Today in Labor History: June 23

Charles Moyer, president of the Western Federation of Miners, goes to Butte, Mont. in an attempt to mediate a conflict between factions of the miner’s local there. It didn’t go well. Gunfight in the union hall killed one man; Moyer and other union officers left the building, which was then leveled in a dynamite blast – 19142015.06.22-history-elected-new
(I Just Got Elected—Now What? A New Union Officer’s Handbook: If only Moyer had had this guide to building a strong and effective local union.  Don’t buy this book if your goal is simply to do things the way they’ve always been done, skating by as things just bump along.  That, the author says, is what has weakened unions.  Rather than one or maybe a handful of officers running your local from the top, Barry says, you’ve got to educate and involve your members at every level, using the organizing model of unionism—and he shows you how to do it.)

Congress overrides President Harry Truman’s veto of the anti-worker Taft-Hartley Act. The law weakened unions and let states exempt themselves from union requirements. Twenty states immediately enacted open shop laws and more followed – 1947
OSHA issues standard on cotton dust to protect 600,000 workers from byssinosis, also known as “brown lung” – 1978

A majority of the 5,000 textile workers at six Fieldcrest Cannon textile plants in Kannapolis, N.C., vote for union representation after an historic 25-year fight – 1999
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