Today in Labor History

October 23, 1989

pasadena85,000 pounds of highly flammable gas released through an open valve ignites, resulting in a series of explosions and fire at the Phillips 66 plastics plant in Pasadena, Texas. Twenty-three workers were killed and 314 injured. OSHA’s investigation faulted the company for a host of health and safety violations and issued 566 willful and 9 serious violations with a combined total proposed penalty of over $5.5 million dollars.

October 22, 1941

Jean-Pierre_TimbaudFrench trade union leader Jean-Pierre Timbaud and 26 others are executed by the Nazis. Timbaud was secretary of the steelworkers’ trade union section of the Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT). During World War II, he joined the French Resistance and organized clandestine trade union committees.

October 21, 1933

24Th Of May 1933.Wisconsin. American Farmers StrikeIn an attempt to raise the price of milk, Wisconsin dairy farmers begin the third major milk strike of the year in the state. During the Great Depression, farmers who produced milk for bottling were able to remain solvent, but those who produced milk for cheese, butter, and other uses were driven into poverty.

October 19, 1993

air_france_protestsAir France freight and other workers go on strike when the company announces plans to cut 4,000 jobs and reduce bonuses. The strike not only forced the government to change its mind about the layoffs, but also led to the ouster of the airline’s chairman.

October 14, 1817

Portrett_av_Marcus_ThraneFounder of the Norwegian labor movement Marcus Thrane is born. In 1848, Thrane began to organize local workingmen’s associations and two years later, the organizations presented the government with their demands. Fearing a revolution, Thrane and 132 other leaders were arrested. Thrane was convicted of sedition in 1851 and spent four years in prison, mostly in solitary confinement, before emigrating to the United States.

October 12, 1933

tumblr_m01f69cRQc1r8g0ouo2_r3_500Following a campaign by the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union to organize in Los Angeles’ garment industry whose workforce is 75% Latina, 4,000 garment workers in Los Angeles walk off the job, demanding union recognition, a 35-hour work week, and the minimum wage. The strike ended on November 6 with the workers winning some of their demands.

October 11, 1941

news dealers1700 news dealers in New York go on strike against the World Telegram over the price of newspapers, delivery charges, and the return of unsold newspapers. The strike spread as other publishers refused to make deliveries to dealers who joined the strike. A judge issued an injunction against the strike, ruling that the news dealers were not employees.

October 7, 1933

joseph_labadie_young_man_largeDetroit printer, labor organizer, and anarchist, Joseph “Jo” Labadie, dies. Around 1910 Labadie began to prepare for the preservation of the vast collection of pamphlets, newspapers, magazines, manuscripts, and ephemera he had acquired over his lifetime. The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor acquired the collection and continues to preserve and add to it. Today, the Joseph A. Labadie Collection is the oldest publicly-accessible collection of radical history in the world.

October 5, 1945

780wOn what became known as “Hollywood Black Friday,” a six-month strike by set decorators boils over at the gates of Warner Brothers’ studios in Burbank as scabs attempt to drive through the crowd of 300 strikers. By the end of the day, some 300 police and deputy sheriffs had been called to the scene and over 40 injuries were reported. Media coverage of the violence pressured the studios to negotiate and the strike ended about a month later.

October 4, 1816

[07] internationaleFrench revolutionary socialist, poet, and transport worker Eugene Pottier is born. Pottier was elected a member of the Paris Commune in 1871. Following the Commune’s defeat, he wrote L’Internationale (“The Internationale”), which has since become the anthem of revolutionary workers’ organizations around the world.

Post Navigation


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 203 other followers