Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
Led by 23-year-old Kate Mullaney, the Collar Laundry Union forms in Troy, N.Y, raises earnings for female laundry workers from two dollars to 14 dollars a week – 1864
Bricklayers begin working eight-hour days – 1867
25,000 Paterson, NJ silk workers strike for eight-hour work day and improved working conditions. 1,800 were arrested over the course of the six-month walkout, led by the Wobblies. They returned to work on their employers’ terms – 1913
(Lyddie: Lyddie Worthen is a 13-year-old farm girl who takes a job in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, when hard times hit her family. Six days a week from dawn to dusk she and the other girls run weaving looms in the murky dust and lint-filled factory. Lyddie learns to read—and to handle the menacing overseer. But when the working conditions begin to affect her friends health, she has to make a choice. Will she speak up for better working conditions and risk her job—and her dream of reuniting her family? Or will she stay quiet until it is perhaps too late? A wonderful story of strength, courage and solidarity.)
The federal minimum wage increases to $1.60 per hour – 1968
International Brotherhood of Firemen & Oilers merge with Service Employees International Union – 1995
Legal secretary Iris Rivera fired for refusing to make coffee; secretaries across Chicago protest – 1977
The 170-day lockout (although management called it a strike) of 22,000 steelworkers by USX Corp. ends with a pay cut but greater job security. It was the longest work stoppage in the history of the U.S. steel industry – 1987
The U.S. Supreme Court rules the United Hatters Union violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by organizing a nationwide boycott of Danbury Hatters of Connecticut – 1908
U.S. Supreme Court upholds the Wages and Hours (later Fair Labor Standards) Act banning child labor and establishing the 40-hour work week – 1941
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Cool Labor Site: Jim Hightower
Online home of Jim Hightower, nationally syndicated radio commentator and the bestselling author of Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow. http://www.jimhightower.com/
Labor Video: That’s it…?
Jon Stewart riffs on working at Walmart. Click here to watch the video.