Today’s Labor History july 31

July 31: Members of the National Football League Players Association begin what is to be a 2-day strike, their first. The issues: pay, pensions, the right to arbitration and the right to have agents (1970); Fifty-day baseball strike ends (1981); The Great Shipyard Strike of 1999 ends after Steelworkers at Newport News Shipbuilding ratify a breakthrough agreement which nearly doubles pensions, increases security, ends inequality, and provides the highest wage increases in company and industry history to nearly 10,000 workers at the yard. The strike lasted 15 weeks (1999). 
August 01: After organizing a strike of metal miners against the Anaconda Company, Wobbly organizer Frank Little is dragged by six masked men from his Butte, MT., hotel room and hung from the Milwaukee Railroad trestle. Years later writer Dashiell Hammett would recall his early days as a Pinkerton detective agency operative and recount how a mine company representative offered him $5,000 to kill Little. Hammett says he quit the business that night (1917); Sid Hatfield, police chief of Matewan, W. Va., a longtime supporter of the United Mine Workers union, is murdered by company goons. This soon led to the Battle of Blair Mountain, a labor uprising also referred to as the Red Neck War (1921); Police in Hilo, Hawaii, open fire on 200 demonstrators supporting striking waterfront workers. The attack became known as “the Hilo Massacre” (1938); A 17-day, company-instigated wildcat strike in Philadelphia tries to bar eight African-American trolley operators from working. Transport Workers Union members stay on the job in support of the men (1944). 
Complete labor history postings, plus more info & ammo for unionists is available online from Union Communication Services.

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