Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today in Labor History—November 8

November 8, 1892 – 20,000 black & white workers launched a General Strike in New Orleans. In the wake of the streetcar drivers labor victory earlier in the year, in which they won a closed shop and shorter workday, a massive organizing campaign led to the creation of dozens of new unions and greater demands from the city’s workers. On October 24, several thousand members of the Triple Alliance (teamsters, scalesmen and packers) struck for overtime pay and the 10-hour day. Many members of the Alliance were African American. The bosses used race-baiting to try and divide the workers, but failed. Members of other unions started to join in solidarity, leading to a General Strike on November 8. The strike successfully bled the banks of half their pre-strike holdings. Finally the bosses agreed to sit down with both black and white union leaders and agreed to the 10-hour day and overtime pay, but not a universal closed union shop. (From Wikipedia and the Daily Bleed)
Dorothy Day, 1934, Public Domain
November 8, 1897 - Catholic worker cofounder and leader Dorothy Day was born on this date. The Catholic Worker movement was found in 1933, along with Peter Maurin, combining a spiritual vision of social justice with trade unionism and other activism. Day was considered an anarchist by many anarchists. Catholic Worker houses still exist throughout the country, providing hospice care, housing for activists, and support for various movements. (From Workday Minnesota)

November 8, 1968 – Students at San Francisco State College went on strike, leading to what would become the long student strike in U.S. history. The strike was led by the Black Student Union and a coalition of other student groups known as the Third World Liberation Front. The strike actually began on November 6, 1968 and lasted until March 20, 1969. Throughout the strike, activists were violently attacked by the San Francisco Police. The activists were demanding equal access to public higher education, more senior faculty of color and a new curriculum that would embrace the history and culture of all people including ethnic minorities. One of their victories was the creation of the College of Ethnic Studies in 1969, inspiring similar programs at hundreds of other universities. (From
SF State News and the Daily Bleed)

November 8, 1972 – The “Trail of Broken Treaties” marchers occupied the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Washington, DC.
(From the Daily Bleed)

November 8, 1984
– The Stainforth (England) police station was attacked by striking miners.

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