April 20, 1948

Thumbnail for 14580

By Today in Labor History

Image

While eating dinner in the kitchen of his home, gunmen open fire on UAW president Walter Reuther, who is hit by a shotgun blast to his right arm. His assailants, who were thought to be hired by gangsters trying to stop union organizing at the mob-dominated Michigan Stove Works, were never caught. Reuther eventually regained limited mobility of his severely damaged arm.


…read more

Source: Today In Labor History (Union Review)

April 19, 1911

Thumbnail for 14578

By Today in Labor History

Image

More than 6,000 furniture workers go on strike in Grand Rapids, Michigan, over hours, wages, working conditions, and the right to bargain collectively. The strike – which affected nearly all of the 60+ furniture manufacturers in the city – lasted throughout the summer, bringing much of the city to a standstill for four months. A monument, “The Spirit of Solidarity,” was dedicated in 2007 to the striking workers.


…read more

Source: Today In Labor History (Union Review)

Today in labor history for the week of April 14, 2014

Thumbnail for 14506

By chris@unionist.com (Chris)

2014.04.14history-zinn-ppls-history

Today in Labor History for the week of April 14

April 14

More than 100 Mexican and Filipino farm workers are arrested for union activities, Imperial Valley, Calif. Eight were convicted of “criminal syndicalism” – 1930

John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath published – 1939
(A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present: If your last serious read of American history was in high school—or even in a standard college course—you’ll want to read this amazing account of America as seen through the eyes of its working people, women and minorities.)

The United Steelworkers and the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers unions merge to form the largest industrial union in North America – 2005

April 152014.04.14history-ap-randolph

A. Philip Randolph, civil rights leader and founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, born in Crescent City, Fla. – 1889

IWW union Agricultural Workers Organization formed in Kansas City, Mo. – 1915

Teacher unionists gather at the City Club on Plymouth Court in Chicago to form a new national union: the American Federation of Teachers – 1916

Start of ultimately successful six-day strike across New England by what has been described as the first women-led American union, the Telephone Operators Department of IBEW – 1919

Transport Workers Union founded – 1934

The first McDonald’s restaurant opens, in Des Plaines, Ill., setting the stage years later for sociologist Amitai Etzioni to coin the term “McJob.” As defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, a McJob is “an unstimulating, low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of the service sector” – 1955

April 16

Employers lock out 25,000 New York City garment workers in a dispute over hiring practices. The Int’l Ladies’ Garment Workers Union calls a general strike; after 14 weeks, 60,000 strikers win union recognition and the contractual right to strike – 1916

2014.04.14history-prepared-bookcoverFive hundred workers in Texas City, Texas die in a series of huge oil refinery and chemical plant explosions and fires – 1947
(Are You Prepared? A Guide to Emergency Planning in the Workplace: Today’s headlines are filled with disaster, from the natural—fire, flood, hurricane, tornado and the like—to the man-made, such as workplace shootings, explosions, accidental releases of toxic chemicals or radiation, even nightmares such as bombings. Are you and your co-workers prepared to respond quickly and safely if disaster strikes? Steps you take today can save lives tomorrow, from having escape plans to knowing how to quickly turn off power and fuel supplies.)

An estimated 20,000 global justice activists blockade Washington, D.C., meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund – 2000

April 172014.04.14history-bakery

The Supreme Court holds that a maximum-hours law for New York bakery workers is unconstitutional under the due process clause of the 14th amendment – 1905

April 18

West Virginia coal miners strike, defend selves against National Guard – 1912

After a four-week boycott led by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., bus companies in New York City agree to hire 200 black drivers and mechanics – 1941

April 19

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, the nation’s “Furniture City,” more than 6,000 immigrant workers—Germans, Dutch, Lithuanians and Poles—put down their tools and struck 59 factories for four months in what was to become known as the Great Furniture Strike – 1919

2014.04.14history-murrah-bldgAn American domestic terrorist’s bomb destroys the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, 99 of whom were government employees – 1995

April 20

Nearly 10,000 demonstrators celebrate textile workers’ win of a 10-percent pay hike and grievance committees after a one-month strike, Lowell, Mass. – 1912

Ludlow massacre: Colorado state militia, using machine guns and fire, kill about 20 people—including 11 children—at a tent city set up by striking coal miners – 1914

An unknown assailant shoots through a window at United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther as he is eating dinner at his kitchen table, permanently impairing his right arm. It was one of at least two assassination attempts on Reuther. He and his wife later died in a small plane crash under what many believe to be suspicious circumstances – 1948

National Association of Post Office Mail Handlers, Watchmen, Messengers & Group Leaders merge with Laborers – 1968

United Auto Workers members end a successful 172-day strike against International Harvester, protesting management demands for new work rules and mandatory overtime provisions – 1980

…read more

Source: Today In Labor History (Unionist.com)

April 12, 1937

Thumbnail for 14504

By Today in Labor History

Image

The United States Supreme Court rules on National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, affirming the constitutionality of the National Labor Relations Act (the “Wagner Act”) of 1935. The NLRB had ruled against the company for firing ten workers who were attempting to unionize; the company refused, arguing that the NLRA was unconstitutional.


…read more

Source: Today In Labor History (Union Review)

April 11, 1980

Thumbnail for 14489

By Today in Labor History

Image

The New York City transit strike ends. 34,000 Transport Workers Union Local 100 members walked off the job on April 1 when contract negotiations failed. In the end, the workers won a contract calling for a 9% raise in the first year and 8% in the second year, along with a cost of living adjustment.


…read more

Source: Today In Labor History (Union Review)

April 9, 1917

Thumbnail for 14458

By Today in Labor History

Image

The United States Supreme Court rules in Bunting v. Oregon, upholding Oregon’s 1913 state law that prescribed a ten-hour workday for both men and women and the state’s requirement that businesses in the state pay time-and-a-half for overtime up to three hours a day. The case was one of the first that upheld wage regulations in addition to hours regulations.


…read more

Source: Today In Labor History (Union Review)

April 7, 1947

Thumbnail for 14411

By Today in Labor History

Image

Nearly 350,000 telephone operators, almost all of them women, walk off their jobs across the country on strike against AT&T. After the strike ended, the National Federation of Telephone Workers reformed itself into the Communications Workers of America, which converted the former autonomous organizations of the NFTW into a three-level union: the national union, 39 divisions, and locals.


…read more

Source: Today In Labor History (Union Review)