Today in Labor History

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Archive for the tag “sit down strike”

February 27, 1937

woolworth1

Just days after the autoworkers’ victory at General Motors, more than 100 women workers at one of forty Woolworth stores in Detroit, Michigan, begin a sit-down strike over wages, hours, working conditions, and union recognition. Solidarity action in support of the workers was incredible, the strike spread, and on March 5 the workers won their demands, including the union shop. The union won a uniform contract for all forty stores in Detroit, which covered 2,500 workers.

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December 30, 1936

flint-sit-down-strike

Autoworkers at the General Motors Fisher Body No. 1 plant in Flint, Michigan, occupy the factory and begin a sit-down strike that lasts 44 days. The strike ended in a victory for the workers on February 11, 1937, when GM signed a contract with the United Auto Workers, recognizing the union as the sole bargaining agent for the workers in all of its plants.

September 17, 1989

1989_pittston_coal_strike_a_battle_for_workers_rigFive months into a Pittston Company mine strike, nearly 100 workers stage a sit-down strike in the Moss 3 central coal processing plant and successfully cease production for four days, supported by thousands of people outside the plant. A strike settlement was announced on January 1, 1990, which included a new contract that reinstated the health and retirement benefits that the company had stripped away.

July 24, 1941

wpid-0321ov_WWII_Work_Production_PosterWhen their pay was shorted, 700 workers at Canada’s largest aluminum plant in Arvida, Quebec, walk off the job in an illegal (because the industry had been classified as essential to the war effort) strike. The next day, the strike spread to 4,500 workers, who occupied the plant. Work resumed several days later and negotiations began, with the union as intermediary, assisted by federal conciliators.

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 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.

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