Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
August 15—Gerry Horgan, chief steward of CWA Local 1103 and NYNEX striker in Valhalla, N.Y., is struck on the picket line by a car driven by the daughter of a plant manager and dies the following day. What was to become a 4-month strike over healthcare benefits was in its second week – 1989
August 16—George Meany, plumber, founding AFL-CIO president, born in City Island, Bronx. In his official biography, George Meany and His Times, he said he had “never walked a picket line in his life.” He also said he took part in only one strike (against the United States Government to get higher pay for plumbers on welfare jobs). Yet he also firmly said that “You only make progress by fighting for progress.” Meany served as secretary-treasurer of the AFL from 1940 to 1952, succeeded as president of the AFL, and then continued as president of the AFL-CIO following the historic merger in 1955 until retiring in 1979 – 1894
August 17—Year-long Hormel meatpackers’ strike begins in Austin, Minn. – 1985
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Labor Video: Five Weird Jobs
Bored with the old 9-5? Explore career options including shark tank cleaning, video game goldmining, road kill picking-upping… maybe the old 9-5 isn’t so bad after all. Click here to watch the video.