Labor History

Labor Quote of the Day: Ben Jealous
“We have seen cabdrivers come down from New York, truck drivers from Oklahoma. This is about moving the country with the spirit of unity and hope, and getting the country beyond the divisiveness.” Source

October 02
American Federation of Labor officially endorses campaign for a 6-hour day, 5-day workweek – 1934

Joining with 400,000 coal miners already on strike, 500,000 CIO steel workers close down the nation’s foundries, steel and iron mills, demanding pensions and better wages and working conditions – 1949

Starbucks Workers Union baristas at an outlet in East Grand Rapids, Mich., organized by the Wobblies, win their grievances after the National Labor Relations Board cites the company for labor law violations, including threats against union activists – 2007
(Grievance Guide, 13th edition: This easy-to-use handbook documents patterns in a wide range of commonly grieved areas including discharge and discipline, leaves of absence, promotions, strikes and lockouts, and more. The editors give a complete picture of the precedents and guidelines that arbitrators are using to address grievance cases today.)

Union members, progressives and others rally in Washington D.C., under the Banner of One Nation Working Together, demand “good jobs, equal justice, and quality education for all.” Crowd estimates range from tens of thousands to 200,000 – 2010

October 03
The state militia is called in after 164 high school students in Kincaid, Ill., go on strike when the school board buys coal from the scab Peabody Coal Co. – 1932

The Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America is founded in Camden, N.J. It eventually merged with the Int’l Association of Machinists, in 1988 – 1933

Pacific Greyhound Lines bus drivers in seven western states begin what is to become a 3-week strike, eventually settling for a 10.5-percent raise – 1945

The United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA) is formed as a self-governing union, an outgrowth of the CIO’s Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee. UPWA merged with the Meatcutters union in 1968, which in turn merged with the Retail Clerks in 1979, forming the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) – 1943

The United Auto Workers calls for a company-wide strike against Ford Motor Co., the first since Ford’s initial contract with the union 20 years earlier – 1961

Folk singer/songwriter Woody Guthrie (“This Land is Your Land”, “Union Maid” and hundreds of others) dies of Huntington’s disease in New York at the age of 55 – 1967

Baseball umpires strike for recognition of their newly-formed Major League Umpires Association, win after one day – 1970

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