Steam boiler operators from 11 cities across the country meet in Chicago to form the National Union of Steam Engineers of America, the forerunner to the International Union of Operating Engineers. Each of the men represented a local union of 40 members or fewer – 1896
More than 1,600 protesters staged a national hunger march on Washington, D.C. to present demands for unemployment insurance – 1931
United Hatters, Cap & Millinery Workers International Union merges into Amalgamated Clothing & Textile Workers Union – 1982
Delegates to the founding convention of the National Nurses United (NNU) in Phoenix, Ariz. unanimously endorse the creation of the largest union and professional organization of registered nurses in U.S. history. The 150,000-member union is the product of merger of three groups – 2009
25 unions found the American Federation of Labor (AFL) in Columbus, Ohio; Cigarmaker’s union leader Samuel Gompers is elected president. The AFL’s founding document’s preamble reads: “A struggle is going on in all of the civilized world between oppressors and oppressed of all countries, between capitalist and laborer…” – 1886
(Unions for Beginners: It is a time when unions have returned to the front pages of newspapers and blogs and demonstrators are in the streets of America every day. It is a time when the right wing has tried to strike the final blow against what remains of the right to collective bargaining. It is a time when millions of members of the middle class are falling through the cracks in a downward economic trend that parallels the decline of unions. It is this time when people are turning again to the history of unions. Unions for Beginners provides an introduction to that essential history.)
114-day newspaper strike begins, New York City – 1962
President Bill Clinton signs The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) – 1993
Nearly 230 jailed teachers — about one-fourth of the 1,000-member Middletown Township, N.J. staff — are ordered freed after they and their colleagues agree to end a nine-day strike and go into mediation with the local school board – 2001
Faced with a national unemployment rate of 10 percent, President Barack Obama outlines new multibillion-dollar stimulus and jobs proposals, saying the country must continue to “spend our way out of this recession” until more Americans are back at work. Joblessness had soared 6 percent in the final two years of George W. Bush’s presidency – 2009
Ratification of a new labor agreement at Titan Tire of Natchez, Miss. ends the longest strike in the history of the U.S. tire industry, which began May 1, 1998 at the company’s Des Moines, Iowa, plant – 2001
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Cool Labor Site: The Robot Report
Is a robot out after your job? Robot makers likely are. Check out this map from The Robot Report, a company that “tracks the business of robotics.” More than 1,000 companies around the world are in the industry, several hundred of them in North America. http://www.therobotreport.com/index.php/site/TRR-Global-Map/
Labor Video: Five Weirdest Jobs in the World
The five weirdest jobs in the world, according to some folks. Included: shark tank glass cleaner, professional zombie, roadkill pickup expert. Enjoy. Or, whatever. Click here to watch the video.