IBEW Local 131 Information Center

This Week In Labor History

Today in labor history for the week of April 18, 2011  

April 18
West Virginia coal miners strike, defend selves against National Guard - 1912

After a four-week boycott led by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., bus companies in New York City agree to hire 200 black drivers and mechanics - 1941

Some 200,000 CWA telephone workers strike the Bell System. The strike ended after 18 days, with workers winning wage and benefit increases totaling nearly 20 percent over three years - 1968

April 19
An American domestic terrorist’s bomb destroys the Oklahoma City federal building, killing 168 people, 99 of whom were government employees - 1995

April 20
10,000 demonstrators celebrate textile workers’ win of a 10-percent pay hike and grievance committees after a one-month strike, Lowell, Mass. - 1912

Ludlow massacre:  Colorado state militia, using machine guns and fire, kill about 20 people -- including 11 children -- at a tent city set up by striking coal miners - 1914

An unknown assailant shoots through a window at United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther as he is eating dinner at his kitchen table, permanently imparing his right arm. It was one of at least two assassination attempts on Reuther. He and his wife later died in a small plane crash under what many believe to be suspicious circumstances - 1948

National Association of Post Office Mail Handlers, Watchmen, Messengers & Group Leaders merge with Laborers - 1968

United Auto Workers members end a successful 172 day strike against International Harvester, protesting management demands for new work rules and mandatory overtime provisions - 1980

Eleven workers are killed, 17 injured when BP’s Deepwater Horizon offshore oil drilling platform explodes in the Gulf of Mexico. Lax, profit-focused procedures "that saved ... significant time and money" for BP and other companies were found to blame. An estimated 5 million barrels of oil gushed into the Gulf before the well was capped after 85 days - 2010

April 21
New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller signs Taylor Law, permitting union organization and bargaining by public employees, but outlawing the right to strike - 1967

Some 12,500 Goodyear Tire workers strike nine plants in what was to become a three week walkout over job security, wage and benefit issues - 1997

April 23 
Death of Ida Mae Stull, nationally recognized as the country’s first woman coal miner - 1980

United Farm Workers of America founder Cesar Chavez dies in San Luis, Ariz., at age 66 - 1993
April 24
The International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union halts shipping on the West Coast in solidarity with Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Philadelphia journalist whom many believed was on death row because he was an outspoken African-American - 1999 

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).

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