Today in Labor History

Labor history is OUR history

Archive for the month “November, 2015”

November 17, 1993


The U.S. House of Representatives approves the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 234 for, 200 against. It passed in the U.S. Senate by 61 for, 38 against. President Bill Clinton signed the agreement into law on December 8, 1993, stating that “NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs.” What it actually meant was job losses, decreased wages, and attacks on public interest laws.

November 15, 1922

arton6769Soldiers 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 the two-hour massacre. On November 21, the strike was settled and the workers’ demands were met.

November 14, 1903

november 14The National Women’s Trade Union League is formed in Boston. It was organized as a coalition of working-class women, professional reformers, and women from wealthy and prominent families. Its purpose was to “assist in the organization of women wage workers into trade unions and thereby to help them secure conditions necessary for healthful and efficient work and to obtain a just reward for such work.”

November 13, 1974

Who_killed_silkwood_christicUnion activist and whistleblower Karen Silkwood dies under “mysterious circumstances” while en route to a meeting with an Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union health and safety staffer and a New York Times investigative reporter. She was bringing them documents proving that the company she worked for – Kerr-McGee Nuclear Corporation – had falsified quality control records of nuclear fuel rods.

November 12, 1912

November 12In the middle of a bitter six month-long strike in the small New Zealand gold mining town of Waihi, striking miner Fred Evans dies after being severely beaten by scabs and police who stormed the miners’ hall, at the time defended by Evans and just two or three other men. Each year, a commemorative service is held at Evans’ grave in Auckland’s Waikaraka Cemetery.

November 11, 1887

But, if you think that by hanging us, you can stamp out the labor movement - the movement from which the downtrodden millions, the millions who toil and live in want and misery - the wage slaves - expect salvation - if this is your opin (1)Albert Parsons, August Spies, George Engel, and Adolph Fischer, framed for the Haymarket bombing in Chicago, are executed. Spies’ last words — “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today” — are engraved on the Haymarket Martyrs’ Monument in Chicago’s Forest Home Cemetery.

November 10, 1933

November 10Workers at the Austin, Minnesota, Hormel plant begin a sit-down strike when owner Jay Hormel refuses to negotiate with their union, the Independent Union of All Workers.  Unable to open his blockaded plant, Hormel accepted binding arbitration and the workers received a ten percent wage increase a month later.

November 8, 1892

nov 8Approximately 25,000 workers in New Orleans – half the city’s workforce – begin what will be a three day general strike in support of a strike by three other unions over hours, wages, and job security.

November 7, 1945


Machinists in Stamford, Connecticut, go on strike when the Yale and Towne lock company terminates its contractual obligations and withdraws recognition of their union. The company’s union-busting effort was met with a city-wide general strike on January 3 in which 10,000 people marched and rallied in support of the workers. By early April, the company conceded.

November 6, 1887

s3-internationaleFrench transport worker, revolutionary socialist, and Paris Commune member, Eugene Pottier dies. Pottier was the author of “L’Internationale,” an unparalleled anthem to international labor solidarity.

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