Today in Labor History: January 15
The CIO miners’ union in the Grass Valley area of California strikes for higher wages, union recognition, and the 8-hour day. The strike was defeated when vigilantes and law enforcement officials expelled 400 miners and their families from the area – 1938
(From Blackjacks to Briefcases: This book documents the systematic and extensive use by American corporations of professional union busters, an ugly profession that surfaced after the Civil War and has grown bolder and more sophisticated with the passage of time.)
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Labor Humor: Taking it With You
The company CEO came up with a foolproof way to take his money with him. He called in the company lawyer, the lead foreman, and the union president and gave each a million dollars in cash, promising that they’d be included in his will as long as they threw the three million in the casket just before he was lowered to his final rest. Sure enough, at the funeral, each man walked up and dropped a package into the casket.
But at the wake, the three got to talking and the foreman confessed that he had used most of the money to provide much-need upgrades to the plant. The union president then admitted that he had used the money for promised raises for the workers. The company lawyer said he was shocked that the other two had failed to fulfill the CEO’s final wishes, adding that they should be ashamed of themselves. Asked what he did with the money entrusted to him, he said, “I wrote him an IOU for the full amount!”
—From Workplace Jokes: Only SOME of Them Will Get You Fired!