Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition

2015.06.08-history-equal.payJanuary 06
The Toronto Trades and Labour Council endorses the principle of equal pay for equal work between men and women – 1882

Eight thousand workers strike at Youngstown Sheet & Tube. The following day the strikers’ wives and other family members join in the protest. Company guards use tear gas bombs and fire into the crowd; three strikers are killed, 25 wounded – 1916

January 07
An explosion at Osage Coal and Mining Company’s Mine Number 11 near Krebs, Okla., kills 100, injures 150 when an untrained worker accidentally sets off a stash of explosives – 1892

Wobbly Tom Mooney, accused of a murder by bombing in San Francisco, pardoned and freed after 22 years in San Quentin – 1939

The presidents of 12 of the nation’s largest unions meet and call for reuniting the American labor movement, which split into two factions in 2005 when seven unions left the AFL-CIO and formed a rival federation. The meeting followed signals from President-elect Barack Obama that he would prefer dealing with a united movement, rather than a fractured one that often had two competing voices. Unions from both sides of the split participated in the meeting. The reunification effort failed, but by mid-2013 four of the unions had rejoined the AFL-CIO – 2009

January 08
The largest slave revolt in U.S. history begins on Louisiana sugar plantations.  Slaves armed with hand tools marched toward New Orleans, setting plantations and crops on fire, building their numbers to an estimated 300-500 as they went.  The uprising lasted for two days before being brutally suppressed by the military – 1811

Birthdate of Mary Kenney O’Sullivan, first AFL woman organizer. In 1880 she organized the Woman’s Bookbinder Union and in 1903 was a founder of the National Women’s Trade Union League – 1864

American Federation of Labor charters a Mining Department – 1912

The AFL Iron and Steel Organizing Committee ends the “Great Steel Strike.” Some 350,000 to 400,000 steelworkers had been striking for more than three months, demanding union recognition. The strike failed – 1920

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