Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition

May 27
The U.S. Supreme Court declares the Depression-era National Industrial Recovery Act to be unconstitutional, about a month before it was set to expire – 1935

The CIO-affiliated Insurance Workers of America merges with its AFL counterpart, the Insurance Agents International Union to form the Insurance Workers International Union.  The union later became part of the United Food and Commercial Workers – 1959

May 28
The Ladies Shoe Binders Society formed in New York – 1835

Fifteen women were dismissed from their jobs at the Curtis Publishing Company in Philadelphia for dancing the Turkey Trot. They were on their lunch break, but management thought the dance too racy – 1912

At least 30,000 workers in Rochester, N.Y., participate in a general strike in support of municipal workers who had been fired for forming a union – 1946

May 29
Animators working for Walt Disney begin what was to become a successful 5-week strike for recognition of their union, the Screen Cartoonists’ Guild. The animated feature Dumbowas being created at the time and, according to Wikipedia, a number of strikers are caricatured in the feature as clowns who go to “hit the big boss for a raise” – 1941

A contract between the United Mine Workers and the U.S. government establishes one of the nation’s first union medical and pension plans, the multi-employer UMWA Welfare and Retirement Fund – 1946

The United Farm Workers of America reaches agreement with Bruce Church Inc. on a contract for 450 lettuce harvesters, ending a 17-year-long boycott. The pact raised wages, provided company-paid health benefits to workers and their families, created a seniority system to deal with seasonal layoffs and recalls, and established a pesticide monitoring system – 1996

UAW members at General Motors accept major contract concessions in return for 17.5 percent stake in the financially struggling company – 2009
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