Today in Labor History

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Archive for the tag “new york”

November 28, 1953


400 photo engravers employed by New York City newspapers go on strike over wages and improved working conditions. 20,000 other newspaper workers represented by other unions refused to cross the photo engravers’ picket lines. The strike ended eleven days later with the workers receiving a $3/week wage increase.

January 25, 1937

bmt_1933In response to management’s firing of two of boiler room engineers for union activity, Transport Workers Union members – supported by their non-union coworkers – at the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation’s Kent Avenue power plant in Brooklyn lock themselves inside and announce that if the men are not reinstated, they will shut down the city’s subway lines. The two men were quickly reinstated unconditionally.

October 30, 1912

helen_schloss_irs_jan_1913_(2)Little Falls, New York, mounted police attack striking textile workers – mostly immigrant women and girls – beating some of them unconscious. The police chased the fleeing workers to their strike headquarters, continuing their assault, ransacking the building, destroying their union charter, and arresting the entire strike committee. Despite this, the workers saw the strike through until January 1913, when they won an agreement that included reinstatements, wage increases, and other demands.

July 1, 2010


After six years of organizing by domestic workers, the New York state legislature passes the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, providing them with labor protections such as vacation and overtime pay, protection from discrimination and harassment, and inclusion of part-time workers in disability laws.

July 9, 1935


Management at the Jerome Avenue Barn in the Bronx try to speed up workers by forcing them to use a 14-inch squeegee instead of the customary 10-inch tool.  This “straw that broke the camel’s back” resulted in a two-day Transport Workers Union-inspired walkout after six car cleaners were fired for insubordination.  The “Squeegee Strike” was a success and management reinstated the workers.

April 21, 1967


New York governor Nelson Rockefeller signs the Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act (“Taylor Law”), giving public employees the right to organize and bargain collectively. However, the law prohibited strikes and established a board to settle disputes and impose sanctions on striking public employees. (Photo: AFSCME members in New York City protest the jailing of hospital workers’ organizer and strike leader Lillian Roberts for breaking the Taylor Law).

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