Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Today in Labor History-February 1

February 1, 1864 – The Collar Laundry Union formed in Troy, New York. Led by Kate Mullaney, a National Labor Union activist, the union increased wages for laundresses from $2 to $14 per week. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 1, 1867 – Bricklayers started working 8-hour days. (From the
Daily Bleed)

Photograph from the San Diego History Center (San Diego Indy Media Center)
February 1, 1912 –IWW free speech fight in San Diego, California was in full swing.  On January 8, a city ordinance was passed preventing public speaking in and around “soapbox row.” It was designed to squelch labor and radical organizing. In addition to the Wobblies, anarchists, socialists and liberals joined the months-long struggle, deliberately violating the ordinance by speaking in the restricted zone so that the jails would be overflowing with civil disobedients. At one point in the struggle, Emma Goldman was forcibly deported from San Diego, and her companion Ben Reitman was tarred, feathered and raped with a broom by vigilantes. (From the Daily Bleed and Wikipedia)

From the July 11, 1912 edition of the IWW's Little Red Songbook, the first stanza of "We're Bound For San Diego":
In that town called San Diego when the workers try to talk,
The cops will smash them with a sap and tell them "take a walk",
They throw them in a bull pen and they feed them rotten beans,
And they call that "law and order" in that city, so it seems.

Strike leaders Patrick L. Quinlan, Carlo Tresca, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Adolph Lessig, and Bill Haywood.
February 1, 1913The IWW Patterson silk workers' strike began on this date.

February 1, 1929 – Timber workers went on strike over an increased work week from 44 hours to 48. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 1, 1960 – Sit-ins began when 4 black college students in Greensboro, North Carolina refused to move from a Woolworth lunch counter when denied service. By September 1961 more than 70,000 students, whites & blacks, had participated in sit-ins. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 1, 1991 --380 workers involved in a Moroccan General Strike were sentenced to up to 15 years. (From the Daily Bleed)

February 1, 1996 – 1 million Russian and Ukrainian coalminers went on strike for back wages. (From the Daily Bleed)

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