Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Today in Labor History—July 12

July 12, 1810 – Members of the shoemakers' union went on trial in New York City for striking to win a raise. They were fined $1 each.

Oscar Neebe
July 12, 1850 – Oscar W. Neebe (1850-1916), founder of the Beer Wagon Drivers Union (later the power Teamsters Union) was born. Neebe was also one of the Haymarket martyrs, executed for his “role” in the Haymarket bombing, despite the fact that he was not in Haymarket Square at the time.


July 12, 1878 – A yellow fever epidemic began in New Orleans, leading to the deaths of 4,500 people.

July 12, 1892 – The state militia moved in to break a 12-day strike against Carnegie Steel in Homestead, Pennsylvania. The guardsmen were there primarily to protect scabs and remained in Homestead until October. Pinkerton detectives killed seven workers. Strikers were protesting wage cuts of 18-26%, suffer seven deaths in attacks on them by Pinkerton ("Pinks") detectives. Alexander Berkman, anarchist friend of Emma Goldman, tried to kill Henry Clay Frick, chairman of the board at Carnegie, on July 23, in an attentat (propaganda by the deed), an action many anarchists of the day believed would inspire the working class to rise up in revolt against the ruling class.
Burning Barges, Homestead
 July 12, 1917Today was the final day of the vigilante deportation of striking mine workers at Bisbee, Arizona. On July 11, authorities sealed off the county and seized the local Western Union telegraph office to cut off outside communication, while several thousand armed vigilantes rounded up 1,186 members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The workers were herded into manure-laden boxcars and dumped in the New Mexico desert. During the Bisbee mine strike, company-hired vigilantes attempted to kidnap and deport Jim Brew, a miner and IWW member. However, Brew fought back and was shot and killed. Brew was a veteran of the West Virginia Cripple Creek strike of 1903-04.

July 12, 1933 – Congress passed first minimum wage law (40 cents per hour).
(All from the Daily Bleed)

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