Today in Labor History

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Archive for the category “2000-2009”

February 7, 2008


A huge explosion and fire at the Imperial Sugar refinery northwest of Savannah, Georgia, kills 14 and injures 38 people. The explosion was fueled by massive accumulations of combustible sugar dust throughout the packaging building. An investigation by the U.S. Chemical Safety Board stated that the explosion had been “entirely preventable,” noting that the sugar industry had been aware of the risk of dust explosions since 1926.

January 29, 2009


The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 is the first bill signed into law by President Barack Obama, restoring the protection against pay discrimination that was stripped away by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. The wage gap continues.

January 9, 2003


Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator James Loy announces that “mandatory collective bargaining is not compatible with the flexibility required to wage a war against terrorism.” The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) filed a lawsuit the next day challenging the denial of bargaining rights to TSA baggage handlers and screeners.

November 3, 2009

n06-sept-480Nearly 5,000 transit workers represented by Transport Workers Union Local 234 begin a strike in Philadelphia over wages, pensions, and benefits. The strike shut down the city’s bus, subway, and trolley service and after six days, a five-year contract deal was reached that provided pay and benefit increases.

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.

September 3, 2005

36875-nzhIn response to a strike by the country’s public servant workers that began in July over wages and democratic reforms, the Tongan government agrees to the Public Service Association’s demand for pay raises of 60-70-80%, no disciplinary action against the striking workers, and a suspension of salary review.

July 30, 2001

Crisis_20_diciembre_2001Facing demands by foreign investors in the middle of a recession, the government of Argentina’s proposed austerity bill is passed, which includes slashing state salaries and some pension by up to 13%. The economic crisis continued to deteriorate for months and by December major unions called for a general strike.

June 16, 2000

June 16National computer dealer Inacom Corporation files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, ceases operations, and sends its employees an email instructing them to call a toll free number for important news. The news was a recorded message announcing that over 5,000 employees would be laid off.

June 15, 2000

imf-protestIn Quito, Ecuador, union and student demonstrators participating in a general strike are met with tear gas when they try to approach the Government Palace. Trade unions and grassroots organizations called for a general strike in the country against International Monetary Fund economic “reforms,” which included privatization of state-owned companies and other measures.

March 31, 2004

Westray-Mine-Memorial-pictureCanada Bill C-45 goes into force, amending the Criminal Code to impose penalties on corporations, managers, and executives for violations causing workplace injuries and deaths. The Westray Bill, as it is known, was named after a methane explosion in the Westray coal mine near Plymouth, Nova Scotia, which killed all 26 miners working there at the time.

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