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July 07, 2015
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  Just Another Cog In The Machine  
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Today's Labor History
July 7
Striking New York longshoremen meet to discuss ways to keep new immigrants from scabbing. They were successful, at least for a time. On July 14, 500 newly arrived Jews marched straight from their ship to the union hall. On July 15, 250 Italian immigrants stopped scabbing on the railroad and joined the union - 1882
  
Mary Harris "Mother" Jones begins "The March of the Mill Children,” when, accompanied part of the way by children, she walked from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt's home on Long Island to protest the plight of child laborers. One of her demands: reduce the children’s work week to 55 hours - 1903 
Photo courtesy of Kheel Center
 
Cloak makers begin what is to be a 2-month strike against New York City sweatshops - 1910

Workers begin construction on the Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam) on the Colorado River, during the Great Depression.  Wages and conditions were horrible—16 workers and work camp residents died of the heat over just a single 30-day period—and two strikes over the four years of construction led to only nominal improvements in pay and conditions - 1931
 
Some 500,000 people participate when a two-day general strike is called in Puerto Rico by more than 60 trade unions and many other organizations. They are protesting privatization of the island's telephone company - 1998

July 8
First anthracite coal strike in U.S. - 1842
  
Labor organizer Ella Reeve "Mother" Bloor born on Staten Island, N.Y. Among her activities: investigating child labor in glass factories and mines, and working undercover in meat packing plants to verify for federal investigators the nightmarish working conditions that author Upton Sinclair had revealed in The Jungle - 1862
 
The Pacific Mail Steamship Co. fires all employees who had been working an 8-hour day, then joins with other owners to form the "Ten-Hour League Society" for the purpose of uniting all mechanics "willing to work at the old rates, neither unjust to the laborers nor ruinous to the capital and enterprise of the city and state." The effort failed - 1867
 
Founding convention of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W., or Wobblies) concludes in Chicago. Charles O. Sherman, a former American Federation of Labor organizer, is elected president - 1905
(Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology: Originally published in 1964 and long out of print, Rebel Voices remains by far the biggest and best source on IWW history, fiction, songs, art, and lore.  This edition includes 40 pages of additional material from the 1998 Charles H. Kerr edition by Fred Thompson and Franklin Rosemont, and a new preface by Wobbly organizer Daniel Gross.)
 
Some 35,000 members of the Machinists union begin what is to become a 43-day strike that shuts down five major U.S. airlines, about three-fifths of domestic air traffic.  The airlines were thriving, and wages were a key issue in the fight - 1966

 

http://www3.thedatabank.com/hm/366/image/2011_06_27_Twitter.jpg  Follow DC Labor on Twitter and be the first to hear about the latest local labor

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