Today in Labor History: January 5

The nation’s first labor convention of Black workers was held in Washington, D.C., with 214 delegates forming the Colored National Labor Union – 1869

Ford Motor Company raises wages from $2.40 for a 9-hour day to $5 for an 8-hour day in effort to keep the unions out – 1914

Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge begins. Ten of the 11 deaths on the job came when safety netting beneath the site—the first-ever use of such equipment—failed under the stress of a scaffold that had fallen. Nineteen other workers were saved by the net over the course of construction. They became members of the (informal) Halfway to Hell Club – 1933

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