Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
October 25—In what becomes known as the Great Hawaiian Dock Strike, a 6-month struggle to win wage parity with mainland dock workers, ends in victory – 1949
October 26—After eight years and at least 1,000 worker deaths—mostly Irish immigrants—the 350-mile Erie Canal opens, linking the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Father John Raho wrote to his bishop that “so many die that there is hardly any time to give Extreme Unction to everybody. We run night and day to assist the sick.” – 1825
October 27—The National Negro Labor Council is formed in Cincinnati to unite black workers in the struggle for full economic, political and social equality. The group was to function for five years before disbanding, having forced many AFL and CIO unions to adopt non-discrimination policies – 1951
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Labor Video: Men at Work
The movie trailer for a wonderful documentary film about Men at Work: immigrants in New York, forever immortalized in the classic old photo of a eleven ironworkers sitting on a beam high above the Manhattan skyline. Click here to watch the video.