Today in Labor History

Labor history is OUR history

October 4, 1936

October 4An estimated crowd of more than 100,000 trade unionists, anti-fascist activists, and local residents barricade streets leading into London’s East End to stop a march by British fascists. The 6,000 police officers who attempted to clear a route for the fascists were met with fierce resistance in what became known as the Battle of Cable Street and the march was re-routed.

October 3, 1932

National guard posted outside a mine in Kincaid, IL.  Governor Horner's decision to send in troops ultimately played in favor of John L. Lewis and the Peabody Coal Company.

State troopers march into Kincaid, Illinois, to guard against a sympathy strike by more than 160 of the town’s 180 high school students, protesting the use by their school of scab-produced coal from the Peabody Coal Company while their fathers are on strike over wages.

October 1, 1940

Pennsylvania-TurnpikeThe Pennsylvania Turnpike – the nation’s first long-distance controlled-access highway – opens nearly two years after construction began along the original path of an abandoned South Pennsylvania Railroad project of the 1880s. The project was financed by a loan from the New Deal’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation and grants from the Works Progress Administration, employing more than 15,000 workers from 18 states.

September 30, 1911

September 30Railroad shopmen in 28 cities strike the Illinois Central Railroad and Harriman lines over management’s refusal to negotiate with a coalition of shop craft unions. Management obtained sweeping injunctions against them and relied on police and armed guards to escort scabs to and from work. The strike ended in 1915.

September 29, 2010

AFFICHE_No_Austerity_EN_1Tens of thousands of protesters take to the streets of Europe, striking against government austerity measures. Workers in more than a dozen countries participated, including Spain, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Slovenia, and Lithuania, protesting job losses, retirement deferments, pension reductions, and cuts to schools, hospitals, and welfare services.

September 27, 1903

Old97WreckThe Old 97 – a Southern Railway train officially known as the Fast Mail – derails near Danville, Virginia, killing eleven people, including the train’s engineer, Joseph “Steve” Broady, who many believe had been ordered to speed to make up for lost time. A number of ballads were written about the wreck, the most popular of which became an early country hit and the first million-selling record in the U.S.

September 26, 2013

timthumbTeachers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – on strike since early August over proposed wage cuts and loss of job security – occupy the City Council chambers before a vote on the proposed plan. A series of further actions led to an agreement that included raises for the teachers, a review of workload and curriculum requirements, and the reinstatement of all teachers who had been fired during the strike.

September 20, 1891

sharecroppingAfrican American sharecroppers affiliated with the Colored Farmers’ National Alliance and Union go on strike for higher wages and an end to peonage in Lee County, Arkansas. By the time a white mob – led by the local sheriff – put down the strike, more than a dozen people had been killed.

September 19, 1981

tumblr_mvwcv1F3lW1qj171uo1_500More than 260,000 people converge on Washington, DC, for Solidarity Day, a march and rally for “Jobs, Justice, Compassion” in response to President Ronald Reagan’s anti-worker, anti-union policies. 250 organizations – including unions, civil rights, religious, and social justice – participated.

September 18, 2000

Rusty padlock and chain on gates of closed automobile plant

A two-year strike by and subsequent lockout of 2,900 workers represented by the United Steelworkers at five Kaiser Aluminum plants in three states ends following binding arbitration. At issue were wages and benefits, contracting out work, and job cuts, among others. It was the longest and largest lockout in the history of the union.

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