History’s first recorded (on papyrus) strike, by Egyptians working on public works projects for King Ramses III in the Valley of the Kings. They were protesting having gone 20 days without pay—portions of grain—and put down their tools. Exact date estimated, described as within “the sixth month of the 29th year” of Ramses’ reign—1170BC—in The Spirit of Ancient Egypt, by Ana Ruiz. Scholar John Rome adds in Ancient Lives: The Story of the Pharaoh’s Tombmakers that the strike so terrified the authorities they gave in and raised wages. Romer believes it happened a few years later, on Nov. 14, 1152 B.C.
Troops are dispatched to Cripple Creek, Colo., to control protests by striking coal miners – 1903
Mine Workers President John L. Lewis walks away from the American Federation of Labor to lead the newly-formed Committee for Industrial Organization. The CIO and the unions created under its banner organized six million industrial workers over the following decade – 1935
Led by Samuel Gompers, who would later found the American Federation of Labor, Cigarmakers’
Int’l Union Local 144 is chartered in New York City – 1875