Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Today in Labor History—March 6


Dred Scott (image from Wikipedia)
March 6, 1857 – The Dred Scott decision by the U.S. Supreme Court opened up federal territories to slavery and denied citizenship to blacks. (From the Daily Bleed)
1932 Version of the Little Red Songbook (from Wikipedia)

March 6, 1913 – Joe Hill's song "There is Power in a Union" first appeared in the IWW's Little Red Song Book. (From the Daily Bleed)

March 6, 1925 –Cape Breton, Canada, mine workers struck the British Empire Steel Corporation (BESCO). (From the Daily Bleed)

March 6, 1930 – 100,000 people demonstrated for jobs in New York City. Demonstrations by unemployed workers demanding unemployment insurance were occurring in virtually every major U.S. city. In New York, police attacked a crowd of 35,000. In Cleveland, 10,000 people battled police. In Detroit, a Communist Party organized unemployment demonstration brought out more than 50,000. Thousands took to the streets in Toledo, Flint and Pontiac. These demonstrations led to the creation of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), sponsored by Republican congressman Hamilton Fish, with the support of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), to investigate and quash radical activities. (From the Daily Bleed)

March 6, 1930 – A National Trade-Union Unity League council in Madison, Wisconsin, marching around Capitol Square, was attacked by UW students. Council leader Lottie Blumenthal was thrown to the ground, while students attacked other marchers and destroyed their banners and pamphlets. One of the athletes who was arrested said: "We are getting so damned many radical Jews here that something must be done." (From the Daily Bleed)

March 6, 1930 – Police killed four workers in Detroit who were demanding jobs. (From the Daily Bleed)

March 6, 1942 – Tom Mooney died on this date. Mooney was an Irish-American IWW organizer and 22-year political prisoner, locked up on trumped up charges for the San Francisco Preparedness Day bombing in 1916. (From the Daily Bleed. For more on Mooney, see here, here and here).

March 6, 1972 – A Wildcat strike occurred at the Lordstown, Ohio GM plant. (From the Daily Bleed)

March 6, 1978 - President Jimmy Carter invoked the Taft-Hartley law to quash the 1977-78 national contract strike by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA). The UMWA had been striking since December 1977, but rejected a tentative contract agreement in early March 1978. Carter invoked the national emergency provision of Taft-Hartley and strikers were ordered back to work, but they ignored the order and the government did little to enforce it. Eventually a settlement was reached and ratified in late March. (From Workday Minnesota)

March 6, 1984 – A year-long coal strike began on this date in England. (From the Daily Bleed)

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