Today in Labor History

Labor history is OUR history

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

March 14, 1915

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English artist and book illustrator Walter Crane dies. He was part of the Art Workers Guild, which promoted the unity of all of the arts. Following the Haymarket bombing, Crane made multiple trips to the U.S., where he spoke in defense of the men accused of the bombing.

March 12, 2004

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Rocky Mountain Steel Mills steelworkers in Pueblo, Colorado, approve a settlement, ending a six year-long strike, the longest in the union’s history. The settlement included back pay, returning workers to the positions they held in the mill before the strike, and pension improvements.

March 7, 1937

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The Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) signs its first contract with Carnegie-Illinois Steel, for a $5/day wage and benefits. SWOC went on to become the United Steelworkers.

March 6, 1886

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The Great Southwestern Strike that shuts down industrialist Jay Gould’s railway monopoly in five states is underway. The strike — led by the Knights of Labor — was ultimately unsuccessful. Strikebreakers, company security intimidation and violence, and military intervention all contributed to the collapse of the strike by September.

March 4, 1915

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Spearheaded by Senator Robert La Follette and drafted by International Seaman’s Union President Andrew Furuseth, Congress enacts the Seamen’s Act, regulating the hours, wages, and working conditions of merchant marines. [Photo: (left to right) Furuseth, La Follette, and journalist Lincoln Steffens.]

March 2, 1990

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6,000 Greyhound bus drivers go on strike over wages and job security. The company hired 3,000 scabs to permanently replace the striking workers, declared the strike over two months later, and filed for bankruptcy in June. In 1993, Greyhound agreed to rehire 550 striking drivers, paying them $22 million in back pay.

March 1, 1936

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After five years of construction between 1931 and 1936 by 21,000 workers (96 of whom died on the job; another 46 of whom died from carbon monoxide poisoning, classified as “pneumonia” to avoid compensation claims), Hoover Dam is turned over to the federal government.

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