Labor History in 2:00
December 12 - The Lights Return

December 12 - The Lights Return

December 12, 2019

On this day in labor history the year was 1964. That was the day that half of the labor force of France ended a strike that had ground the country to a halt.  The strike started on December 10.  It is estimated that nine million people participated in the work action. 

December 11 - The Colored Farmers’ Alliance and Cooperative Union

December 11 - The Colored Farmers’ Alliance and Cooperative Union

December 11, 2019

On this day in labor history the year was 1886. That was the day that black farmers formed the Colored Farmers’ Alliance and Cooperative Union in Houston County, Texas.  The Southern Farmers Alliance would not allow black members

December 10 - The First Sit-Down

December 10 - The First Sit-Down

December 10, 2019

On this day in Labor History the year was 1906.  That was the day the workers at a General Electric plant in Schenectady, New York organized a sit-down strike.  It is considered to be perhaps the first time the sit-down tactic was used in the United States. 

December 9 - Founding of the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor

December 9 - Founding of the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor

December 9, 2019

On this day in Labor History the year was 1869.  That was the day a new union, named the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor was founded. It started in Philadelphia as a secret society of tailors. But soon the Knights expanded to workers in other trades. 

December 8 - NAFTA is Signed

December 8 - NAFTA is Signed

December 8, 2019

On this day in Labor History the year was 1993. That was the day that President Bill Clinton signed the North American Free Trade Agreement into law. The stated aim of NAFTA was to increase trade between the United States, Mexico and Canada. 

December 7 - The Bonus Army

December 7 - The Bonus Army

December 7, 2019

On this day in Labor History the year was 1931.  That was the day that protesters staged a hunger march on Washington, D.C.  1,600 protesters took part in the march.  

December 6 - Driving Toward Change

December 6 - Driving Toward Change

December 6, 2019

On this day in Labor History the year was 1897. London became the world’s first city to license motorized taxicabs. More than a century later, cab service has seen many changes. Today taxi drivers are an important sector of workers trying to win union recognition.  

December 5 - The AFL and CIO Merge

December 5 - The AFL and CIO Merge

December 5, 2019

On this day in Labor History the year was 1955. That was the day the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to become the AFL-CIO.  The American Federation of Labor was a confederation of unions can that trace its history all the way back to just after the Civil War, in 1866.  

December 4 - Solidarity in the Fields

December 4 - Solidarity in the Fields

December 4, 2019

Would you go to jail for justice for working people?  Over the years many in the labor movement have had to make that decision.  Such was the case for Cesar Chavez.  On this day in labor history the year was 1970. Chavez, the head of the United Farm Workers, was jailed for twenty days for refusing to end a lettuce boycott. 

December 3 - Dissenters Jailed

December 3 - Dissenters Jailed

December 3, 2019

On this day in Labor History the year was 1916. That was the day that seven Australian members of the Industrial Workers of the World were sentenced to fifteen years in prison for their antiwar efforts during World War I. Other IWW members were sentenced to as many as five and ten years each.

 

 

 

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