Today in Labor History: October 23

President Theodore Roosevelt establishes a fact-finding commission that suspends a nine-months-long strike by Western Pennsylvania coal miners fighting for better pay, shorter workdays and union recognition.  The strikers ended up winning more pay for fewer hours, but failed to get union recognition.   It was the first time that the federal government had intervened as a neutral arbitrator in a labor dispute – 1902

Explosion and fire at Phillips Petroleum refinery in Pasadena, Texas, kills 23 and injures 314 – 1989

Postal workers Joseph Curseen and Thomas Morris die nearly a month after having inhaled anthrax at the Brentwood mail sorting center in Washington, D.C.  Other postal workers had been made ill but survived. Letters containing the deadly spores had been addressed to U.S. Senate offices and media outlets – 2001

Click here for the complete posting. Compiled and edited by David Prosten.

Today in Labor History: October 15

President Woodrow Wilson signs the Clayton Antitrust Act—often referred to as “Labor’s Magna Carta”—establishing that unions are not “conspiracies” under the law. It for the first time freed unions to strike, picket and boycott employers. In the years that followed, however, numerous state measures and negative court interpretations weakened the law – 1914

Click here for the complete posting. Compiled and edited by David Prosten.

Today in Labor History: October 14

Int’l Working People’s Association founded in Pittsburgh, Pa. – 1883

The Seafarers Int’l Union (SIU) is founded as an AFL alternative to what was then the CIO’s National Maritime Union.  SIU is an umbrella organization of 12 autonomous unions of mariners, fishermen and boatmen working on U.S.-flagged vessels – 1938

Formal construction began today on what is expected to be a five-year, $3.9 billion replacement for the Tappan Zee Bridge over the Hudson River.  It’s estimated the project would be employing 8,000 building trades workers over the span of the job – 2013

Click here for the complete posting. Compiled and edited by David Prosten.

Today in Labor History: October 13

American Federation of Labor votes to boycott all German-made products as a protest against Nazi antagonism to organized labor within Germany – 1934

More than 1,100 office workers strike Columbia University in New York City. The mostly female and minority workers win union recognition and pay increases – 1985

National Basketball Association cancels regular season games for the first time in its 51-year history, during a player lockout.  Player salaries and pay caps are the primary issue.  The lockout lasts 204 days – 1998

Hundreds of San Jose Mercury News newspaper carriers end 4-day walkout with victory – 2000

Click here for the complete posting. Compiled and edited by David Prosten.

Today in Labor History: October 12

Company guards kill at least eight miners who are attempting to stop scabs, Virden, Ill. Six guards are also killed, and 30 persons wounded – 1898

Fourteen miners killed, 22 wounded at Pana, Ill. – 1902

Some 2,000 workers demanding union recognition close down dress manufacturing, Los Angeles – 1933

More than one million Canadian workers demonstrate against wage controls – 1976

Click here for the complete posting. Compiled and edited by David Prosten.

Today in Labor History: October 11

The Miners’ National Association is formed in Youngstown, Ohio, with the goal of uniting 2015-08-31-history-hawaiian-sugarworkers.jpgall miners, regardless of skill or ethnic background – 1873

Nearly 1,500 plantation workers strike Olaa Sugar, on Hawaii’s Big Island – 1948

Click here for the complete posting. Compiled and edited by David Prosten.