December 15
AFL convention passes a 1¢ per capita assessment to aid the organization of women workers (Exact date uncertain) - 1913

2014.12.15history-amazon.armyThe Kansas National Guard is called out to subdue from 2,000 to 6,000 protesting women who were going from mine to mine attacking non-striking miners in the Pittsburgh coal fields. The women made headlines across the state and the nation: they were christened the "Amazon Army" by the New York Times - 1921

Eight days after the attack by Japan on Pearl Harbor, the AFL pledges that there will be no strikes in defense-related plants for the duration of World War II - 1941

Meeting in its biennial convention, the AFL-CIO declares “unstinting support” for “measures the Administration might deem necessary to halt Communist aggression and secure a just and lasting peace” in Vietnam - 1967

The U.S. Age Discrimination in Employment Act becomes law. It bars employment discrimination against anyone aged 40 or older - 19672014.12.15history-fed.emp.laws
(The Essential Guide To Federal Employment Laws, 4th edition: This is a well-indexed book, updated in 2013, offering the full text of 20 federal laws affecting workers’ lives, along with plain-English explanations of each. An entire chapter is devoted to each law, explaining what is allowed and prohibited and what businesses must comply.)

California's longest nurses’ strike ended after workers at Doctors Medical Center in San Pablo and Pinole approved a new contract with Tenet Healthcare Corp., ending a 13-month walkout - 2003

Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers union organizer Clinton Jencks, who led New Mexico zinc miners in the strike depicted in the classic 1954 movie Salt of the Earth, dies of natural causes in San Diego at age 87 - 2005

December 16
The National Civic Federation is formed by business and labor leaders, most prominently AFL president Sam Gompers, as a vehicle to resolve conflicts between management and labor. Not all unionists agreed with the alliance. The group turned increasingly conservative and labor withdrew after Gompers’ 1924 death - 1900

2014.12.15history-majesticNew York City’s Majestic Theater becomes first in the U.S. to employ women ushers - 1902

The Bagel Bakers of America union is continuing a work slowdown at 32 of New York’s 34 bagel bakeries in a dispute over health and welfare fund payments and workplace sanitation, the New York Times reports. Coincidentally—or not—lox sales were down 30 percent to 50 percent as well. The effect on the cream cheese market was not reported - 1951

Four railway unions merge to become the United Transportation Union: Trainmen, Firemen & Enginemen, Switchmen, and Conductors and Brakemen - 1968

Eight female bank tellers in Willmar, Minn., begin the first strike against a bank in U.S. history. At issue: they were paid little more than half what male tellers were paid. The strike ended in moral victory but economic defeat two years later - 1977
(United Apart: Gender and the Rise of Craft Unionism: At the turn of the twentieth century, American 2014.12.15history-united.apartfactory workers were often segregated by sex—males did heavier, dirtier, and better paid, work while women might be employed in a separate area performing related, lighter work. Men might cut bolts of fabric, for example, while women stitched cuffs onto sleeves. How this division of labor played out when an occupational group comprised of one sex went on strike is the subject of this book.)

December 17
Int’l Union of Aluminum, Brick & Glass Workers merges with United Steelworkers of America - 1996

December 18
General Motors announces it is closing 21 North American plants over the following four years and slashing tens of thousands of jobs - 1991

December 19
An explosion in the Darr Mine in Westmoreland Co., Pa., kills 239 coal miners. Seventy-one of the dead share a common grave in Olive Branch Cemetery. December 1907 was the worst month in U.S. coal mining history, with more than 3,000 dead - 1907

2014.12.15history-greyhound-strikeA 47-day strike at Greyhound Bus Lines ends with members of the Amalgamated Transit Union accepting a new contract containing deep cuts in wages and benefits. Striker Ray Phillips died during the strike, run over on a picket line by a scab Greyhound trainee - 1983

Twenty-six men and one woman are killed in the Wilberg Coal Mine Disaster near Orangeville, Utah. The disaster has been termed the worst coal mine fire in the state’s history. Federal mine safety officials issued 34 safety citations after the disaster but had inspected the mine only days before and declared it safe - 1984
(Inventory of American Labor Landmarks: This attractive booklet offers a 2014.12.15history-landmarksnice selection from the Labor Heritage Foundation’s comprehensive, ongoing inventory of labor landmarks across the country. Nearly 200 monuments, plaques and other markers are described here, from 33 states and the District of Columbia, accompanied by historical summaries and, often, by photographs.)

December 20
Delegates to the AFL convention in Salt Lake City endorse a constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote - 1899

2014.12.15history-filipino.sugar.workersThe first group of 15 Filipino plantation workers recruited by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters Association arrive in Hawaii. By 1932 more than 100,000 Filipinos will be working in the fields - 1906

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) takes effect today - 1970

Thousands of workers began what was to be a 2-day strike of the New York City transit system over retirement, pension and wage issues. The strike violated the state’s Taylor Law; TWU Local 100 President Roger Toussaint was jailed for ten days and the union was fined $2.5 million - 2005

December 21
Powered by children seven to 12 years old working dawn to dusk, Samuel Slater’s thread-spinning factory goes into production in Pawtucket, R.I., launching the Industrial Revolution in America. By 1830, 55 percent of the mill workers in the state were youngsters, many working for less than $1 per week - 1790

Supreme Court rules that picketing is unconstitutional. Chief Justice (and former president) William Howard Taft declared that picketing was, in part, "an unlawful annoyance and hurtful nuisance..." - 1921