MLK delivered his "I have a dream" speech in D.C. and is endorsed by many affiliate unions. The National Association of Letter Carriers unanimously agrees on a new resolution. Between 1880 and 2003 we also witness historic victories for dancers, flight attendants, miners, and craft workers. Have you checked in with your Union lately? If you are seeking advice or inspiration subscribe to our Steward Update for monthly empowerment.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom—the Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have A Dream" speech march-is held in Washington, D.C., with 250,000 participating. AFL-CIO didn't endorse the march, but several affiliated unions did.
( Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington: written for 5-8 year olds, is a very nice introduction to Martin Luther King Jr., and the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, that watershed event in the fight for civil rights. It uses the March as a point of reference as it talks about segregeation in America and the battle for equal rights.)
Dancers at San Francisco’s Lusty Lady Club vote 57-15 to be represented by SEIU Local 790. Their first union contract, ratified eight months later, guaranteed work shifts, protection against arbitrary discipline and termination, automatic hourly wage increases, sick days, a grievance procedure, and removal of one-way mirrors from peep show booths.
OSHA publishes scaffold safety standard, designed to protect 2.3 million
construction workers and prevent 50 deaths and 4,500 injuries annually
John Reed forms the Communist Labor Party in Chicago. The Party’s motto:
"Workers of the world, unite!"
Some 10,000 striking miners began a fight at Blair Mountain, W.Va., for recognition of their union, the United Mine Workers of America. Federal troops were sent in and miners were forced to withdraw five days later, after 16 deaths.
The Int’l Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers is founded at a meeting in Chicago, the product of two separate brotherhoods created over the previous 13 years.
Congress declares Labor Day a National Holiday!
(From the Folks Who Brough You The Weekend is a sweeping, highly readable history of U.S. Labor that will be welcomed by anyone interested in learning more about the struggle of American working people to better their lives through collective action.)
In Hawaii, some 26,000 sugar workers represented by the Longshoremen’s union begin what is to become a successful 79-day strike that shuts down 33 of the 34 sugar plantations on the islands. The strike brought an end to Hawaii's paternalistic labor relations and impacted political and social institutions throughout the then-territory.
The federal minimum wage is increased to $5.15 per hour
White and Chinese immigrants battle in Rock Springs, Wyo., fueled by racial tensions and the practice of Union Pacific Railroad of hiring lower-paid Chinese over Whites. At least 25 Chinese died and 15 more were injured. Rioters burned 75 Chinese homes.
Operating railway employees win 8-hour day
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was signed by President Ford, regulating and insuring pensions and other benefits, and increasing protections for workers
(Retire Happy: What to do NOW to guarantee a happy retirement) Everyone who works for a living thinks at some point about retirement, but few actually consider what that really means, other than escaping the daily grind. For sure, most of us worry about having enough money, and this highly readable book provides a lot of information and advice on the subject: how much we’ll need, how to make the most of what we’ve accumulated, how to accumulate more (even as we get close to retirement) and how to make it last. For that advice alone, Retire Happy is worth the price.