Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Today in Labor History—May 7

Cops Escort Scab Street Car (From SF Public Library, via FoundSF)
May 7, 1907 – Bloody Tuesday occurred in San Francisco. The Street Carmen were among the most militant workers in San Francisco, a city that had one of the most organized and militant labor movements in the country in those days. The mayor, Eugene Schmitz, and two city supervisors were from the Union Labor Party. San Francisco workers, particularly the Carmen’s union, had struck in five of the six years from 1902 to 1907. Capitalists were starting to get sick of the power of the San Francisco unions and wanted to put a stop to them once and for all. Led by Rudolph Spreckels (the sugar magnate), they hired the Burns Detective agency and started by exposing Schmitz’ corruption as well as that of the Board of Supervisors. The corruption scandals dealt a serious blow to the unions’ political power, as their allies were up to their necks in legal troubles.  The violence occurred when strike breakers tried to run the streetcars, resulting in an exchange of gunfire between union carmen and scabs. (From the Daily Bleed and Death of a Union)

May 7, 1912 - The Hotel Workers Industrial Union struck New York City’s finest hotels and restaurants, including the Waldorf and Astoria hotels and the Plaza. (From Workday Minnesota)

May 7, 1965 – “Bloody Sunday" occurred in Selma, Alabama, with state troopers attacking civil rights marchers. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 7, 1975 – The Vietnam War officially ends. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 7, 1977 – The longest transit strike in Philadelphia's history, 44 days, ended on this day. (From the Daily Bleed)

May 7, 1985 – The city of Philadelphia bombed the house of the radical black group MOVE, killing 11 & destroying 62 others homes in neighborhood. Surviving MOVE members are still in prison. (From the Daily Bleed)

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