July 06
Two strikers and a bystander are killed, 30 seriously wounded by police in Duluth, Minn. The workers, mostly immigrants building the city’s streets and sewers, struck after contractors reneged on a promise to pay $1.75 a day - 1889

Two barges, loaded with Pinkerton thugs hired by the Carnegie Steel Co., land on the south bank of the Monongahela River in Homestead, Pa., seeking to occupy Carnegie Steel Works and put down a strike by members of the Amalgamated Association of Iron & Steel Workers - 1892

Rail union leader Eugene V. Debs is arrested during the Pullman strike, described by the New York Times as "a struggle between the greatest and most important labor organization and the entire railroad capital" that involved some 250,000 workers in 27 states at its peak - 1894
2015.07.06 history debs(The Bending Cross: A Biography of Eugene V. Debs: We’ve told you about this book before, but perhaps you still haven’t read it. You really should get a copy! Eugene V. Debs was a labor activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who captured the heart and soul of the nation’s working people. He was brilliant, sincere, compassionate and scrupulously honest. A founder of one of the nation’s first industrial unions, the American Railway Union, he went on to help launch the Industrial Workers of the World -- the Wobblies. A man of firm beliefs and dedication, he ran for President of the United States five times under the banner of the Socialist Party, in 1912 earning 6 percent of the popular vote.)

Transit workers in New York begin what is to be an unsuccessful 3-week strike against the then-privately owned IRT subway. Most transit workers labored seven days a week, up to 11.5 hours a day - 1926

Explosions and fires destroy the Piper Alpha drilling platform in the North Sea, killing 167 oil workers—the worst loss of life ever in an offshore oil disaster. The operator, Occidental, was found guilty of having inadequate maintenance and safety procedures, but no criminal charges were ever brought - 1988

July 07
Striking New York longshoremen meet to discuss ways to keep new immigrants from scabbing. They were successful, at least for a time. On July 14, 500 newly arrived Jews marched straight from their ship to the union hall. On July 15, 250 Italian immigrants stopped scabbing on the railroad and joined the union - 18822015.07.06 history jones.march

Mary Harris "Mother" Jones begins "The March of the Mill Children,” when, accompanied part of the way by children, she walked from Philadelphia to President Theodore Roosevelt's home on Long Island to protest the plight of child laborers. One of her demands: reduce the children’s work week to 55 hours - 1903

Cloak makers begin what is to be a 2-month strike against New York City sweatshops - 1910

Workers begin construction on the Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam) on the Colorado River, during the Great Depression. Wages and conditions were horrible—16 workers and work camp residents died of the heat over just a single 30-day period—and two strikes over the four years of construction led to only nominal improvements in pay and conditions - 1931

Some 500,000 people participate when a two-day general strike is called in Puerto Rico by more than 60 trade unions and many other organizations. They are protesting privatization of the island's telephone company - 1998

July 08
First anthracite coal strike in U.S. - 1842

Labor organizer Ella Reeve "Mother" Bloor born on Staten Island, N.Y. Among her activities: investigating child labor in glass factories and mines, and working undercover in meat packing plants to verify for federal investigators the nightmarish working conditions that author Upton Sinclair had revealed in The Jungle - 1862

The Pacific Mail Steamship Co. fires all employees who had been working an 8-hour day, then joins with other owners to form the "Ten-Hour League Society" for the purpose of uniting all mechanics "willing to work at the old rates, neither unjust to the laborers nor ruinous to the capital and enterprise of the city and state." The effort failed - 1867

Founding convention of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W., or Wobblies) concludes in Chicago. Charles O. Sherman, a former American Federation of Labor organizer, is elected president - 1905
2015.07.06 history rebel.voices(Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology: Originally published in 1964 and long out of print, Rebel Voices remains by far the biggest and best source on IWW history, fiction, songs, art, and lore. This edition includes 40 pages of additional material from the 1998 Charles H. Kerr edition by Fred Thompson and Franklin Rosemont, and a new preface by Wobbly organizer Daniel Gross.)

Some 35,000 members of the Machinists union begin what is to become a 43-day strike that shuts down five major U.S. airlines, about three-fifths of domestic air traffic. The airlines were thriving, and wages were a key issue in the fight - 1966

July 09
The worst rail accident in U.S. history occurs when two trains pulled by 80-ton locomotives collided head-on at Dutchman’s curve in west Nashville, Tenn. 101 people died, another 171 were injured - 1918

New England Telephone "girls" strike for 7-hour workday, $27 weekly pay after four years' service - 1923

New York City subway system managers in the Bronx attempt to make cleaning crews on the IRT line work faster by forcing the use of a 14-inch squeegee instead of the customary 10-inch tool. Six workers are fired for insubordination; a 2-day walkout by the Transport Workers Union wins reversal of the directive and the workers’ reinstatement – 19352015.07.06 history rattlesnake

Fourteen volunteer firefighters and one Forest Service employee die fighting the Rattlesnake wildfire in California’s Mendocino National Forest. The blaze was set by an arsonist - 1953

United Packinghouse, Food & Allied Workers merge with Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen - 1968

Five thousand demonstrators rally at the state capitol in Columbia, S.C., in support of the "Charleston Five," labor activists charged with felony rioting during a police attack on a 2000 longshoremen's picket of a non-union crew unloading a ship - 2001

July 10
Mary McLeod Bethune, educator and civil rights activist, born - 1875

Some 14,000 federal and state troops finally succeed in putting down the strike against the Pullman Palace Car Co., which had been peaceful until July 5, when federal troops intervened in Chicago, against the repeated protests of the governor and Chicago’s mayor. A total of 34 American Railway Union members were killed by troops over the course of the strike - 1894
2015.07.06 history peoples.history(A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present: If your last serious read of American history was in high school—or even in a standard college course—you’ll want to read this amazing account of America as seen through the eyes of its working people, women and minorities.)

A powerful explosion rips through the Rolling Mill coal mine in Johnstown, Pa., killing 112 miners, 83 of whom were immigrants from Poland and Slovakia - 1902

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce holds a mass meeting of more than 2,000 merchants to organize what was to become a frontal assault on union strength and the closed shop. The failure of wages to keep up with inflation after the 1906 earthquake had spurred multiple strikes in the city - 1916

Sidney Hillman dies at age 59. He led the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, was a key figure in the founding of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and was a close advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt - 1946

July 11
Striking coal miners in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, dynamite barracks housing Pinkerton management thugs - 18922015.07.06 history karloff
After seven years of labor by as many as 2,800 construction workers, the Triborough Bridge opens in New York. Actually a complex of three bridges, it connects the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens. Construction began on Black Friday, 1929, and New Deal money turned it into one of the largest public works projects of the Great Depression - 1936

A nine-year strike begins at the Ohio Crankshaft Division of Park-Ohio Industries in Cleveland. Overcoming scabs, arrests and firings, UAW Local 91 members hung on and approved a contract in 1992 with the company—now under new management—that included company-funded health and retirement benefits, as well as pay increases – 1983 
July 12
Bisbee, Ariz., deports Wobblies; 1,186 miners sent into desert in manure-laden boxcars. They had been fighting for improved safety and working conditions - 1917

The Screen Actors Guild holds its first meeting. Among those attending: future horror movie star (Frankenstein’s Monster) and union activist Boris Karloff - 1933