Today in Labor History – March 20th

Michigan authorized the formation of workers’ cooperatives. Thirteen were formed in the state over a 25-year period. Labor reform organizations advocated for  “cooperation” over “competitive” capitalism following the Civil War and several thousand cooperatives opened for business across the country … Read more

Today in Labor History – March 19th

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Adamson Act, a federal law that established an 8-hour workday, with overtime pay, for interstate railway workers. Congress passed the law in 1916 to avert a nationwide rail strike. – 1917 … Read more

Today in Labor History – March 18th

Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón was arrested under the Espionage Act, charged with hindering the American war effort and imprisoned at Leavenworth, where he died under highly suspicious circumstances. The authorities claimed he died of a “heart attack”, but Chicano … Read more

Today in Labor History – March 17th

The leadership of the American Federation of Labor selected the Carpenters Union to lead the eight hour movement. Carpenters throughout the country struck in April; by May 1, some 46,000 carpenters in 137 cities and towns had achieved shorter hours. … Read more

Today in Labor History – March 16th

Refusing to accept a 9-cent wage increase, the United Packinghouse Workers of America initiated a nationwide strike against meatpacking companies Swift, Armour, Cudahy, Wilson, Morrell, and others. Packinghouse workers shut down 140 plants around the country. – 1948 The United … Read more

Today in Labor History – March 15th

Ben Fletcher, African-American IWW organizer, was born on this date. Fletcher organized longshoremen in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. – 1877 The International Union of Painters and Allied Trades was founded on this date. Today they represent more than 140,000 members in the … Read more

Today in Labor History – March 12th

Greedy industrialist turned benevolent philanthropist Andrew Carnegie pledged $5.2 million for the construction of 65 branch libraries in New York City, barely 1 percent of his net worth at the time. He established more than 2,500 libraries between 1900 and … Read more

Today in Labor History -March 11th

Fabled railroad engineer John Luther “Casey” Jones was born on this date in southeast Missouri. A member of the Railroad Engineers, he was the sole fatality in a wreck near Vaughan, Mississippi on April 29, 1900. His skill and heroics … Read more