Today in Labor History: April 11

Ford Motor Company signs first contract with United Auto Workers – 1941

Jackie Robinson, first Black ballplayer hired by a major league team, plays his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbetts Field – 1947

United Mine Workers President W. A. “Tony” Boyle is found guilty of first-degree murder, for ordering the 1969 assassination of union reformer Joseph A. “Jock” Yablonski.  Yablonski, his wife and daughter were murdered on December 30, 1969. Boyle had defeated Yablonski in the UMW election earlier in the year—an election marred by intimidation and vote fraud. That election was set aside and a later vote was won by reformer Arnold Miller – 1974

Some 34,000 New York City Transit Authority workers, eleven days into a strike for higher wages, end their walkout with agreement on a 9-percent increase in the first year and 8 percent in the second, along with cost-of-living protections – 1980

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issues regulations prohibiting sexual harassment of workers by supervisors in the workplace – 1980

Police in Austin, Minn., tear-gas striking Hormel meatpacking workers. Seventeen strikers are arrested on felony riot charges – 1986

Some 25,000 marchers in Watsonville, Calif., show support for United Farm Workers organizing campaign among strawberry workers, others – 1997
(Farmworker’s Friend: The story of Cesar Chavez is a thoughtful and moving book about the inspiring life of the founder and long-time leader of the United Farm Workers of America.  This sympathetic portrayal of Chavez and his life’s work begins with his childhood, starting from the time his family’s store in Arizona failed during the Great Depression and his entire family was forced into the fields to harvest vegetables for a few cents an hour.)

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