News

This week in Labor History - January 1

Emancipation Proclamation signed - 1863

Women weavers form union, Fall River, Mass. - 1875
 
John L. Lewis is elected president of the United Mine Workers. Fifteen years later he is to be a leader in the formation of what was to become the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) - 1920
 
With the Great Depression in full force, the year 1932 opens with 14 million unemployed, national income down by 50 percent, breadlines that include former shopkeepers, businessmen and middle-class housewives. Charity is overwhelmed: only one-quarter of America’s unemployed are receiving any help at all - 1932
 
Workers begin to acquire credits toward Social Security pension benefits. Employers and employees became subject to a tax of one percent of wages on up to $3,000 a year - 1937
 

Adolph  Strasser, head of the Cigar Maker’s Union and one of the founders of the AFL in 1886, died on this day in Forest Park, Ill. - 1939
 
Members of the Transport Workers Union and Amalgamated Transit Union working for the New York transit system begin what is to be a successful 12-day strike. Fiery TWU leader Mike Quill, jailed for several days during the strike, then hospitalized, died three days after his release from the hospital - 1966
 
The federal minimum wage rises to $2.65 an hour - 1978
 
Int’l Typographical Union, the nation’s oldest union, merges with Communications Workers of America - 1987
 
United Furniture Workers of America merges with Int’l Union of Electronic, Electrical, Technical, Salaried & Machine Workers to become Int’l Union of Electronic, Electrical, Salaried, Machine & Furniture Workers, now a division of CWA - 1987
 
National Association of Broadcast Employees & Technicians merges with Communications Workers of America - 1994
 
Int’l Union of Allied & Industrial Workers of America merges with United Paperworkers Int’l. Later merged into the Steelworkers - 1994
 
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) takes effect, despite objections by labor - 1994
 
Bakery, Confectionery & Tobacco Workers Int’l Union merges with American Federation of Grain Millers to form Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers & Grain Millers Int’l Union - 1999