Today in Labor History

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Archive for the tag “pittsburgh”

June 17, 1936

tumblr_lkxw8aPDpK1qz8xtho1_500The Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) sets up its headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh with the goal to organize steelworkers. “Our first problem was to banish fear from the steelworkers’ minds,” recalled Philip Murray, SWOC chair. On March 2, 1937, U.S. Steel signs its first collective bargaining agreement with SWOC.

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September 15, 1845

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Earlier in the year, 5,000 women cotton mill workers in and around Pittsburgh go on strike for a 10-hour day and an end to child labor.  Months into the strike, hundreds marched on the Blackstock Mill, one of the largest in the area.  The women broke down the factory’s gates and forcibly expelled the scabs, while the men who accompanied them kept the police at bay.

July 6, 1892

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Locked out by management determined to break their union, workers stationed along the Monongahela River spot barges in the middle of the night carrying hundreds of Pinkerton detectives armed with Winchester rifles heading to the Carnegie steel plant in Homestead, Pennsylvania.  Thousands of workers quickly assembled to meet the barges and battled the strikebreakers throughout the day before the Pinkertons surrendered and were evacuated by train.

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