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Today in Labour History

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posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 06:03 AM
Today in labour history, Oct 24...

"1892 -- US: Strike of teamsters, salesmen & packers in New Orleans, Louisiana begins. City trade is paralyzed & within a week leads to a General Strike in support of the demand for a 10-hour work day. Includes blacks & whites working together. On 8 November 30,000 workers walk out, demanding union recognition, closed shops & hour & wage gains. Joined by non-industrial laborers, such as musicians, clothing workers, clerks, utility workers, streetcar drivers & printers. Skilled & unskilled, white & black cooperate." From the book Strike! page 65, Brecher.

Notice working class blacks and whites working together in the South in the 1800's. I would think that would surprise most people? Working class solidarity was strong the world over, and the socialist movement included all workers no matter their racial origins. We're not taught too much in the state institutions about the working class labour movement, only about those who were exploiting them.

The ten hour work day movement in the US started in 1844 with mill workers signing a petition. In Europe many people, such as Robert Owen, had called for a reduction in working hours to 10 as early as 1810. Many didn't sign for fear of being fired and blacklisted. The petition was sent to the government with no success.

The Louisiana strike lasted 48 hours when a settlement was made and a ten hour day agreed on, plus overtime pay. The Board of Trade was not happy with the strike and it's outcome, and set about destroying the unions by accusing them of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. The court case lasted over seven years and was finally dropped.

Before the ten hour day 14 or more, with no overtime, was the norm. Almost as soon as the ten hour day was won they set about demanding the eight hour day, 40 hour week, which btw is where May Day (international workers day) came from.

Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers' Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don't realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as "American" as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility....

The Brief Origins of May Day

One thing they started doing after this, to weaken working class solidarity, was to bring in immigrants, because they were less likely to make a fuss about working conditions and pay etc. So if you ever wonder why so many immigrants. In fact my landlord does the exact same thing, because he knows they won't complain about there being no heat etc. (I have so much on my landlord that could send him to jail, so he hasn't raised my rent in years! Gotta do what ya gotta do)

Just a little working class history. The people who get forgotten, but did more for you than any of the people taught in our history classes in school. When you support the right wing establishment you disrespect what your ancestors did for you. If it wasn't for the left-wing socialist workers movements you'd still be working 10 to 16 hours a day with no overtime, no weekends, no holidays, no work safety, very little pay etc. If you want an idea of what that's like just look at the Apple factory in China. How ironic that America has more of a socialist history than so called "communist" China?

edit on 10/24/2012 by ANOK because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 06:59 AM
Mmmmm. interesting. i did not know this,thank you!
ha! i'm unemployed,and i wish i could get 8 hours of work a day!
this reminds me of the word sabotage,where the dutch workers being fed up with poor working conditions,
threw their wooden shoes (sabo) into the cogs of the machines in defiance of their bosses!

posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 06:57 PM
reply to post by reficul

Thanx for the reply.

A lot of people have little knowledge, and apparently little interest, in their own history.

History puts today in context. Nothing has really changed. Workers are still trying to better their position in the capitalist economic system that exploits them.

DETROIT -- A group of current and former Chrysler LLC workers who have long sought to have employees buy the auto maker are appealing to the Obama administration's auto task force in a longshot bid to win support for the idea...

Chrysler Workers Urge Obama to Support Ownership Push

Worker ownership is what the labour struggle is really all about. Worker ownership is the only fair way to solve our economic problems.

It may not be the revolution’s dawn, but it’s certainly a glint in the darkness. On Monday, this country’s largest industrial labor union teamed up with the world’s largest worker-cooperative to present a plan that would put people to work in labor-driven enterprises that build worker power and communities, too...

Worker Ownership For the 21st Century?

I wish people would support this, as it is only way our economy can be stabilised and be for the benefit of us all, rather than the few lucky owners of property.

posted on Nov, 11 2012 @ 01:18 PM
This is the kind of history that a lot of Americans hate to face up to these days. It was not `shut up and work` which has give Americans all the labor rights they enjoy today and consider as expected and normal. It was hard working people who refused to work under conditions which reduced their life to that of a paid slave.

Here in Japan labor rights are a never ending struggle it seems. Actually, Japan has some of the best labor rights in the world, but the problem is that the huge bureaucracy has become so corrupt that Unions have to fight tooth and nail for anything. Companies in Japan get away with so many violations that one would think there are no labor laws in Japan. People get owned in Japan big time.

They even have something called a corp. Union. It is a Union created and maintained by the company itself! I know that sounds insane but that is exactly what a lot of companies in Japan do in order to prevent a real worker`s Union from forming in their companies. In recent years, the worker Unions are making a comeback and more and more workers are signing up. General Unions are popular here because it allows any worker from any type of job to join.

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