Today in Labor History

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Archive for the month “October, 2015”

October 25, 1899

jermynfirstaidsignTwenty-five anthracite coal miners from the Jermyn Coal Colliery in northeastern Pennsylvania attend what is believed to be the first formal training on first aid. Believing that many lives could be saved with quick, efficient medical care until a physician arrived, local doctor Matthew Shields set up a series of courses for the miners who, upon completion, were prepared and able to render first aid to their co-workers.

October 24, 1861

HD_PonyExpress1860recruitinWith the completion of the trans-continental telegraph line, the Pony Express is discontinued. The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2,000-mile trail. Eventually, the service had more than 100 stations, 80 riders, and between 400 and 500 horses. The express route was extremely hazardous, but only one mail delivery was ever lost.

October 23, 1958

springhill-mine-survivor-and-sonThe Cumberland Railway and Coal Company’s No. 2 Colliery – one of the deepest coal mines in the world – just outside the town of Springhill, Nova Scotia, is struck by an underground “bump.” The shift was the result of increased tensions in the earth due to the removal of coal and the lack of replacement support. Rescue efforts continued for days. Of the 174 men in the mine at the time, 74 were killed and 100 were trapped but eventually rescued.

October 15, 1943

October 15At the Tule Lake Segregation Center internment camp – which held over 18,000 Japanese Americans during World War II – a truck carrying agricultural workers tips over, resulting in the death of an internee. Ten days later, the agricultural workers went on strike; the internment camp director fired all of the workers and brought in strikebreakers from other internment camps. After several outbreaks of violence, martial law was declared and 250 internees were arrested and incarcerated in a newly constructed prison within the prison.

October 14, 1976

070119_01In response to the government’s imposition of wage controls for all Canadian workers, the Canadian Labour Congress calls for a Day of Protest. Over a million people participated in rallies and demonstrations held in every major city.

October 13, 2015

homrcareHome care workers are finally getting protections they should have had years ago. After a U.S. Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a Department of Labor Home Care Final Rule to extend minimum wage and overtime protections to almost 2 million home care workers, the ruling is effective as of today, October 13, 2015.

October 7, 1897

ale_briderDer Algemeyner Yidisher Arbeter Bund in Lite, Polyn, un Rusland (The General Union of Jewish Workers in Lithuania, Poland, and Russia), known simply as the Jewish Labor Bund, is founded in Vilna, demanding equal civil rights for Jewish workers and an end to anti-Jewish discrimination.

October 6, 1927

October 6“The Jazz Singer” – this country’s first feature-length sound film – opens in New York City. Within three years, 22,000 theater jobs for musicians who accompanied silent films were lost, while only a few hundred jobs for musicians performing on soundtracks were created by the new technology.

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.

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