Thursday, April 11, 2013

Today in Labor History: April 11

Luddites Smashing Looms (from Cotton Times)
April 11, 1812 – 300 Luddites attacked Wroe & Duncliffs Mfg., in Rawfords Hill, England, to destroy the machinery that was replacing them and throwing them out of work. Wroe & Duncliffs Mfg. was set ablaze, while Wm Cartwright's mill in Liversedge was attacked by mobs. (From The Daily Bleed)

April 11, 1934 - Frank Norman, who had the gall to organize all citrus workers, regardless of their race, was kidnapped from his home in Florida and murdered by the Ku Klux Klan.

April 11, 1938 – Richard Whitney, the five-term president of the New York Stock Exchange, was sentenced to 5-10 years for grand larceny. (From The Daily Bleed)

April 11, 1941 - The Ford Motor Company signed its first contract with the United Auto Workers. (From the Unionist)

April 11, 1947 - Jackie Robinson played his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first black baseball player to play in the major leagues. (From the Unionist)
April 11, 1968 – the Civil Rights Act of 1968 was signed into law barring racial discrimination in housing & other areas. The Act also made it a crime to cross state lines with the intent to incite a riot, giving the government a new tool to prosecute labor and other protest organizers. (From The Daily Bleed)

April 11, 1974 - United Mine Workers President W. A. "Tony" Boyle was found guilty of first-degree murder for ordering the 1969 assassination of union reformer Joseph A. "Jock" Yablonski.  (From the Unionist)

April 11, 1980 – Eleven-day strike by 34,000 New York City Transit Authority workers for higher wages ended with management agreeing to a 9% raise in the 1st year and 8% in the 2nd. During this same year, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission prohibited sexual harassment of workers by supervisors in the workplace. (From the Unionist)

April 11, 1986 – 17 were arrested on felony riot charges after police tear-gas striking Hormel meatpacking workers in Austin, Minn. The following day, 6,000 people demonstrated against Hormel and the police (nearly one-third of the city’s entire population). The strike was eventually suppressed by Hormel, with the collaboration of the state, and the workers’ own union. (From The Daily Bleed and the Unionist)

April 11, 1997 - 25,000 people marched in Watsonville, CA in support of the United Farm Workers organizing campaign for strawberry workers. (From the Unionist)

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