Today in Labor History

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Archive for the tag “new york city”

March 8, 1908


15,000 women workers in the needle trades take to the streets of New York City on the fifty-first anniversary of the 1857 protest by women garment workers. They demanded better working conditions, suffrage, and an end to child labor. March 8 has been celebrated as International Women’s Day since 1910.

February 20, 1917


Wartime inflation fuels workers’ demands for increased wages; in the first six months of 1917 alone, there were over 3,000 strikes in the United States. Food riots were also common and on this date, thousands of women took to the streets in New York City to protest exorbitant prices. Their actions precipitated a boycott campaign that eventually forced prices down.

January 1, 1966


Members of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and Amalgamated Transit Union working for the New York City Transit Authority begin what would be a successful twelve day strike. TWU leader Mike Quill and eight other union leaders were arrested for violating an injunction issued to end the strike. “I don’t care if I rot in jail,” Quill said, “I will not call off the strike.”

December 16, 1951


The New York Times reports on December 17 that the “metropolitan area was threatened with a bagel famine yesterday as thirty-two of the city’s thirty-four bagel bakeries remained closed in a dispute between 300 members of Local 338 of the Bagel Bakers of America, A.F.L., and the Bagel Bakers Association.” The union settled its dispute over health and welfare payments and workplace sanitation in late January.

July 11, 1936

AFD 186624After seven years of construction, the Triborough Bridge opens in New York City, connecting the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens. 2,700 construction workers worked on the $60 million project, financed in part through the Public Works Administration through much of the Great Depression.

March 18, 1937

woolworth-workers-go-on-strike-in-new-everettNew York City police evict and arrest striking Woolworth clerks occupying stores and demanding a 40-hour workweek. Police were met with huge protests at the stores and the precinct where the workers had been taken. Once freed, the clerks returned to the stores and re-occupied them and, in the end, they won a one-year union contract, an eight-hour day, six-day workweek, and a 32.5 cent per hour minimum wage.

January 4, 1965

January 4Eight thousand social workers represented by two different unions in New York City go on strike over workload and wages. Mayor Robert Wagner fired all of the strikers and threw nineteen leaders in jail for two weeks, but the workers won the strike within a month. Supported by organized labor, the civil rights movement, and a community coalition, it was the longest labor action by public employees in the history of New York City.

October 11, 1941

news dealers1700 news dealers in New York go on strike against the World Telegram over the price of newspapers, delivery charges, and the return of unsold newspapers. The strike spread as other publishers refused to make deliveries to dealers who joined the strike. A judge issued an injunction against the strike, ruling that the news dealers were not employees.

May 30, 1741


Accusations, arrests, and trials are underway in New York City following a series of fires that broke out after a winter of economic hardship and fears of a slave uprising by white colonists. By the time the witch-hunt that became known as the New York Slave Conspiracy ended, 30 people had been hanged or burned at the stake.

April 30, 1965


After a long court battle, the Transport Workers Union wins $9.5 million in pensions for former New York City Fifth Avenue Coach employees.

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