Friday, December 9, 2011

Today in Labor History—December 9

Kropotkin, c1900 (from Wikipedia, public domain)
December 9, 1842 – Prince Peter Kropotkin, geographer and anarchist communist, was born on this date in Moscow. (From the Daily Bleed)

December 9, 1869 – The Knights of Labor was founded on this date in Philadelphia as a secret society open to all members of the producing classes except "parasites" like stockbrokers, gamblers and lawyers. The Knights were one of the most important labor organizations of the late 1800s, reaching a membership of 700,000 by 1886. While other unions were fighting for a 10-hour work day, the Knights were demanding a 8-hour day, as well as an end to child and convict labor. They were also one of the earliest labor organizations to accept blacks and women. Yet they supported the Chinese Exclusion Act and participated in anti-Chinese riots. (From the Daily Bleed and Wikipedia)

December 9, 1953 – General Electric announced that it would fire all Communist employees.

December 9, 1990 - Lech Walesa, leader of the Solidarity trade union, was elected president of Poland, demonstrating that even a labor agitator can become a member of the ruling elite, so long as he promotes free market capitalism. (It doesn’t hurt if he is also a rabid anti-communist, anti-abortionist, homophobic nationalist).

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