Weekend Labor History
Coxey’s Army of unemployed civil war veterans reaches Washington, D.C. Troops of vets started out from many parts of the country, and had swelled to an estimated 12,000, but the "Army of the Unemployed" lost their momentum as court injunctions prevented them from temporarily seizing railroad lines, which was how the men traveled, and there were just 500 left when they arrived in Washington. - 1894
An estimated one thousand silver miners, angry over low wages, the firing of union members and the planting of spies in their ranks by mine owners, seize a train, load it with 3,000 pounds of dynamite, and blow up the mill at the Bunker Hill mine in Wardner, Idaho - 1899
The special representative of the National War Labor Board issues a report, “Retroactive Date for Women’s Pay Adjustments,” setting forth provisions for wage rates for women working in war industries who were asking for equal pay. Women a year earlier had demanded equal pay for comparable work as that done by men – 1943
An explosion at the Everettville mine in Everettville, W. Va., kills 109 miners, many of whom lie in unmarked graves to this day - 1927
The Obama administration’s National Labor Relations Board implements new rules to speed up unionization elections. The new rules are largely seen as a counter to employer manipulation of the law to prevent workers from unionizing - 2012
Mary Harris “Mother” Jones born in County Cork, Ireland - 1830
(Mother Jones Speaks: Speeches and Writings: Admirers and students of Mother Jones will want this comprehensive collection of her speeches, letters, articles, interviews and testimony before Congressional committees. In her own words, this brave and determined heroine to millions of workers, active from the end of the Civil War until shortly before her death in 1930, explains her life, her mission, her passion on behalf of working people.)
Eight-hour day demonstration in Chicago and other cities begins tradition of May Day as international labor holiday - 1886
Mother Jones’ 100th birthday celebrated at the Burgess Farm in Adelphi, Md. She died six months later - 1930 Click here for a video of Mother Jones speaking that day, the only such recording.
New York City’s Empire State Building officially opens. Construction involved 3,400 workers, mostly immigrants from Europe, and hundreds of Mohawk iron workers. Five workers died during construction - 1931
Rallies in cities across the U.S. for what organizers call “A Day Without Immigrants.” An estimated 100,000 immigrants and sympathizers gathered in San Jose, Calif., 200,000 in New York, 400,000 each in Chicago and Los Angeles. In all, there were demonstrations in at least 50 cities - 2006
- compiled/edited by David Prosten at Union Communication Services.