Labor History

Labor Quote of the Day: Pablo Manlapit
“It is one of the cherished American ideals that each generation shall stand in advance of the preceding one: better physically, mentally, spiritually. And America demands for her workers this opportunity for development.”
-Manlapit (left) was a migrant worker, lawyer, and President of the Filipino Federation of Labor

January 20
Chicago Crib Disaster—A fire breaks out during construction of a water tunnel for the city of Chicago, burning the wooden dormitory housing the tunnel workers.  While 46 survive the fire by jumping into the frigid lake and climbing onto ice floes, approximately 60 men die, 29 burned beyond recognition and the others drowned – 1909

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) founded – 1920

Hardworking Mickey Mantle signs a new contract with the New York Yankees making him the highest paid player in baseball:  $75,000 for the entire 1961 season – 1961

Bruce Springsteen’s “My Hometown,” a eulogy for dying industrial cities, is the country’s most listened-to song. The lyrics, in part: “Now Main Street’s whitewashed windows and vacant stores / Seems like there ain’t nobody wants to come down here no more / They’re closing down the textile mill across the railroad tracks / Foreman says these jobs are going boys and they ain’t coming back to your hometown / Your hometown / Your hometown / Your hometown…” – 1986

January 21
Some 750,000 steel workers walk out in 30 states, largest strike in U.S. history to that time – 1946

Postal workers begin four-day strike at the Jersey City, N.J., bulk and foreign mail center, protesting an involuntary shift change.  The wildcat was led by a group of young workers who identified themselves as “The Outlaws”- 1974

Six hundred police attack picketing longshoremen in Charleston, S.C. – 2000

—Compiled and edited by David Prosten

Union Communication Services

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