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April 01, 2015
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Today In Labor History

April 01 

Many believe that Cincinnati on this day became the first U.S. city to pay fire fighters a regular salary. Others say no, it was Boston, back in 1678, exact date unknown - 1853


What was to become a 13-week strike begins today in Hopedale, Mass., when hundreds of workers seeking higher pay and a 9-hour day gathered in the street near the Draper Corp. loom-making plant.  The president of the company declared:  “We will spend $1 million to break this strike,” and, in fact, did, aided by hundreds of sworn “special policemen” with clubs.  Police were drawn from a three-state area as well – 1913

(Strike! Revised, Expanded, and Updated Edition: In this latest edition of Strike! you can read about labor-management conflicts that have occurred over the past 140 years. Here you’ll learn much about workers’ struggle to win a degree of justice, from the workers’ point of view. Brecher also examines the ever-shifting roles and configurations of unions, from the Knights of Labor of the 1800s to the AFL-CIO of the 1990s.)
 

Strike of cotton mill workers begins in Gastonia, N.C.  During the strike, police raided the strikers’ tent colony; the chief of police was killed.  The strike leaders were framed for murder and convicted, but later freed – 1929


Longest newspaper strike in U.S. history, 114 days, ends in New York City. Workers at nine newspapers were involved - 1963 


Eleven-day strike by 34,000 New York City transit workers begins, halts bus and subway service in all five boroughs before strikers return to work with a 17 percent raise over two years plus a cost-of-living adjustment - 1980 

April 02

The Supreme Court declares unconstitutional a 1918 Washington, D.C., law establishing a minimum wage for women - 1923


Major league baseball players end a 232-day strike, which began the prior August 12 and led to the cancellation of the 1994 postseason and the World Series - 1995

- compiled/edited by David Prosten, Union Communication Services 

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