IBEW Local 131 Information Center




This Week In Labor History


Today in labor history for the week of October 25, 2010 

October 25
25,000 silk dye workers strike in Paterson, NJ - 1934

In what becomes known as the Great Hawaiian Dock Strike, a six-month struggle to win wage parity with mainland dock workers ends in victory - 1949

John Sweeney, president of the Service Employees Intl. Union, elected president of AFL-CIO - 1995

October 26
After eight years and at least 1,000 worker deaths – mostly Irish immigrants – the 350-mile Erie Canal opens, linking the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Father John Raho wrote to his bishop that "so many die that there is hardly any time to give Extreme Unction to everybody. We run night and day to assist the sick" - 1825

October 27
The New York City subway, the first rapid-transit system in America, opens. More than 100 workers died during the construction of the first 13 miles of tunnels and track - 1904

The National Negro Labor Council is formed in Cincinnati to unite black workers in the struggle for full economic, political and social equality. The group was to function for five years before disbanding, having forced many AFL and CIO unions to adopt non-discrimination policies - 1951

October 28
The Gateway Arch, a 630 ft high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri is completed after two and one-half years. Although it was predicted 13 lives would be lost in construction, not a single Ironworker died - 1965

October 29
Wall street crashes – "Black Tuesday" – throwing the world's economy into a years-long crisis including an unemployment rate in the U.S. that by 1933 hit nearly 25 percent - 1929

October 30
Ed Meese, attorney general in the Ronald Regan administration, urges employers to begin spying on workers "in locker rooms, parking lots, shipping and mail room areas and even the nearby taverns" to try to catch them using drugs - 1986

October 31
Tennessee sends in leased convict laborers to break a coal miners strike in Anderson County. The miners revolted, burned the stockades, and sent the captured convicts by train back to Knoxville - 1891

After 14 years of labor by 400 stone masons, the Mt. Rushmore sculpture is completed in Keystone, South Dakota - 1941

The Upholsterers International Union merges into the United Steelworkers - 1949

Int'l Alliance of Bill Posters, Billers & Distributors of the United States & Canada surrenders its AFL-CIO charter and is disbanded - 1971

 
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.