Today in Labor History: March 18
Six laborers in Dorset, England—the “Tolpuddle Martyrs”—are banished to the Australian penal colony for seven years for forming a union, the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers. Some 800,000 residents of the United Kingdom signed petitions calling for their release – 1834
Police evict retail clerks occupying New York Woolworth’s in fight for 40-hour week – 1937
The Post Office’s first mass work stoppage in 195 years begins in Brooklyn and Manhattan and spreads to 210,000 of the nation’s 750,000 postal employees. Mail service is virtually paralyzed in several cities, and President Nixon declares a state of emergency. A settlement comes after two weeks – 1970
The Los Angeles City Council passes the first living wage ordinance in California. The ordinance required almost all city contractors to pay a minimum wage of $8.50 an hour, or $7.25 if the employer was contributing at least $1.25 toward health benefits, with annual adjustments for inflation – 1997
As the Great Recession continues, President Obama signs a $17.6 billion job-creation measure a day after it is passed by Congress – 2010
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