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Labor & Capitalism Issues

Labor Links   @   WM Essays   @   Labor News

Labor History Timeline
XIXth CenturyXXth CenturyXXIst Centuryrecent events

American Labor Movements Pages at Spirit of America Bookstore
top of page 1Labor LinksMajor Labor EventsGeneral Non-FictionHistorical Non-Fiction
top of page 2Labor LeadersOther MediaLabor Fiction

Labor Movement Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore


"Labor is the source of all wealth."
— G.E. Nordell

"Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage has decreased 38% since 1968."
— Howard Dean, 2003

'Economics Or Else!' Pages at Maison d'Être Philosophy Bookstore

Classwar & Economics Pages at Working Minds
Working Minds / Books on the Subject: Classwar & Economics

Working Minds / Solutions / Activism Pages


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Selected essay topics from 'WMail'
the Working Minds Philosophy Newsletter

Issue #12 [July 2001] "Independence"
Issue #14 [September 2001] "The Best Investment: Labor"
Issue #18 [December 2001] "The Stock Market Casino"
Issue #19 [January 2002] "Virtual Tea Party"
Issue #21 [March 2002] "Tax Revolt"
Issue #23 [May 2002] "The Class System of America"
Issue #25 [July 2002] "Injustice For All"
Issue #35 [September 2003] "Debt & the Working Mind"
Issue #40 [February 2004] "Paleo-Capitalism"
Issue #42 [April 2004] "The Oligarchy"
Issue #46 [September 2004] "A Living Wage"
Issue #51 [March 2005] "The Three Economies"

Dateline Chamesa weblog [est. 2005]
index of all WMail issues
WMail essays categorized by topic
quotations used in all WMail & weblog issues


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Labor Links

Strength of U.S. Labor Unions {per U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2010}

#1 = N.E.A. (National Education Association) at 2,731,419
#2 = S.E.I.U. (Service Employees International Union) at 1,505,100
#3 = A.F.S.C.M.E. (American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees) at 1,459,511
#4 = International Brotherhood of Teamsters at 1,396,174
#5 = United Food and Commercial Workers International Union at 1,311,548
#6 = American Federation of Teachers at 828,512
#7 = United Steelworkers of America at 754,978
#8 = I.B.E.W. (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) at 704,794
#9 = Laborers' International Union of North America at 669,772
#10 = International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers at 653,781

#11 = United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers at 557,099
#12 = C.W.A. (Communications Workers of America) at 545,638
#13 = United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America at 522,416
#14 = Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees at 455,346
#15 = Longshore and Warehouse Union at 424,579
#16 = International Union of Operating Engineers at 392,584
#17 = Maritime Trades Union at 361,362
#18 = United Assn. of . . . the Plumbing and Pipe-Fitting Industry at 324,043
#19 = National Association of Letter Carriers at 292,221
#20 = American Postal Workers Union at 286,700
#21 = International Association of Fire Fighters at 271,463
#22 = National Postal Mail Handlers Union at 269,204
#23 = Paper, Allied-Industrial & Chemical International Union at 245,011
#24 = American Federation of Government Employees at 226,975
#25 = Amalgamated Transit Union at 180,598


The United Federation of Indentured Servants [est. 2010]

A.F.L.-C.I.O. [A.F.L. est. 1886, C.I.O. est. 1935, merged 1955]
AFL-CIO's American Center for International Labor Solidarity [est. 1997]
AFL-CIO's community affiliate Working America [est. 2003]Main Street blog

Intl. Confederation of Free Trade Unions
California Labor Federation [AFL-CIO]
American Federation of Teachers [est. 1916; AFL-CIO]
Intl. Federation of Chemical, Energy Mine, & General Workers' Unions
Communications Workers of America [est. 1947; AFL-CIO]
International Longshore and Warehouse Union [est. 1937; AFL-CIO]
Intl. Assn. of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers [est. 1896]
Fight Back America: United Steelworkers Associate Member Program
National Air Traffic Controllers Assn. [est. 1987; AFL-CIO]
Laborer's International Union of North America [est. 1903; AFL-CIO]
Metropolitan Washington DC Labor Council, AFL-CIO

United Mine Workers of America [est. 1890]      United Auto Workers [est.1935]      National Association of Letter Carriers [est. 1889; AFL-CIO]      I.A.T.S.E. = Intl. Alliance of Theatrical & Stage Employes, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists & Allied Crafts of the U.S., its Territories & Canada [AFL-CIO, CFC]      C.W.A. - Communications Workers of America [AFL-CIO]      'UE' is the abbreviation for United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America [est. 1936, AFL-CIO]      International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers [est. 1891, AFL-CIO]

Change To Win Coalition [est. June 2005]
Laborers' Intl. Union of North America [est. 1903; CWC]
UNITE-HERE [merged July 2004; CWC]
United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America [est. 1881; CWC]
Service Employees Intl. Union [CWC, CLC]
Purple Ocean affiliate of S.E.I.U.
United Farm Workers of America [CWC]

United Food & Commercial Workers Union [CWC]       International Brotherhood of Teamsters [est. 1903; CWC]       Office and Professional Employees International Union [est. 1945; AFL-CIO]       National Association of Retired & Veteran Railway Employees [est. 1941]       American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees [est. 1932; AFL-CIO]

United Steel Workers [est. 1942; AFL-CIO]       Writers Guild of America / West [est. 1954] labor union       Writers Guild of America / East [est. 1951] labor union

United Professionals quasi-union [est. 9/2006]
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United [est. 2001]
National Nurses Organizing Committee
California Nurses Assn.
I.B.E.W. Union Local 611 of New Mexico, based in Albuquerque
I.B.E.W. Local 76 [est. 1894] of Tacoma, Washington

The United Federation of Indentured Servants [est. 2010]

The National Labor Committee in Support of Human & Worker Rights
Intl. Labour Orgn. of the United Nations
The Labor Heritage Foundation [est. 1979]
Workers Independent News / Labor Radio
International Labor Communications Assn. [est. 1955]
LaborNet: global online communication for a democratic, independent labor movement
People's Weekly World newspaper [est. 1924]
American Rights At Work: advancing democracy in the American workplace [est. 2003]
American Labor Museum - Botto House in Haledon, NJ
U.S. Labor Against The War
United Students Against Sweatshops [est.1998]
help desk for trade union web-staff
Mining History Assn.
safety products at Victor House Publications
LaborNet: online communications for the democratic labor movement
American Labor Museum - Botto House in Haledon, NJ
International Justice Day on June 15th
Sweatshop Hall of Shame of the International Labor Rights Forum

The Universal Living Wage Campaign
U.S. Dept. of Labor 'History of the Minimum Wage'
Working Minds Essay #46: "A Living Wage" from September 2004

U.S. Dept. of Labor [est. 1914]        Occupational Health & Safety Administration [est. 1971]        Mine Safety & Health Administration [est. 1978]

Liberté j'écris ton nom




Industrial Workers of the World website

I.W.W. {'Wobblies'} page at Spirit of America Bookstore


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American Labor History Timeline
'timeline of labor issues & events' page at Wikipedia

"A Brief History of Unions" [1.5 minute short] from PA-AFLCIO on YouTube

XIXth Century {just below} • XXth CenturyXXIst Centuryrecent events

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XIXth Century

  • 1847 July 1: Provisions of the Factories Act of 1847 took effect; the law as passed by U.K.'s Parliament restricted women and children to working a maximum of ten hours per day, and 63 hours per week.
  • 1860 Jan 8: The Pemberton Mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts collapsed and caught fire, killing up to 145 workers, mostly female immigrants from Scotland and Ireland.
  • 1861 Jan 28: Formation of the American Miners' Association at a convention in St. Louis, Missouri; the union broke apart circa 1868.
  • 1876: Formation of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers by merger of the Sons of Vulcan, the Iron & Steel Heaters Union, the Iron & Steel Roll Hands Union, and the Nailers Union.
  • 1877 July 14: The Great Railroad Strike began in Martinsburg, WV and expanded nationally. It lasted for 45 days, until federal troops ordered by Pres. Hayes suppressed the demonstrators.
  • 1881: Founding of the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions.
  • 1882 September 5: The first Labor Day Parade, in New York City.
  • 1884: Bureau of Labor established, within the Department of Interior.
  • 1886 May 4: While Chicago, IL police watched a peaceful labor rally in Haymarket Square, someone tossed a bomb at the police line, causing a riot. The 'Haymarket Massacre' resulted in the deaths of 11 strikers and 8 policemen. A show trial – there was no evidence – convicted eight labor leaders: one was sentenced to 15 years in prison; two were sentenced to death but received commutations to life in prison; one committed suicide in prison; and four died of slow strangulation in a botched hanging.
  • 1886 Dec 8: The F.O.T.L.U. was reorganized as the American Federation of Labor, in Columbus, Ohio; Samuel Gompers [1850-1924] was president for over 40 years.
  • 1888 June 13: Congress established the Department of Labor.
  • 1890 January 25: Founding of the United Mine Workers of America in Columbus, Ohio.
  • 1892 June-Oct: The Homestead Strike: The Carnegie Steel Mill in Homestead, PA locked out its union workers. Stirkers overpowered Pinkerton agents and forced them to surrender on July 6th, and ran them out of town. On July 12th, 4,000 state militia arrived, retook the property, and allowed strike breakers to reopen the mill. Strike leaders were charged with conspiracy, riot, murder & treason; counter charges were made against management. The strike collapsed and the militia pulled out on October 13.
  • 1893 June 20: Founding of the American Railway Union in Chicago, IL by Eugene V. Debs [1855-1926].
  • 1894 May 11: The Pullman Strike began when 50,000 Pullman Palace Car Company workers in Illinois went on a wildcat strike.
  • 1894 June 24: Congress passed a bill making Labor Day a national holiday, on the First Monday of September; signed into law by President Garfield.
  • 1894 July 3: Federal troops were called out against the Pullman strikers.
    — July 7: Eugene V. Debs [1855-1926] & other union officials arrested, indicted & jailed under $10,000 bail each.
    — August 2: Pullman Co. reopened; strike declared over the next day. Rehired workers were forced to sign a pledge not to unionize (effectively blocking the railroad labor movement until The Great Depression).
  • 1896: Intl. Assn. of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental & Reinforcing Iron Workers established.
  • 1900 May 1: The Winter Quarters Mine near Scofield, Utah exploded due to accumulation of coal dust; at least 200 miners were killed, and possibly as many as 246; worst U.S. mining disaster at the time, now ranks fifth. {Wikipedia}

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XXth Century

  • 1901: Founding of the Team Drivers International Union; some members broke away in 1902 to form the Teamsters National Union.
  • 1902 May 19: The Fraterville Mine Disaster in Tennessee killed 216 miners.
  • 1903 February 14: Department of Commerce & Labor established, which included the Bureau of Labor.
  • 1903 June 30: Hanna_Mine_Disaster in Wyoming killed 169 miners; deaths are blamed on the Union Pacific Coal Company's greed-based 'gouging' practices intended to get coal out of the mine faster.
  • 1903 August: Formation of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, a re-merger of T.D.I.U. & T.N.U. led by Samuel Gompers of the A.F. of L.
  • 1905 June 27: Founding of the Industrial Workers of the World [I.W.W., aka 'wobblies'] trade union in Chicago, IL.
  • 1907 Dec 6: The Monongah Mine Disaster in West Virginia killed 362 men and boys; still the worst mining disaster in U.S. history.
  • 1907 Dec 19: The Darr Mine Disaster in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania killed 239 men and boys (recent research suggest nthat the death toll was hundreds higher).
  • 1909 Nov 13: The Cherry Mine Disaster in Illinois killed 259 men and boys, the result of a series of blunders: an electrical outage resulted in use of kerosene lanterns, which ignited a load of hay for mules working in the mine; moving the hayload ignited timbers of the mine, and reversing the above-ground air-fan caused the fan machinery to catch fire. Twenty-one miners managed to erect a barricade against the fire and smoke and subsisted on trickles of water for eight days before being rescued.
  • 1911 March 25: The tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City – 146 workers died due to unsafe work conditions, including fire doors nailed shut. The event emboldened the 'muckraker' journalist movement and led to laws for safety and against child labor.
  • 1911 Dec 9: An explosion killed 84 workers inside the Cross Mountain Coal Mine near Briceville, Tennessee; five men were rescued.
  • 1912 Jan 11: 'Bread and Roses Strike' began at American Woolen Company factories in Lawrence, Massachussets, with support of the I.W.W.; 20,000 workers - mostly women and children - stayed out for two months.
  • 1912 Feb 23: Release of Edison's 13-minute "Children Who Labor" docudrama silent short.
  • 1912 April 30: Release of Thanhouser Film Company's silent two-reeler "The Cry of The Children", which stirred controversy because it included footage of actual child laborers in actual factories; inspired by the 1843 poem by Elizabeth Barret Browning.
  • 1912 June 4: Massachusetts passed a milestone of U.S. labor law, the nation's first minimum-wage law.
  • 1912 Nov 26: Acquittal by a local jury in Lawrence, Massachussets of two union leaders accused as accessories in the killing of a policeman who was beating strikers three miles away.
  • 1913 Feb 13: Silk-workers labor strike in Paterson, New Jersey, supported by the I.W.W.; the work stoppage lasted six months and ended in failure.
  • 1913 March 14: Legislation establishing the Department of Labor was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Taft.
  • 1914: The Miners Union Hall in Butte, Montana was destroyed and the town occupied by the National Guard.
  • 1914 April 20: Colorado National Guard and hired hoodlums opened fire with machine guns on a tent city of 1,200 strikers and their families outside Ludlow, Colorado. The 'Ludlow Massacre' resulted in the deaths of 9 strikers and 2 women and 11 children.
    The Ludlow Massacre Memorial Monument is just off I-25 at Exit 27 in SE Colorado
  • 1915 November 19: Execution by firing squad of I.W.W. labor leader Joe Hill in Utah.
  • 1917 March 19: The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 8-hour work day for railroad workers.
  • 1917 July 12: Two thousand copper miners in Bisbee, AZ were herded to Warren baseball field under suspicion of I.W.W. sympathies; 800 recanted and returned to their jobs, the remaining 1,200 were shipped in cattle cars {in scorching desert heat} to New Mexico.
  • 1917 Dec 6: A coal mine explosion in Monongah, West Virginia killed 362 men and boys; the event remains the worst mining disaster in American history.
  • 1920 May 19: Striking miners and local police met hoodlums hired by mine owners (thru the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency) at the Matewan, West Virginia train station. The gunfight resulted in 10 deaths, including the mayor.
  • 1921 August 1: Union organizer Ed Chambers and Sid Hatfield (the heroic police chief of Matewan, WV) were murdered on the steps of the McDowell County [WV] Courthouse in revenge for the deaths of two Felts brothers at Matewan. The identity of the murderers was known (one was an employee of Baldwin-Felts), but no one was ever brought to trial.
  • 1921 August 7: Activist Mary Harris 'Mother' Jones [1830-1930] rallied the striking coal miners of West Virginia to march on Logan & Mingo Counties to set up a union by force. By August 20, over 10,000 armed miners had gathered in Kanawha County and began moving toward Logan. The Battle of Blair Mountain began on August 25th and lasted until September 2nd, when federal troops (sent by President Harding) arrived. The insurrection resulted in 60-130 deaths and many more injured. 985 men were indicted on charges of murder, conspiracy & treason against the State of West Virginia; the leaders were acquitted for lack of evidence, but hundreds of miners were convicted and imprisoned, until paroled by the Governor in 1925.
  • 1933 November 13: Workers at the packing plant of George A. Hormel & Co. in Austin, Minnesota held the first sit-down strike in American history.
  • 1934 July: West Coast longshoremen went on strike; owners brought in armed goon squads, tear gas, and the National Guard, provoking pitched battles in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and San Pedro. Hundreds of strikers – and bystanders – were beaten and-or arrested. July 5 is designated Bloody Thursday in honor of two striking workers who were shot and killed; a total of six workers were shot or beaten to death on the West Coast by police or company goons during the course of the strike.
  • 1935 November 9: John L. Lewis [1880-1969] and others formed the Committee for Industrial Organization [C.I.O.].
  • 1935 August 14: The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt.
  • 1936 May 30: Memorial Day Massacre at Republic Steel in Chicago, Illinois: ten workers shot in the back by police.
  • 1936 June 7: Formation of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee in Pittsburgh, PA which joined with Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel & Tin Workers to organize the steel industry.
  • 1937: United Mine Workers was expelled from the A.F.L.
  • 1937 Feb 11: United Auto Workers of Flint, Michigan won their 6-week sit-down strike when General Motors agreed to recognize the union.
  • 1937 May 30: Police fired on steelworkers demonstrating near the Republic Steel plant in South Chicago, Illinois; ten people were killed, hundreds crippled; known as the Republic Steel Memorial Day Massacre.
  • 1938: First national minimum wage established at 25 cents per hour.
  • 1940 October 24: The 40-hour work week went into effect, under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
  • 1942: United Mine Workers withdrew from the C.I.O.
  • 1942 May 22: The Steel Workers Organizing Committee [est. 1935] and the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel & Tin Workers disbanded & formed the United Steel Workers.
  • 1946 January 25: United Mine Workers rejoined the A.F.L.
  • 1947 March 25: A coal mine explosion in Centralia, Illinois killed 111 workers.
  • 1947 June 4: U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Taft-Hartley Act, revising labor law in favor of management; vetoed by President Truman, then overridden by Congress; signed into law by Truman on June 23.
  • 1947 Dec 12: John L. Lewis refused to agree to the Taft-Hartley Act; the United Mine Workers withdrew from the A.F.L.
  • 1949 Oct 1: The United Steelworkers of America began a 42-day strike over the issue of retirement benefits.
  • 1949 Oct 26: President Truman signed a law raising the minimum wage from 40 to 75 cents per hour.
  • 1951 Dec 21: Explosions killed 119 men at the New Orient No. 2 mine in West Frankfort, Illinois.
  • 1952 April 8: President Truman issued an executive order seizing the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that he exceeded his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike.)
  • 1952 June 2: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer case that President Truman exceeded his authority in ordering the nationalization of the American steel industry to avert a strike. The United Steelworkers of America union went on strike that same day.
  • 1952 July 16: President Truman signed the Federal Coal Mine Safety Act into law.
  • 1952 July 24: The United Steelworkers of America strike was settled after seven weeks, on terms proposed by the union four months prior.
  • 1955 Dec 5: The A.F. of L. and the C.I.O. labor organizations merged under George Meany as president.
  • 1956 March 20: Union workers at Westinghouse Electric Corp. ended a 156-day strike.
  • 1957 Dec 6: A.F.L.-C.I.O. members voted to expel the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on charges of corruption.
  • 1959 Jan 22: Twelve workers drowned in the Knox Mine Disaster in Pennsylvania.
  • 1962 Sept 30: First meeting of the National Farm Workers Assn., forerunner of the United Farm Workers labor union, in Fresno, California.
  • 1962 Dec 6: An explosion at U.S. Steel's Robena No. 3 coal mine at Carmichaels, Pennsylvania killed 37 miners.
  • 1969 Dec 9: Incumbent U.M.W.A. president W.A. 'Tony' Boyle received nearly twice as many votes - 63.6% to 36.4% - as challenger Joseph 'Jock' Yablonski in an election for union president that is generally considered a fraud.
  • 1969 Dec 31: U.M.W.A. labor leader Joseph Yablonski and his family were assassinated in their home by thugs hired by corrupt U.M.W.A. president Tony Boyle. (Boyle was convicted of the crime in April 1974.)
  • 1970 Dec 28: Passage of Occupational Safety & Health Act, which established O.S.H.A. as part of the U.S. Dept. of Labor effective 28 April 1971.
  • 1973 Dec: Former U.M.W.A. president Tony Boyle was convicted of embezzlement during the 1968 union election.
  • 1973 Dec: Former U.M.W.A. president Tony Boyle was convicted of murder in the assassination of Joseph Yablonski and his family in December 1969; Boyle was sentenced to three consecutive life terms.
  • 1978 Feb: Former U.M.W.A. president Tony Boyle was re-tried and again convicted for the murder of Joseph Yablonski and his family in December 1969.
  • 1980 Aug 31: Beginning of Poland's Solidarity (Solidarnosc) labor union movement at the conclusion of a 17-day strike at the Gdansk Shipyards.
  • 1982 Sept 21: National Football League players began a 57-day strike against management; they signed an agreement on November 16.
  • 1984 Dec 19: The Cottonwood/Wilberg Mine in Southern Utah exploded in a ball of flames during the owners' attempt at a one-day production record; the cause was traced to two defective safety devices on an air compressor; Energy West Mining Company rejected blame for the deaths of 27 miners.
  • 1985 August: Workers of U.F.C.W.I.U. Local P-9 struck the Hormel Foods Corp. main plant in Austin, Minnesota; Hormel refused to negotiate, many union members eventually crossed the picket lines and accepted lower wages, and the strike fell apart in June 1986.
  • 1987 Sept 21: National Football League players began a 24-day strike against management, mostly over the issue of free agency.
  • 1987 Oct 24: The Teamsters Union was readmitted to the A.F.L.-C.I.O., 30 years after expulsion for corruption.

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XXIst Century

  • 2002 July 24: Nine coal miners became trapped in the flooded Quecreek Mine in Somerset County of Western Pennsylvania; all nine men were rescued 77 hours later. {Wikipedia}
  • 2003 Oct 11: Southern California U.F.C.W. members struck Safeway/Vons, prompting Albertson's & Kroger/Ralphs & Vons/Safeway to lock union workers out.
  • 2004 Feb 26: Southern California grocery workers ratified a two-tier settlement with store management after a twenty-week strike; both sides claimed victory.
  • 2005 June 15: Founding of the breakaway Change To Win Coalition, comprised of the Teamsters, UNITE-HERE, L.I.U., U.F.C.W.U. & S.E.I.U. unions, soon followed by the U.B.C.J.A. Carpenters & U.F.W.A..
  • 2007 Sept 24: 73,000 members of the U.A.W. struck General Motors across the nation, their first such strike since 1976. G.M. caved the next day.
  • 2009 Jan 29: The 'Lilly Ledbetter Law' extending the statute of limitations for filing pay discrimination claims against employers was signed into law by President Obama.
  • 2010 April 5: Upper Big Branch Coal Mine (operated by a subsidiary of Massey Energy) in Raleigh County, West Virginia exploded from a spark igniting lethally-high levels of methane gas; 25 miners were declared dead, with four men missing; several days of venting the gases were required before rescue crews could enter the mine; total deaths were 29 men. {Wikipedia}
  • 2010 June 10: Largest one-day strike of nurses in the U.S., by 12,000 in Minnesota.
  • 2011 April 4: First annual "We Are One Day", with over 1,000 rallies nationwide confirming the stand of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. for solidarity with all labor unions (on the anniversary of his assassination during the sanitation workers' strike in Memphis, Tennessee in 1968).
  • 2011: 45,000 union members walked off the job and struck Verizon on the east coast.
  • 2011 Sept 8: One-day wildcat longshoreman strike shut down the ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Longview, Everett, and Anacortes in Washington State; the matter was settled on September 14, with unions obtaining the right to work at the new state grain center.
  • 2011 Dec 6: Parent company Alpha Natural Resources agreed to pay a $209 million penalty for Massey Energy's part in the lethal Upper Big Branch Coal Mine Disaster of April 2010; the record judgment includes a fine of $35 million, $1.5 million to the family of each of the 29 dead miners (and two severely-injured miners), plus $80 million toward safety improvements & disaster prevention.
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  • 2012 Aug 14: Houston, Texas janitors and the S.E.I.U. settled their 5-week strike for a paltry annual 25-cent wage increase for 4 years.
  • 2012 Sept 10: Beginning of the Chicago Teachers Union strike; teachers agreed to a new pact on September 18 and went back to work the next day; concessions won included addressing the 70% of school buildings without working air conditioning or heat, all schoolbooks available for students on Day One, and working computers (to take attendance) for teachers on Day One.
  • 2012 Nov 9: 5,000 members of the bakers union went on strike against Hostess Brands, Inc.; workers refused to take cuts in pay and healthcare and pensions while management gave themselves 80-percent pay increases. Hostess was already in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced November 16 that the company will now liquidate, a loss of 18,500 jobs nationwide. {Follow-up: New owners of Hostess brands are re-opening five plants, with food deliveries expected in July 2013.}
  • 2012 Nov 23: 'Black Friday' shopping day protests against Wal-Mart's vile labor practices by both union and non-union picketers.
  • 2012 Nov 29: One-day strike by New York City fast food workers for pay above minimum wage, coordinated by FastFoodForward as well as the Service Employees International Union; participants estimated at 200.
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  • 2013 April 4: Second one-day strike by New York City fast food workers for pay above minimum wage, coordinated by New York Communities for Change; participants estimated at 400.
  • 2013 April 24: One-day strike by fast food workers in Chicago for a wage increase to $15/hour, coordinated by Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (website Fight For 15 / Lucha por 15); many hundreds participated.
  • 2013 May 9: One-day strike by fast food workers in St. Louis, Missouri for a wage increase to $15/hour from current $7.35, thus the name of their movement: "Can't Survive on $7.35".
  • 2013 May 10: One-day strike by fast food workers in Detroit, Michigan - organized by Detroit 15.
  • 2013 May 22: One-day strike by fast food workers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for a wage increase to $15/hour from current $7.25 - organized by Wisconsin Citizen Action - Raise Up Milwaukee.
  • 2013 Nov 7: Five hundred WalMart workers & clergy & other supporters assembled in Downtown Los Angeles to protest Wal-Mart's poverty-level wages, watched by 100 L.A.P.D. personnel in riot gear; when the parade permit time expired, police arrested 54 protestors, some of whom were kept in jail overnight.
  • 2013 Nov 26: Voters in the City of SeaTac (Seattle-Tacoma Airport) in Washington State narrowly passed a referendum raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, effective January First.
  • 2013 Thursday Dec 5: The U.S. fast-food strike for a living wage expanded, with strikers in 110 cities across the country, and support protests in 100 other cities.
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  • 2014 Feb 19: Clothing retailer Gap Inc. raised the nationwide minimum wage for its employees to $9/hour as 'a strategic investment', with a raise to $10/hour set for 2015.
  • 2014 Feb 26: United Parcel Service fired a Maspeth, New York employee that was known for being a union activist; some 250 other U.P.S. drivers walked off the job in protest, for which U.P.S. fired them all.
  • 2014 April 1: Over 300 workers of International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (I.A.M.) Local 2515 went on strike against their employer Trax International of Las Vegas, Nevada over terms of a new contract for work at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico; Trax quickly offered better terms and the employees went back to work on April 9th.
  • 2014 Nov 13: A federal grand jury in Charleston, SC handed up a four-count indictment against Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship relating to the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster of April 2010; charges included conspiracy to violate safety and health laws, conspiracy to provide advance warning of government inspections, and making false statements to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about Massey’s safety practices prior to the explosion.
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  • 2015 Feb 19: Retailer Wal-Mart, Inc. announced pay raises effective in April to at least $9 an hour for 500,000 full-time & part-time associates, more than a third of its work force at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores. By next February 1, their pay will increase to at least $10 an hour.
  • 2015 March 2: Facing pressure from labor groups, retailer Target Stores announced that it will increase the minimum pay of its workers to at least $9 an hour, joining retailers like Wal-Mart, Inc. and T.J.X. in raising their minimum hourly wage.
  • 2015 April 1: Fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp. announced that they will raise the minimum wage for employees to an average of $9.90 by July 1, "up from $9.01"; the move will cover roughly 90,000 people but does not include the 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,350 locations that are franchised: the company is unable to dictate wage hikes at franchise locations, but "it’s possible that franchisees could follow [corporate's example]".
  • 2015 May 19: The Los Angeles City Council voted to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, up from the current $9 an hour, becoming the largest American city to set such a target.
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  • 2016 April 13: 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America union walked off the job and struck Verizon and Verizon Wireless on the east coast (Massachusetts to Virginia), the largest U.S. strike since the one against Verizon in 2011; management wants employees to accept a 60% pay cut and loss of health benefits while the CEO receives a $20M per year salary.
  • 2016 May 31: Verizon announced settlement of the 40,000-member strike by the Communications Workers of America union, agreeing to 1,300 new call center jobs and an 11% pay increase over four years, but also getting health insurance concessions.


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Labor News

The labor movement in the United States isn't doing a lot lately
and-or they get meager coverage on the fascist media channels

. . . what labor news there may be can be found on
Workers Independent News radio service


Friday 23 November 2012
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union already has or is working to gain representation of workers at Wal-Mart in the U.S. Wal-Mart management kept tightening the screws – firing organizers, cutting hours per employee, holding mandatory meetings to tell employees who to vote for in local elections – so the kettle began to boil. Wildcat strikes and protests began at stores in October and November 2012, then union and non-union groups decided to stage demonstrations during the 'Black Friday' shopping frenzy on the day after Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart filed a legal complaint with the N.L.R.B. asserting illegal picketing, but the N.L.R.B.'s decision not to decide allowed the protests against Wal-Mart's vile labor practices to take place on November 23. Wal-Mart corporate downplayed the turnout, reporting that only fifty employees participated nationwide. Objective reports counted 1,000 protestors in Paramount, California - 17 identified as employees; 400 rallied at one Maryland store; 200 in bitter-cold St. Paul, Minnesota; large crowds protested in California, Oklahoma, DC Metro, and New Mexico, plus hundreds of other stores. (Broadcast media failed their duty to report the matter, most likely to protect Wal-Mart ad revenue.)

non-union 'OUR Walmart' groupunion-based 'Making Change At Wal-Mart' group

Friday 9 November 2012
The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union began a nationwide strike by 5,000 members against Hostess Brands, Inc. The hedge fund owners of Hiostess were asking union workers to take cuts in pay and healthcare and pensions, while giving themselves 80-percent pay increases. Hostess was already in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced November 16 that the company will now liquidate, a loss of 18,500 jobs.
Los Angeles Times
Thursday 11 December 2003
Business Section / California [page C-2]

Workers, Labor Leaders Rally in Los Angeles for Union Rights
       by Nancy Cleeland [L.A. Times Staff Writer]

       Led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and a host of political, religious and community leaders, more than 1,000 workers marched to Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday for a boisterous, labor-sponsored rally — one of dozens of actions staged across the country to promote the right to organize unions.
        Marchers ranged from private security guards to newspaper reporters.
        "It's very difficult to overcome people's fear," said Richard Bergendahl, a security officer at a downtown high-rise who has been trying to organize his co-workers under the Service Employees International Union. "The bosses threaten to fire you, and if you're on marginal pay, you have to take that threat seriously."
        Also joining in the noontime event were reporters for the Chinese Daily News in Monterey Park, who have been embroiled in a two-year battle to join the Communication Workers of America.
        Union leaders, who claim federal labor laws are outdated and stacked against organized labor, hoped the events would spark a national discussion about organizing rights.
        "We want to get into a real fight for the rights of American workers to freely form unions, to restore that right, which is a fundamental human right," said Stewart Acuff, organizing director for the AFL-CIO, speaking by telephone from Atlanta, where he was among 500 union members who took over the headquarters of a law firm that specializes in fighting union drives.
        Acuff said about 20,000 workers are illegally fired each year for advocating unionization, and employers rarely are penalized for it. He also said the National Labor Relations Act, which governs union elections, had not been updated to reflect current employment trends, such as outsourcing and the use of temporary agencies.


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Corporations vs. America

books on U.S. Politics & Elections Pages
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at Spirit of America Bookstore

Labor Movement Film Festival at Spirit of America Bookstore

                                   

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