September 15
Some 5,000 female cotton workers in and around Pittsburgh, Pa., strike for a 10-hour day. The next day, male trade unionists become the first male auxiliary when they gather to protect the women from police attacks. The strike ultimately2014.09.15history-auto.workers.strike failed - 1845
 
President Kennedy signs off on a $900 million public-works bill for projects in economically depressed areas - 1962
 
More than 350,000 members of the United Auto Workers begin what is to become a 69-day strike against General Motors - 1970
 
Int’l Association of Siderographers merges with Int’l Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers - 1992
 
September 16
More than 43,000 oil workers strike in 20 states, part of the post-war strike wave - 1945
 
A player lockout by the National Hockey League begins, leading to cancellation of what would have been the league’s 88th season. The lockout, over owner demands that salaries be capped, lasted 310 days - 2004

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee wins a signed contract with the Mount Olive Pickle Co. and growers, ending a 5-year boycott.  The agreement marked the first time an American labor union represented guest workers - 2004
2014.09.15history-posters.bookcover(Posters about farmworker boycotts and organizing campaigns are intermingled with other great images in Agitate! Educate! Organize! American Labor Posters Lincoln Cushing and Timothy W. Drescher share their vast knowledge about the rich graphic tradition of labor posters. Here you will find lavish full-color reproductions of more than 250 of the best posters that have emerged from the American labor movement on topics ranging from core issues such as wages and working conditions to discrimination to international solidarity.)
 
Richard Trumka is elected president of the AFL-CIO at the federation’s convention in Pittsburgh.  He had served as the secretary-treasurer under predecessor John Sweeney from 1995 to 2009, and prior to that was president of the United Mine Workers for 13 years - 2009
 
September 17
Seventy-five workers die in explosion at Allegheny Arsenal, Pittsburgh, Pa. - 1862
 
At a New York convention of the National Labor Congress, Susan B. Anthony calls for the formation of a Working Women's Association. As a delegate to the Congress, she persuaded the committee on female labor to call for votes for women and equal pay for equal work. But male delegates deleted the reference to the vote - 1868
 2014.09.15history-pa.coal.miners
One hundred thousand Pennsylvania anthracite coal miners go on strike. Their average annual wage is $250. They are paid by the ton, defined by Pennsylvania as 2,400 pounds, but which mine operators have increased to as much as 4,000 pounds - 1900
 
National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) formed at a convention in Washington, D.C. In 1999 it became part of the Int’l Association of Machinists (IAM) - 1917
 
Some Depression-era weekly paychecks around the New York area: physician, $55.32; engineer, $40.68; clerk, $22.15; salesman, $25.02; laborer, $20; typist, $15.09 - 1933
 
Southern employers meeting in Greenville, N.C., ready their big counter-offensive to break the textile labor strikes that have hit the Eastern seaboard. Ultimately they deploy 10,000 national guardsmen and 15,000 deputies, but fail to drive hundreds of thousands of strikers back to work - 1934
2014.09.15history-lyddie.bookcover(Lyddie: In this book written for young readers, Lyddie Worthen is a 13-year-old farm girl who takes a job in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, when hard times hit her family. Six days a week from dawn to dusk she and the other girls run weaving looms in the murky dust-and lint-filled factory. Lyddie learns to read—and to handle the menacing overseer.)
 
A Southern Pacific train loaded with sugar beets strikes a makeshift bus filled with 60 migrant workers near Salinas, Calif., killing 32. The driver said the bus was so crowded he couldn't see the train coming - 1963
 
A total of 98 United Mine Workers of America members and a minister occupy the Pittston Coal Company's Moss 3 preparation plant in Carbon, Va., beginning a year-long strike. Among other issues: management demands for drastic limitations in health and pension benefits for retired and disabled miners and their dependents and beneficiaries - 1989

The Occupy Wall Street movement is launched with an anti-Wall Street march and demonstration that ended up as a 2-month 2014.09.15history-anti.wall.street.marchencampment in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. The event led to protests and movements around the world, with their focus on economic inequality, corruption, greed and the influence on government of monied interests. Their slogan: “We are the 99%.” - 2011

September 18
The Teamsters for a Democratic Union (TDU) is formally founded at an Ohio convention, during a period of serious corruption in the union. Two years earlier at an IBT convention in Las Vegas, a union reform leader who (unsuccessfully) called for direct election of officers and a limit on officers’ salaries had been beaten by thugs - 1978

Nine strikebreakers are killed in an explosion at Giant (gold) Mine near Yellowknife, in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Miner Roger Warren confessed that he planted the explosives that caused the deaths. He recanted the confession but later confessed once again - 1992

A 20-month illegal lockout of 2,900 Steelworkers members at Kaiser Aluminum plants in three states ends when an arbitrator orders a new contract. Kaiser was forced to fire scabs and fork over tens of millions of dollars in back pay to union members - 1999

2014.09.15history-usps-morris-curseenOne week after the September 11, 2001, attacks, anthrax spores are mailed by an unknown party to several news media offices and two U.S. senators. Five people exposed to the spores died, including two workers at Washington, D.C.’s USPS Brentwood facility: Thomas Morris Jr. and Joseph Curseen, who were to die of their exposure within the month – 2001
    
September 19
Chinese coal miners forced out of Black Diamond, Wash. - 1885

Between 400,000 and 500,000 unionists converge on Washington D.C., for a Solidarity Day march and rally protesting Republican policies – 1981

Musician and labor educator Joe Glazer, often referred to as “Labor’s Troubadour,” died today at age 88.  Some of his more acclaimed songs include "The Mill Was Made of Marble," "Too Old to Work" and "Automaton." In 1979 he and labor folklorist Archie Green convened a meeting of 14 other labor musicians to begin what was to become the annual Great Labor Arts Exchange and, soon thereafter, the Labor Heritage Foundation - 2006

September 20
Upton Sinclair, socialist and author of The Jungle—published on this day in 1906—born in Baltimore, Md. - 1878

According to folklorist John Garst, steel-drivin’ man John Henry, born a slave, outperformed a steam hammer on this date at the Coosa Mountain Tunnel or the Oak Mountain Tunnel of the Columbus and Western Railway (now part of the Norfolk Southern) near Leeds, Ala. Other researchers place the contest near Talcott, W. Va. - 1887

Int’l Hod Carriers, Building & Common Laborers Union of America changes name to Laborers' Int’l Union - 1965

September 21
Militia sent to Leadville, Colo., to break miners’ strike - 1896

Mother Jones leads a march of miners' children through the streets of Charleston, W. Va. - 19122014.09.15history-maspeaks.bookcover
(Mother Jones Speaks: Speeches and Writings: You can read here the actual speech Jones made on this day in 1912 to striking coal miners in Charleston, WV:  “…this crime, starvation and murder of the innocents, so they can fill the operators’ pockets, and build dog kennels for the workers.  Is it right?” Admirers of Mother Jones will want this comprehensive collection of her speeches, letters, articles, interviews and testimony before Congressional committees. In her own words, this brave and determined heroine, active from the end of the Civil War until shortly before her death in 1930, explains her life, her mission, her passion on behalf of working people.)

National Football League Players Association members begin what is to become a 57-day strike, their first regular-season walkout ever - 1982  

Members of five unions at the Frontier Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas begin what was to become the longest successful hotel strike in U.S. history. All 550 workers honored the picket line for the entirety of the 6-year, 4-month, 10-day fight against management’s insistence on cutting wages and eliminating pensions - 1991