockey League begins, leading to cancellation of what would have been the league’s 88th season. The lockout, over owner demands that salaries be capped, lasted 310 days - 2004

Richard Trumka is elected president of the AFL-CIO at the federation’s convention in Pittsburgh.  He had served as the secretary-treasurer under predecessor John Sweeney from 1995 to 2009, and prior to that was president of the United Mine Workers for 13 years - 2009

September 17
75 workers die in explosion at Allegheny Arsenal, Pittsburgh, Pa. - 1862

At a New York convention of the National Labor Congress, Susan B. Anthony calls for the formation of a Working Women's Association. As a delegate to the Congress, she persuaded the committee on female labor to call for votes for women and equal pay for equal work. But male delegates deleted the reference to the vote - 1868

One hundred thousand Pennsylvania anthracite coal miners go on strike. Their average annual wage is $250. They are paid by the ton, defined by Pennsylvania as 2,400 pounds but which mine operators have increased to as much as 4,000 pounds - 1900

National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) formed at a convention in Washington, D.C. - 1917

Some Depression-era weekly paychecks around the New York area: physician, $55.32; engineer, $40.68; clerk, $22.15; salesman, $25.02; laborer, $20; typist, $15.09 - 1933

Southern employers meeting in Greenville, N.C. ready their big counter-offensive to break the textile labor strikes that have hit the Eastern seaboard. Ultimately they deploy 10,000 national guardsmen and 15,000 deputies, but fail to drive hundreds of thousands of strikers back to work - 1934

A Southern Pacific train loaded with sugar beets strikes a makeshift bus filled with 60 migrant workers near Salinas, Calif., killing 32. The driver said the bus was so crowded he couldn't see the train coming - 1963

Ninety-eight United Mine Workers of America members and a minister occupy the Pittston Coal Company's Moss 3 preparation plant in Carbon, Va., beginning a year-long strike. Among other issues: management demands for drastic limitations in health and pension benefits for retired and disabled miners and their dependents and beneficiaries - 1989

September 18
A 20-month illegal lockout of 2,900 Steelworkers members at Kaiser Aluminum plants in three states ends when an arbitrator orders a new contract. Kaiser was forced to fire scabs and fork over tens of millions of dollars in back pay to union members - 1999

September 19
Chinese coal miners forced out of Black Diamond, Wash. - 1885

400,000 to 500,000 unionists converge on Washington D.C. for a Solidarity Day march and rally protesting Republican policies - 1981

Sources:
Toil and Trouble, by Thomas R. Brooks; American Labor Struggles, by Samuel Yellen; IWW calendar, Solidarity Forever; Historical Encyclopedia of American Labor, edited by Robert E. Weir and James P. Hanlan; Southwest Labor History Archives/George Meany Center; Geov Parrish’s Radical History; workday Minnesota; Andy Richards and Adam Wright, AFL-CIO Washington DC Metro Council (graphics research).


Provided by : Union Communication Services, Inc.