Today in Labor History

Labor history is OUR history

Archive for the month “November, 2014”

November 24, 1995

france_strike (1)A general strike is called in France to protest Prime Minister Alain Juppe’s plan to increase premiums for healthcare, cut welfare to the unemployed, and make changes to the pension eligibility age for public sector workers. The widespread strike ended in mid-December, when the government agreed to abandon the pension reform part of its plan.

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November 23, 1903

Cc_martiallawDetermined to the crush the Western Federation of Miners union, Colorado Governor James Peabody sends the state militia to Cripple Creek to provide protection for scabs during a strike by mine and smelter workers. Soldiers rounded up union members and their sympathizers, imprisoned them without any charges, and deported the majority of the union’s leaders. By mid-1904, the strike was over.

November 22, 1900

BLSP02Nearly 3,000 quarry workers in northern Wales walk out of Penrhyn Quarrry on strike over union recognition and other issues and are subsequently locked out for three years. Scabs and police eventually broke the strike and most of the workers returned to work in 1903, their issues unresolved.

November 15, 1922

november 15Soldiers open fire into a crowd of 20,000 men, women, and children who are rallying in support of jailed labor leaders during a general strike that has shut down the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador. An estimated 300 people were killed in the space of two-hour massacre. On November 21, the strike was settled and the workers’ demands were met.

November 6, 1922

image003An explosion in the Reilly No. 1 Mine in Spangler, Pennsylvania, kills 79 coal miners. The mine had been rated gaseous in 1918, but at the insistence of the new operators it was rated as non-gaseous even though a fire boss was employed and workers had been burned by gas on at least four occasions.

November 5, 1855

m07-elec-post-480Eugene V. Debs – labor leader, socialist, three-time candidate for president, and first president of the American Railway Union — is born. “The Republican and Democratic parties, or to be more exact, the Republican-Democratic party, represent the capitalist class in the class struggle. They are the political wings of the capitalist system and such differences as arise between them relate to spoils and not to principles.”

November 2, 1928

492140251-420x0Police protecting scabs clash with 2,000 striking waterfront wharf workers at Prince’s Pier in Melbourne, Australia. As the workers were retreating from the onslaught by the baton-wielding police, the commander ordered the police to open fire. Three workers were shot in the back, one fatally wounded. Several unions demanded an inquiry, but the government refused to investigate the shootings.

November 1, 1887

LoCwomencanecuttingBatonRougeLA18801897WilliamHenryJacksonSugar cane workers in southeastern Louisiana go on strike over wages and being paid in company scrip. The state militia was called in to break the strike of nearly 10,000 mostly African-American workers, displacing them from company housing and forcing them to relocate. On November 22, white “peace and order” vigilantes went on a massacre in the black neighborhoods of Thibodaux where the workers and their families had sought refuge; estimates of between 30-300 people were murdered. Sugar cane workers would not attempt to organize in the region again until the 1950s.

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