Today in Labor History: Weekend Edition

Emancipation Proclamation signed – 1862

Eighteen-year-old Hannah (Annie) Shapiro leads a spontaneous walkout of 17 women at a Hart Schaffner & Marx garment factory in Chicago. It grows into a months-long mass strike involving 40,000 garment workers across the city, protesting 10-hour days, bullying bosses and cuts in already-low wages – 1910

Great Steel Strike begins; 350,000 workers demand union recognition. The AFL Iron and Steel Organizing Committee calls off the strike, their goal unmet, 108 days later – 1919

Martial law rescinded in Mingo County, W. Va., after police, U.S. troops and hired goons finally quell coal miners’ strike – 1922

U.S. Steel announces it will cut the wages of 220,000 workers by 10 percent – 1931

United Textile Workers strike committee orders strikers back to work after 22 days out, ending what was at that point the greatest single industrial conflict in the history of American organized labor. The strike involved some 400,000 workers in New England, the mid-Atlantic states and the South – 1934

Some 400,000 coal miners strike for higher wages in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and Ohio – 1935

The AFL expels the Int’l Longshoremen’s Association for racketeering; six years later the AFL-CIO accepted them back into the house of labor – 1953

OSHA reaches its largest ever settlement agreement, $21 million, with BP Products North America following an explosion at BP’s Texas City, Texas, plant earlier in the year that killed 15 and injured 170 – 2005

Eleven Domino’s employees in Pensacola, Fla., form the nation’s first union of pizza delivery drivers – 2006

San Francisco hotel workers end a 2-year contract fight, ratify a new 5-year pact with their employers – 2006

September 23
The Workingman’s Advocate of Chicago publishes the first installment of The Other Side, by Martin A. Foran, president of the Coopers’ Int’l Union. Believed to be the first novel by a trade union leader and some say the first working-class novel ever published in the U.S. – 1868

A coalition of Knights of Labor and trade unionists in Chicago launch the United Labor party, calling for an 8-hour day, government ownership of telegraph and telephone companies, and monetary and land reform. The party elects seven state assembly men and one senator – 1886

A 42-month strike by Steelworkers at Bayou Steel in Louisiana ends in a new contract and the ousting of scabs – 1996

California Gov. Gray Davis (D) signs legislation making the state the first to offer workers paid family leave – 2002

September 24
Canada declares the Wobblies illegal – 1918

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