Today in Labor History: August 09
Twenty people, including at least nine firefighters, are killed in Boston’s worst fire. It consumed 65 downtown acres and 776 buildings over 12 hours – 1872
Knights of Labor strike New York Central railroad, ultimately to be defeated by scabbing – 1890
Nine men and one woman meet in Oakland, Calif. to form what was to become the 230,000-member California School Employees Association, representing school support staff throughout the state – 1927
A fire and resultant loss of oxygen when a high pressure hydraulic line was cut with a torch in a Titan missile silo near Searcy, Ark. killed 53 people, mostly civilian repairmen – 1965
United Papermakers & Paperworkers merge with Int’l Brotherhood of Pulp, Sulphite & Paper Mill Workers of the US & Canada to become United Paperworkers International Union, now a division of the Steelworkers Union – 1972
73,000 Bell Atlantic workers end a successful two-day strike over wages and limits on contracting out of work – 1998
The United Steelworkers and Amicus, the largest manufacturing union in the United Kingdom, announce formation of a strategic alliance to work on a range of mutual concerns – 2005
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Labor Book: Grassroots Journalism
Grassroots Journalism: A Practical Manual for Newswriting is a very helpful tool for activists who need – or want – to write about working peoples’ issues for their union newsletters, community newspapers and other media outlets. The author cites examples where grassroots journalism had a real impact on peoples’ lives, tells how to zero in on the issues in a community that will motivate readers to address concerns, and gives plenty of counsel on actual research and writing techniques to help you do the best job possible.
Labor Humor: The Greatest Invention?
An engineer, a physicist, a mathematician, and a manager were asked to name the greatest invention of all times. The engineer chose fire, which gave humanity power over matter. The physicist chose the wheel, which gave humanity the power over space. The mathematician chose the alphabet, which gave humanity power over symbols. The manager chose the thermos bottle. “Why a thermos bottle?” the others asked incredulously. “Because the thermos keeps hot liquids hot in winter and cold liquids cold in summer.” “Yes — so what?” “Think about it,” said the puzzled manager… click here for the punchline.