Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
150 arrested in IWW free speech fight, Spokane, Wash. – 1909
Railroad union leader & socialist Eugene V. Debs receives a million votes for President while imprisoned – 1920
President Reagan signs a bill designating a federal holiday honoring the civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., to be observed on the third Monday of January – 1983
[All Labor Has Dignity is a collection of Dr. Martin Luther King's speeches on labor rights and economic justice, underscoring his relevance for today. They help us imagine King anew: as a human rights leader whose commitment to unions and an end to poverty was a crucial part of his civil rights agenda. In the UCS bookstore now.]
Carmen Fasanella retired after 68 years and 243 days of taxicab service in Princeton, NJ, earning himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. He started driving at age 17 and, reportedly, chauffeured Princeton Prof. Albert Einstein around town – 1989
Striking milk drivers dump thousands of gallons of milk on New York City streets – 1921
Some 5,000 Philadelphia-area public transit workers begin what was to be a six-day strike centered on wages and pension benefits – 2009
Populist humorist Will Rogers was born on this day near Oologah, Indian Territory (later Oklahoma). One of his many memorable quotes: “I belong to no organized party. I am a Democrat.” – 1879
Some 3,000 dairy farmers demonstrate in Neillsville, Wisc., ultimately leading to the freeing of jailed leaders of a milk strike over low prices set by large dairy plants. Tons of fresh milk were dumped on public roads, trains carrying milk were stopped, some cheese plants were bombed during the fight – 1933
After a struggle lasting more than two years, 6,000 Steelworkers members at Bridgestone/Firestone win a settlement in which strikers displaced by scabs got their original jobs back. The fight started when management demanded that the workers accept 12-hour shifts – 1996
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Cool Labor Site: Strike!
Cool effort to chart and describe the world’s general strikes. http://www.sonic.net/~figgins/generalstrike/index.html
Labor Video: Happy Friday, Blue Monday
What a difference a weekend makes! Click here to watch the video.