This Week in Labor History: 1/21 – 1/27

January 27

  • New York City maids organize to improve working conditions – 1734
  • Mine explosion in Mount Pleasant, Pa., leaves more than 100 dead – 1891
  • First meeting of the Int’l Labor Organization (ILO) – 1920
  • Kansas miners strike against compulsory arbitration – 1920
  • A 3¢ postage stamp is issued, honoring AFL founder Samuel Gompers – 1950

A group of Detroit African-American auto workers known as the Eldon Avenue Axle Plant Revolutionary Union Movement leads a wildcat strike against racism and bad working conditions. They are critical of both automakers and the UAW, condemning the seniority system and grievance procedures as racist – 1969