Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition
July 24—The United Auto Workers and the Teamsters form the Alliance for Labor Action (ALA), later to be joined by several smaller unions. The ALA’s agenda included support of the civil rights movement and opposition to the war in Vietnam. It disbanded after four years following the death of UAW President Walter Reuther – 1968
(All Labor Has Dignity: People forget that Dr. King was every bit as committed to economic justice as he was to ending racial segregation. He fought throughout his life to connect the labor and civil rights movements, envisioning them as twin pillars for social reform.)
July 25—Fifteen “living dead women” testify before the Illinois Industrial Commission. They were “Radium Girls,” women who died prematurely after working at clock and watch factories, where they were told to wet small paintbrushes in their mouths so they could dip them in radium to paint dials. A Geiger counter passed over graves in a cemetery near Ottawa, Illinois still registers the presence of radium – 1937
July 26—In Chicago, 30 workers are killed by federal troops, more than 100 wounded at the “Battle of the Viaduct” during the Great Railroad Strike – 1877
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Labor Video: OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Campaign
Workers can stay safe and healthy if employers watch out for their health and remember 3 simple words: Water, Rest, and Shade. Go to osha.gov/heat for more on OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention campaign. Click here to watch the video.