Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
September 26—The Old 97, a Southern Railway train officially known as the Fast Mail, derails near Danville, Va., killing engineer Joseph “Steve” Broady and ten other railroad and postal workers. Many believe Broady had been ordered to speed to make up for lost time. The Wreck of the Old 97 inspired balladeers; a 1924 recording is sometimes cited as the first million-selling country music record – 1903
September 27—Int’l Ladies’ Garment Workers Union begins strike against Triangle Shirtwaist Co. This would become the “Uprising of the 20,000,” resulting in 339 of 352 struck firms—but not Triangle—signing agreements with the union. The Triangle fire that killed 246 would occur less than two years later – 1909
(Triangle: The Fire that Changed America: On March 25, 1911, a fire broke out at the Triangle shirtwaist factory in New York City. Within minutes it engulfed three upper floors, burning to death—or causing to jump to their deaths—146 workers, 123 of them women, some as young as 15.)
September 28—The International Workingmen’s Association is founded in London. It was an international organization trying to unite a variety of different left-wing, socialist, communist and anarchist political groups and unions. It functioned for about 12 years, growing to a membership declared to be eight million, before being disbanded at its Philadelphia conference in 1876, victim of infighting brought on by the wide variety of members’ philosophies – 1864
—Click here for the complete posting.
Labor Video: Helmets to Hardhats
Military veterans who were deployed after the 9/11 attack on America and the World Trade Center, gain employment in the building and construction trades through Helmets to Hardhats, and find themselves rebuilding the new World Trade Center. Click here to watch the video.