Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
February 20—Responding to a 15 percent wage cut, women textile workers in Lowell, Mass., organize a “turn-out”—a strike—in protest. The action failed. Two years later they formed the Factory Girl’s Association in response to a rent hike in company boarding houses and the increase was rescinded. One worker’s diary recounts a “stirring speech” of resistance by a co-worker, 11-year-old Harriet Hanson Robinson – 1834
February 21—A state law was enacted in California providing the 8-hour day for most workers, but it was not effectively enforced – 1868
February 22—Albert Shanker dies at age 68. He served as president of New York City’s United Federation of Teachers from 1964 to 1984 and of the American Federation of Teachers from 1974 to 1997 – 1997
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Labor Video: A Brief Primer on Debs
Short biography on legendary labor leader Eugene V. Debs with text and historical images set to a Scott Joplin ragtime tune. Click here to watch the video.