Iowa Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO

01/15/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 01/15/2020 09:56

Labor History

Today's Labor Quote: 'Solidarity Forever'

When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run,
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun;
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one,
But the union makes us strong.

Wobblie Ralph Chaplin was in Chicago on this date in 1915 for a demonstration against hunger when he completed the writing of the labor anthem 'Solidarity Forever.' He'd begun writing it in 1914 during a miner's strike in Huntington, WV.
Video: Labor Heritage Foundation Executive Director - and DC Labor Chorus Director - Elise Bryant sings 'Solidarity Forever' at the Women's Fair Practices Luncheon at the 2015 AFGE Grassroots and Mobilizations Legislative Conference.

Today's Labor History

This week's Labor History Today podcast : UAW's Punch Press strike daily
On today's show, the Cool Things from the Meany Archives crew features The Punch Press, an auto worker strike publication. Also this week, Saul Schniderman remembers contributions to labor history by both Johnny Paycheck and Bruce Springsteen.
Last week's show: (1/5): A very unusual strike

Wednesday, January 15
Martin Luther King, Jr. born - 1929

The CIO miners' union in the Grass Valley area of California strikes for higher wages, union recognition, and the 8 hour day. The strike was defeated when vigilantes and law enforcement officials expelled 400 miners and their families from the area - 1938

The Pentagon, to this day the largest office building in the world, is dedicated just 16 months after groundbreaking. At times of peak employment 13,000 workers labored on the project - 1943

Thursday, January 16
The United States Civil Service Commission was established as the Pendleton Act went into effect - 1883

Thousands of Palmer Raids detainees win right to meet with lawyers and attorney representation at deportation hearings. 'Palmer' was Alexander Mitchell Palmer, U.S. Attorney General under Woodrow Wilson. Palmer said Communism was 'eating its way into the homes of the American workman,' and blamed Socialists for causing most of the country's social problems - 1920

Former UAW President Leonard Woodcock dies in Ann Arbor, Mich. at age 89. He had succeeded Walter Reuther and led the union from 1970 to 1977 - 2001

- David Prosten; photo: Aftermath of Palmer raid on the IWW (International Workers of the World) office in New York, November 15, 1919.