Friday, December 28, 2012

Today in Labor History—December 28



Terence Powderly, Grand Master of Knights of Labor, 1890
December 28, 1869 - The Knights of Labor (KOL) was founded on this date. Though the leadership often denounced socialists and anarchists, the KOL attracted and spawned many, including Daniel DeLeon, who would go on to later cofound the IWW and the Socialist Labor Party, as well as two of the Haymarket martyrs. The KOL also denounced strikes, yet, like its more radical cousin, the IWW, it called for the abolition of the wage system and fought to organize all workers into one big union, including women and immigrants. And, like the IWW, one of the KOL’s slogans was, “An Injury to One is the Concern of All.” The KOL was one of the main organizations behind the Great Upheavaland one of the first labor organization not only to take on the Robber Barons, but to defeat them (if only temporarily). (From Workday Minnesota, the Daily Bleed, and the Lucy Parsons Project).
Flint Sit-Down Strike
 December 28, 1936 - The great sit-down strike against General Motors in Flint, Michigan, was preceded by two days when workers at the Fisher Body plant in Cleveland engaged in a sit-down strike. (From Workday Minnesota)

December 28, 1944 – 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the Army to seize the executive offices of Montgomery Ward and Company after the patriotic corporation failed to comply with a National War Labor Board directive regarding union shops.  (From the Daily Bleed)

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