Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
June 13—Tony Mazzocchi born in Brooklyn, N.Y. An activist and officer in the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers union, he was a mentor to Karen Silkwood; a founder of the Labor Party, and a prime mover behind the 1970 passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act – 1926
June 14—The first commercial computer, UNIVAC I, is installed at the U.S. Census Bureau – 1951
June 15—Battle of Century City, as police in Los Angeles attack some 500 janitors and their supporters during a peaceful Service Employees Int’l Union demonstration against cleaning contractor ISS. The event generated public outrage that resulted in recognition of the workers’ union and spurred the creation of an annual June 15 Justice for Janitors Day – 1990
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Labor Video: Baseball Bats, Tear Gas and the Struggle to Unionize
Chilling film footage from an event 77 years ago this week: A vigilante mob of 1,400 armed with baseball bats and teargas, organized by the city’s mayor, take on 200 striking steel workers in Monroe, Michigan. Next time you think about how difficult union organizing is today, think about this film clip and the courage of the workers. Click here to watch the video.