Monday, May 16, 2011

Today in Labor History—May 16

May 16, 1717 – Voltaire was imprisoned in the Bastille for writing subversive satire. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 16, 1848 – An unsuccessful communist coup was attempted, Paris. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 16, 1871 – The Paris Commune destroyed the Vendôme Column ("monument de barbarie"). (From the Daily Bleed)

May 16, 1898 - 1,600 woodworkers in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, went on strike at seven sash and door manufacturers for better pay and union recognition. (From Workday Minnesota)

May 16, 1912 – Studs Terkel was born, New York City. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 16, 1918 – Congress passed the Sedition Act against radicals, leading to the arrest, imprisonment, execution and deportation of dozens of unionists, anarchists and communists. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 16, 1934 – Teamsters initiated a General Strike for union recognition in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 16, 1938 - The U.S. Supreme Court issued the Mackay decision permitting employers to permanently replace striking workers. In a classic case of double speak, the court said that management could not fire strikers, but could "permanently replace" them. One of the most recent and well-known examples of this occurred when Reagan crushed the air traffic controllers’ strike. The U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that allows bosses to fire (er, replace) striking workers. (From Workday Minnesota)

May 16, 1943 –The Warsaw ghetto resistance was finally crushed by the Nazis. 56,000 died in the process. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 16, 1979 –A. Philip Randolph died. Randolph was an African American labor leader, peace activist, and president and founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 16, 2007 – Baristas at the Starbucks in East Grand Rapids announced their membership in the IWW Starbucks Workers Union. Starbucks, notorious for poor treatment of workers, followed with numerous anti-labor violations and was forced by the NLRB to settle Grand Rapids union worker complaints in October. (From the Daily Bleed)

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