Today's Labor History
Today in labor history, June 30, 1928: Alabama outlaws the leasing of convicts to mine coal, a practice that had been in place since 1848. In 1898, 73 percent of the state’s total revenue came from this source. 25 percent of all African-American leased convicts died. -1928
photo: convict laborers courtesy of study.com
The storied Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, a union whose roots traced back to the militant Western Federation of Miners, and which helped found the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), merges into the United Steelworkers of America - 1967
Streetcar workers go on strike in New Orleans. ”We are with you until h—l freezes,” wrote brothers Bennie and Clovis Martin, former streetcar workers turned restaurateurs. Their restaurant offered free meals to the striking workers and a new sandwich was born: the po’ boy. ”We fed those men free of charge until the strike ended,” Bennie recalled. ”Whenever we saw one of the striking men coming, one of us would say, ‘Here comes another poor boy.’” -1929
(Union Strategies for Hard Times, Helping Your Members and Building Your Union, 2nd Edition: Hard times then and hard times now, except po’ boy sandwiches have gone way up in price. What can unions do as the fallout of the Great Recession continues to plague workers and their unions, threatening decades of collective bargaining gains? What must local union leaders do to help their laid off members, protect those still working, and prevent the gutting of their hard-fought contracts—and their very unions themselves?)
After six years of organizing by domestic workers, the New York state legislature passes the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, providing them with labor protections such as vacation and overtime pay, protection from discrimination and harassment, and inclusion of part-time workers in disability laws. -2010
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