200 Years of Labor History

"All that harms labor is treason to America." - Abraham Lincoln

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the first wage earner's strike in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, we have compiled 200 moments in labor history since 1824, with the aid of a Public History class from Providence College in partnership with their professor, Dr. Jeffrey Johnson. Join us as we explore how labor power has grown, waned, and changed over two centuries.
Male supervisor watches as female weavers work on power looms. Belts, wheels and large machines can be seen
Power loom weaving in 1835.

1) Pawtucket Textile Strike, 1824
The Pawtucket Textile Strike took place in May and June of 1824. The strike was a response to a 25% wage cut made by mill owners in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and is credited as being the first industrial strike in American history. It was led by a group of one hundred and one women weavers who walked out from their jobs. It was successful; a settlement was reached in June and the women returned to their jobs. 

2) United Tailoresses of New York is created, 1825
This was the first women’s only union. It was formed in 1825 in order to protest for higher wages and better working conditions. The union raised awareness of the poor conditions faced by textile workers at the time and blamed their strife on the system of male dominance in factories. 

3) Mechanic's Union of Trades' Association is created in Philadelphia, 1827
Unions in Philadelphia joined together to create the first trade association in 1827. After the publication of an anonymous letter titled “To the Mechanics and Working-Men of the Fifth Ward, and those friendly to their Interests,” carpenters in Philadelphia were inspired and began to strike for a 10 hour workday. These protestors eventually established the Mechanics’ Union of Trades’ Association. 

4) Tailors in Philadelphia go on strike, 1827
In 1827, tailors in Philadelphia went out on strike to protest the firing of coworkers who demanded a higher wage. The employer responded by taking them to court for conspiracy to harm commerce and the tailors were found guilty. This was a major setback for trade unions at the time. 

5) The first Paterson strike, 1828
The first Paterson Strike took place in Paterson New Jersey, and is one of the first strikes of factory operatives. Textile workers in Paterson protested their lunch hour being changed from noon to one o’clock p.m. The loom workers walked out and other skilled workers joined them in a sympathy strike. As a result, the lunch hour was eventually restored. 

6) Workingmen's Party of New York is formed, 1829
The Workingmen’s Party of New York was formed as a result of unrest caused by shifting social, economical, and labor realities of the time, and rose quickly to a short-lived prominence. It was created by the Committee of Fifty, which was a group of skilled workers who met to organize a resistance effort against lengthening their 10 hour work days. 

7) The United Tailoresses of New York strike, 1831
In June of 1831, 1,600 members of the United Tailoresses of New York struck for a wage equal to that of their male counterparts. There was some public support but, due to sexist views of women in the workplace, the strike was unsuccessful, and the women were forced to return to work in July of that year with no wage increase. 

8) New England Association of Farmers, Mechanics, and other Workingmen is Created, 1832
This association was created at a convention in Boston in February of 1832 which included representatives from Rhode Island, Boston, and Connecticut. They formed to advocate for a 10-hour work week, arguing that the reduction in their hours would improve conditions for laborers as it would allow them time to enjoy other interests and hobbies outside of work. 

9) Boston ship carpenters' ten-hour strike, 1832
In 1832, around 150 carpenters went on strike for a ten-hour workday. They were able to garner some support from other skilled workers. Despite this, half of them returned to work after 10 days and the ones who persisted were replaced. The proposal for a ten-hour workday was rejected. 

10) Shoebinder's protest in Lynn, Massachusetts, 1833
After wage cuts, a group of shoebinders in Lynn organized the “Female Society of Lynn and vicinity for the protection and promotion of Female Industry.” This organization was established to protest for better wages and to prove their worth as artisans despite their gender. 

11) The first General Trades Union is formed by skilled workers in New York, 1833The General Trades Union brought together multiple smaller trade unions to better advocate for workers' rights. The first one was formed in New York in August of 1833. It included members of nine different trades. 

8 female cotton mill workers posing for the camera
Lowell mill girls, like the ones pictured here, struck for improved wages and later formed the Factory Girls Association to provide better strike assistance.

12) Lowell Mill Girls Strike, 1834
In February of 1834, 800 female textile workers in Lowell, Massachusetts went on strike due to a 15% wage reduction. The women stated that they would not go back to work unless their wages were restored and they were all rehired.

13) Boston workers form their own General Trades Union, 1834
Trade unions in Boston created their own General Trades’ Union, inspired by the formation of the New York General Trades’ Union. It is important to note that these General Trade Unions focused only on the rights of white male workers, excluding both women and people of color from their mission. 

14) General strike in Philadelphia for 10 hour workday, 1835
Taking inspiration from the Boston Carpenters’ Strike of 1835, workers in Philadelphia began a general strike for higher wages and a 10-hour workday. Irish workers in the Schuylkill River coal docks, house painters, masons, blacksmiths, and more all joined the strike as part of the 10-hour workday movement.  

15) Second Paterson strike, 1835
In July of 1835, over 2,000 textile workers, mostly children and workers of Irish descent, went on strike again in Paterson, New Jersey. Their goal was a reduction in their hours, which at that time was 13 hours per day, six days a week. This strike was a relative success, as their workday was reduced to 12 hours during the week and 9 hours on Saturdays. 

16) The Factory Girls Association is formed by Lowell mill girls, 1836
In 1836, mill owners in Lowell, Massachusetts once again sought to cut wages increase rent for textile workers. 1,500 workers went on strike, and the women formed committees to provide strike assistance through the Factory Girls’ Association. The rent increase was revoked.

17) National Cooperative Association of Cordwainers is formed, 1836
This association was formed in New York City and is credited as the first national trade union. It was created by a group of Cordwainers, who made leather shoes. 

18) Panic of 1837, 1837
During the Panic of 1837, New York banks failed and unemployment reached an all-time high. The credit system collapsed, causing many businesses to fail. Over 250 businesses and/or merchants failed in New York, and industry greatly suffered. 

19) Ten-hour workday is established for Federal employees, 1840
In 1840 President Martin Van Buren passed an executive order which stated that all federal employees working on federal public work projects would be given a 10-hour workday without loss of pay. 

20) Commonwealth v. Hunt, 1842
In this landmark case, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decided that labor unions are legal if they use legal means to achieve their goals. Until this ruling, such movements were illegal and often charged with “conspiracy.” 

21) State child labor laws updated, 1842
In 1842, Massachusetts limited children under 12 to 10 hours of work a day. The same year, Connecticut passed a 10-hour-day law for children under 14. Previously there had been laws requiring a certain amount of education to be given to working children, but these were the first to regulate the amount of time they could spend working. 

Black and white photograph of Frederick Douglass wearing a suit
Frederick Douglass's autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Written by Himself, was part of a larger effort to end slavery and its role as a source of American labor.

National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

22) Frederick Douglass' Autobiography, 1845
Frederick Douglass’ autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave Written by Himself, was published in 1845. This work, along with his newspaper the North Star, were part of a larger movement to end slavery and its role in American labor. 

23) The Lowell Female Labor Reform Association (LFLRA), 1845
The LFLRA was founded in 1845 and worked with other similar organizations to help women who worked in Lowell’s cotton mills. One of their major objectives was attaining a 10-hour workday. The women also sought better wages and living conditions in factory towns.

24) Irish Potato Famine, 1845
The Irish Potato Famine, also known as The Great Hunger, began in the late summer of 1845 and lasted until 1852. Though it took place abroad, its effects rippled across the Atlantic to the US where many Irish people fled to escape starvation. This new group of poor immigrants became a source of workers that factories could draw from.  

25) Voice of Industry, 1845
The Voice of Industry was a worker-run newspaper that ran from 1845 to 1848. In 1845 the LFLRA used the Voice of Industry newspaper to gather 2000 signatures for a petition to the Massachusetts statehouse seeking reforms to women’s working and living conditions.  

26) 10 hour workday state laws passed, 1847
New Hampshire was the first state to establish the ten-hour workday. The state’s law, however, included a clause allowing workers to voluntarily agree to work longer. This was also included in Pennsylvania when they passed a similar law in 1848. 

27) Seneca Falls Convention, 1848
At this New York convention, about 300 men and women gathered to discuss women’s rights. Organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, this event laid the foundations for what would later become the organized women’s suffrage movement. Many proponents of workers' rights were present at the convention 

28) First strike fatalities in the United States, 1850
Two New York tailors were killed when police attempted to disperse a strike of garment workers. These deaths are considered to be the first strike fatalities in the United States. 

29) The Fugitive Slave Act, 1850
Part of the Compromise of 1850, this act required that enslaved people be returned to their owners, even if they were in a free state. This was a step towards the Civil War and a crucial moment in the larger story of Black labor in the US. 

30) National Typographical Union, 1852
The National Typographical Union (later known as the International Typographical Union) was founded by fourteen printers’ associations who hoped to protect the wages, conditions, and skills of typographers while defending the freedom of the press. 

31) Erie Railroad strike, 1857
Over 200 employees of the Erie Railroad company were dismissed for expressing their dislike for a wage decrease from $1 to .75 cents. The company attempted to replace the 200 workers with new ones, but the former employees armed themselves and refused to let the new people work. Volunteers and authorities were called to help manage the “rioters.” 

32) National Teachers Association (NTA) formed, 1857
Now known as the NEA, the NTA was founded in 1857 when 10 state educational associations decided to “unite…to advance the dignity, respectability, and usefulness of their calling.” 

33) Panic of 1857, 1857
The Panic of 1857 was a financial crisis in the US brought on by both a decline in the international economy and the rapid growth of US territory. Because the global economy was more interconnected by the 1850s, this was the first worldwide economic crisis. American banks did not fully recover until after the Civil War. 

34) Iron Molders' Union of North America, 1859
This union was founded to represent craftsmen who cast wrought iron products. Prior to July 5, 1859, there were smaller independent groups of ironworkers, but the union sought to consolidate them into a national organization.

35) Comstock Lode discovery, 1859
In the spring of 1859, a large channel of silver ore was discovered in a Nevada mountain range. This was the first major discovery of silver ore in the United States. A silver rush soon followed, and the site generated massive fortunes for many and also resulted in the creation of new mining technology. 

36) The Drake Well, 1859
The Drake Well, drilled in Pennsylvania in 1859, was the first oil well drilled in the United States. On August 27 it struck oil at 69 ½ feet into the earth. The success of this well foreshadowed a massive leap forward in industry and labor where petroleum would power industry. 

a photo of a man asleep in a chair
A shoe shiner asleep at his stand in Saratoga Springs, New York, c. 1870.

New York Public Library

37) Shoemaker's strike, 1860
About 20,000 shoemakers in New England, including 517 from Natick, Massachusetts, went on strike to protest their low wages and long hours. 75% of the Natick workforce was a part of the shoemaking industry. The Natick Historical Society reports that women earned $1 a week and men $3 a week and worked 16 hours a day.  

38) New York Draft Riots, 1863
Workers in New York City rioted against draft laws for the Civil War. White laborers feared that their jobs would be taken if they were drafted, and also that the Emancipation Proclamation would drive freed slaves north leading to more job competition.  

39) New York dock strike, 1863
After 3,000 white dock workers went on strike in New York, Black workers were brought in to take their places. Similar events happened throughout the East and Midwest in Albany, Boston, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit. This caused violence between white dock workers and unemployed Black workers.  

40) Troy Laundry Strike, 1864
Kate Mullany and Esther Keegan formed the Collar Laundry Union and organized a strike of about 300 women from 14 different laundry factories in Troy, New York. The women protested the difficult 14-hour workdays and sought a wage increase of 20 to 25 percent. These long days proved especially grueling when the women also had household and family responsibilities. After five and a half days, the strike was a success and the employers agreed to their demands.  

Several men being supervised as they construct a bridge
Laborers work to construct the Charles River Bridge in Massachusetts, 1876.

41) Founding of the National Labor Union, 1866
The National Labor Union was founded in Baltimore, Maryland and lobbied for a nationally recognized 8-hour workday for employees. The union was born at a meeting between the unions of coachmakers (manufacturers of horse-drawn carriages), mechanics, ironworkers, and blacksmiths. This call was not answered but was a starting point for changes in the labor system in the United States.  

42) Chinese railroad laborers strike, 1867
Chinese railroad laborers stopped work for 30 miles in California and demanded higher wages and a reduction of working hours. Working on the Central Pacific Railroad was dangerous for the laborers because of the tunnels that needed to be made in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This strike would not be successful due to the CPRR cutting off food and water to the labor camps but would still send a powerful message.

43) 8-hour workday granted to Federal employees, 1868
The National Labor Union worked to grant select federal employees an eight-hour workday. This was a monumental achievement for labor laws. Unfortunately, because of their undefined mission, the National Labor Union ceased to exist by 1872.  

44) Creation of the National Colored Labor Union, 1869
In December of 1869, the National Colored Labor Union was formed in Washington, D.C., and proved significant for African American laborers. Although it would only last six years, the NCLU was the first of its kind and at its highest point had close to 540,000 members.  

45) Evaluation of child labor, 1872
The Prohibition Party was the first political party to establish a firm stance against the use of children in the workforce. This marked a new desire to address the use of children in the workplace and evaluate the dangers associated with working at such a young age.  

46) Coal Miners' Strike, 1873
Coal miners in Tuscarawas Valley in Eastern Ohio and the Mahoning Valley in Eastern Pennsylvania struck for six months. The strike was triggered by a wage reduction of 15 cents for every ton. The Mahoning Valley strike lasted nine months in total and ended with the use of Swedish and Italian labor in the mines.

47) Granite Mill fire, 1874
A fire at the Granite Mill in Fall River, Massachusetts resulted in the deaths of 20 workers. The 20 laborers killed were mainly young girls, and one of the girls was reported to be only five years old. The dangers of child labor and generally poor working conditions were becoming more threatening to workers.  

48) "Bloody Summer," 1875
The “Bloody Summer” of 1875 consisted of violence between groups of Irish and Welsh men over coal mining work in Eastern Pennsylvania. The Irish, also referred to as the “Mollie Maguires”, were accused of killing mine superintendents that admittedly favored the Welsh over the Irish and limited Irish employment options. A number of Irish men were later executed for their suspected involvement in the killings.  

49) Tuscarawas Valley riot, 1876
The Tuscarawas Valley experienced a number of coal miner strikes from 1873 to 1880. In 1876, a riot broke out in the Tuscarawas Valley. Several coal miners were arrested and jailed, and one miner was shot. The military was ordered to help break up the protesting laborers.  

50) Baltimore railroad riot, 1877
Railroad employees in Baltimore, Maryland faced a considerable wage reduction of 10% and formed a violent mob. According to The Baltimore Sun, nine people were killed. The United States Army was called in to stop the rioting, and they did so in 3 days.  

51) "Black Thursday," 1877
A group of Irish Coal Miners known as the “Mollie Maguires” were executed on “Black Thursday” for their suspected involvement in the killing of coal mine managers. Those in charge of the mines did not give Irish workers employment but gave it to Welsh men instead.

two men working in a lumber yard
Two men working in a lumber mill in Snolquamie National Forest, Washington, 1870.

New York Public Library

52) Formation of Amalgamated Labor Union, 1878
In 1878, the Amalgamated Labor Union was formed. It was made by former Knights of Labor who left to form their own group, showing the divide in the labor movement. The fight for better rights was not a unanimous one and different unions would create their own brand of what they believed workers deserved. 

53) Founding of Boston Cutters' Union, 1879
In 1879, the Boston Cutters’ Union was founded. Originally part of the Knights of Labor, it was one of the oldest unions for tailors and fought against long work hours and low wages. It would later become part of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, showing how unions were not static and changed and adapted with the times. 

54) Fall River mule spinner's strike, 1879
Fall River textile operatives struck for 17 weeks in order to secure higher wages. The lack of a strong union presence eventually led to the strike being called off as there was not significant financial support for the strikers. Later in the year, the workers would obtain a raise in wages. 

55) The Atlanta Washerwoman Rebellion, 1881
During the summer of 1881, a group of African American women, led by Carrie Steele Logan, went on strike to demand that their workers receive fair treatment, higher wages, and control over organization of their work. The strike received backlash and threats from the local authorities, customers, and local businesses, but the women were steadfast and ultimately achieved their demands.  The Atlanta Washerwoman Rebellion was one of the first recorded strikes involving African American women in the United States.   

56) Convention of Amalgamated Labor Union, 1881
On August 2, 1881, the Amalgamated Labor Union was meant to meet with the Knights of Industry, not to be confused with the Knights of Labor, for a convention. The goal of this convention was to come together and forge a single labor group to directly oppose the Knights of Labor. While this convention was cancelled and postponed, it does show how unions would directly challenge each other to achieve their own goals.

57) Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions formed, 1881
The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions was an organization formed to combat common grievances of workers of all different occupations and trades around the United States.  Among these grievances were poor working conditions, low pay, long hours, and lack of bargaining rights for workers or union leaders.  The movement was led by Samuel Gompers, an established labor leader who paved the way for the future of the American labor movement. 

8 women and one infant in dresses, seated for the camera.
Women delegates to the Knights of Labor Convention, 1886.

Library of Congress

58) First Labor Day parade in New York City, 1882
On September 5th, 1882, thousands of workers flocked to the streets of New York City to celebrate workers and their contributions to the United States.  The parade, organized by the Central Labor Union, started at City Hall and finished at Union Square.  Many trade and labor unions took place in the parade to show their support for the movement.   

59) The Bureau of Labor Statistics begins collecting employment data, 1884
In 1884 the Bureau of Labor Statistics began collecting data for a project studying employment.  Two years later, the first report, a study on industrial impressions, was released from the bureau.  Studies like these helped shed light on some of the wrongdoings and poor working environments that workers had to deal with. 

60) Cloak maker strike, 1885
On August 15, 1885, over 2,000 cloak makers went on strike. The group mostly came from sweatshops, and asked for $12-$15 a week. They also saw the event as a revolt that struck at the heart of labor issues at the time. The strike lasted two weeks, and the workers were able to obtain their new wages.

61) The Great Southwest Railroad Strike, 1886
The Great Southwest Railroad Strike was spearheaded by the Knights of Labor after a KOL worker was fired for calling a union meeting. Workers throughout the Southwest burned railroad lines. In May of 1886, a Congressional committee advised the Knights of Labor to end the strike. The strike failed due to the collapse of the Knights of Labor.

62) Failed general nationwide FOTLU strike, 1886
On May 1, 1886, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions (FOTLU) planned a massive general strike involving all union members in the country. The goal of the strike was to achieve an eight-hour workday. However, this plan had mixed results, with some achieving an eight-hour workday, some failing, and some being forced to compromise for nine-hour days.

a shiny golden knight representing monopoly jousts with a smaller man riding a donkey who represents labor as onlookers watch, illustration
"The tournament of today - a set-to between labor and monopoly."

63) May Day/International Workers Day, 1886
By May 1, 1886, the national demand for an eight-hour workday had increased, and hundreds of thousands of American workers joined the movement and the Knights of Labor. The nationwide demands for shortened hours are not met at this time.

64) McCormick Harvesting Machine Company Strike, 1886
The McCormick Harvesting Machine Company Strike was led by August Spies, a German immigrant who edited the newspaper Arbeiter-Zeitung. Spies spoke outside of the McCormick reaper plant in the West Side of Chicago. He urged workers to stand together and call for better labor conditions, working hours, and wages. This demonstration escalated the following day during the events of the infamous Haymarket Riot.  

65) Haymarket Riot, 1886
A labor protest in Chicago’s Haymarket Square escalated into a riot after labor activists threw a bomb at police. Eight people died during the incident. The violence of the Haymarket Square Riot has been attributed to radical anarchists within the labor movement. Many viewed the violent event as a setback to the American labor movement.

66) Bay View Massacre, 1886
In May of 1886, on the shores of Lake Michigan, 1,500 workers went on strike and marched towards the Bay View Rolling Mills. Armed militiamen ordered the crowds to stop 200 yards from the mill. They refused, causing the militiamen to fire into the crowd, killing seven persons. The incident is considered the bloodiest in Wisconsin’s labor history.  

67) The American Federation of Labor is founded, 1886
The American Federation of Labor was founded in 1886 as a craft union led by Samuel Gompers.  The newly formed federation was seen as the successor to the other great labor unions of its time, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions and the Knights of Labor.  The American Federation of Labor took a more moderate approach to labor activism, focusing less on group protests and social movements, and more on bargaining for better wages, working conditions, and other minor demands that could be achieved as a collective group.   

68) Anthracite Strike, 1887-1888
Mine workers in the Wyoming-Lackawanna Region of Pennsylvania went on strike in 1887 asking for a 15% pay increase to accommodate the high risk of injury in their profession. Mine workers in this region faced injury and death in mines. Those who were not injured often faced the effects of miner’s asthma during their lifetimes. The initial strike was unsuccessful but eventually the miners would achieve victory through the Miner’s and Laborer’s Amalgamated Association. 

69) Rahway, New Jersey shirt maker strike, 1887
In 1887, shirt makers in Rahway, New Jersey led a strike after their wages were cut. They were successful, and in turn, inspired shirt makers in New York to try and organize themselves. However, after some infighting, a short five-year union, and the advancements of the industry the group was ultimately unsuccessful in their goals.

70) Shoe Manufacturers' Association Incident, 1887
In October of 1887, 160 hand sewing benchman stopped working. In response to this, the Shoe Manufacturers' Association fired all of their employees and would not take any back until they cut all ties with the Knights of Labor. This standoff lasted for a month and a half before the plants opened back in December on company terms. This incident shows that while strikes were common during this time, they were not always successful. 

71) Thibodaux Massacre, 1887
The Thibodaux Massacre occurred on the heels of a three week long strike against the working conditions on Louisiana sugar cane plantations. The strike was led by the Knights of Labor and was the first strike within the sugar cane industry to be led by a formal organization. By the end of the Massacre, white regulators had killed or injured approximately 50 African American workers, some of whom were women and children.  

72) The United Hebrew Trades is founded, 1888
On October 9, 1888, the United Hebrew Trades (UHT) was founded to ensure Jewish workers had a trade union to fight for them. The UHT originally started in New York, and the idea for the organization came from the Jewish branch of the Socialist Labor Party. After many smaller and less successful Jewish unions, the UHT was a symbol of a new age and became involved in more successful strikes.

73) Poole's Theatre Strike, 1889
In 1889, the owner of Poole’s Theater fired all unionized workers and replaced them with nonunion workers. In response to this, the actor's union, which was weak at the time, worked with the United Hebrew Trades to organize a strike that gained the support of ushers and other theater workers. However, due to infighting, the strike did not last long and was ultimately unsuccessful. 

74) United Mine Workers of America is formed, 1890
The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) was formed and consisted of the National Progressive Union of Miners and Mine Laborers and the Knights of Labor No. 135. UMWA President John Mitchell was influential in the establishment of the eight-hour workday, securing major victories for mine laborers across the nation. The foundation of the UMWA would also be the precursor to the Lattimer Massacre. 

75) Carpenters Union wins a shorter workday, 1890
In 1890 the Carpenters Union, led by established labor leader P.J. McGuire, went on strike to protest for shorter workdays.  About 28,000 workers went on strike and it was deemed a success, as the workers were able to achieve an 8-hour workday.  This event was particularly important because other labor unions took notice and began to make similar demands, leading to the eventual widespread establishment of the 8-hour workday. 

76) The Sherman Anti-Trust Act is passed, 1890
This piece of legislation stated that business activities that interfere with free-market competition are illegal.  However, the law also gave the government the ability to interfere with and prevent union activities.  The law was seen as a setback for labor unions around the United States

soldiers marching in uniform holding guns with bayonets and carrying the American flag
The state militia entering Homestead, PA in response to the 1892 Homestead Steel strike.

77) Homestead Steel strike, 1892
The 1892 Homestead Steel Strike occurred in Pennsylvania at the Homestead steel mills. The Carnegie Steel Company had been attempting to lower costs and provoke a strike by the Amalgamated Association of Steel and Iron Workers, who had previously bargained for better hours and wages for their workers. Strikebreaking attempts were successful, as the union collapsed by that November.

78) Depression of 1893-97
The Depression of 1893 caused major commercial, industrial, and manufacturing depression, endangering the livelihoods of workers across the country. Alongside the manufacturing depression, hundreds of banks across the nation collapsed, and there was a major run on currency.

79) Coxey's Army and Panic of 1893, 1893
Coxey’s Army was a group of labor strikers organized by businessman Jacob S. Coxey. The militant group organized in response to the Panic of 1893, a large-scale economic crisis that led to major inflation nationwide and a stock market crash. The goal of the militant protesters was to march to Washington D.C. and confront Congress about the economic disaster.  

80) Formation of the Western Federation of Miners, 1893
The Western Federation of Miners was formed after other miner labor unions had found success through protests and strikes. This labor union organized miners from all over the Rocky Mountains. The Federation was notorious for their racial protests and strikes and is credited as one of the most active labor unions of the 19th and 20th centuries.   

81) Cripple Creek miners strike, 1894
The Cripple Creek Miners Strike, in Cripple Creek, Colorado, was the first successful miner’s strike led by the Western Federation of Miners. Gold miners represented by the WFM went on strike for better working conditions and a shorter workday. The success of the strike came with a cost, as the protest turned violent after the strikers were met by the state militia. Many were wounded or killed by authorities.

man standing outside large gate to a large factory complex
The worker's gate at the Pullman Company, showing an empty yard during the strike, 1894.

82) Pullman Company Strike, 1894
Factory workers at the Pullman Company formed a committee to attempt to negotiate for higher wages and better working conditions. The committee did not succeed, and as a result, a strike broke out at the Pullman Company factories. The strike caught the attention of many people and organizations around the country, including the American Railway Union (ARU), led by Eugene Debs. The ARU’s board voted to join the protest, and refused to send out trains carrying Pullman cars. The strike involved over 250,000 workers, and concluded with President Grover Cleveland sending the United States Military to Chicago in order to suppress the strike. 

83) Great Bituminous strike, 1897
The Great Bituminous Strike was organized by the United Mine Workers (UMW) in order to obtain a standard wage rate. The UMW sought to follow in the footsteps of the Knights of Labor, accepting anyone involved in coal mining work without discriminating based on skill, nationality, or race. The group managed to take a hostile and uncooperative group of laborers and bring them together to fight for their rights.

84) Lattimer Massacre, 1897
After the establishment of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), 10,000 union workers from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania would strike for just over two months. The goal of the strike was to secure improved working conditions and wages. When strikers clashed with sheriff’s deputies, 19 strikers were killed, giving the event the name the Lattimer Massacre.

85) CCF Agreement, 1897
This agreement marked not only the end of the Great Bituminous Strike of 1897 but also a victory for the United Mine Workers (UMW). Their demands for standardized wages and prices was a success and was a sign of the UMW’s potential and hope for other coal miner unions. This agreement is also seen as “the first truly industry and area-wide collective bargaining contract in US history” and would lead to other similar agreements.1

86) Augusta Textile Mills strike, 1898
The Augusta Textile Mills strike sought improved working conditions and hours. The strike was peaceful, with over 4,000 workers leaving their posts to join the strike. The Mayor of Augusta spoke to the crowds, explaining that economic depression restricted them from meeting the demands of the workers. Despite the strike lasting nearly two months, few of the workers’ demands were met.

87) Erdman Act is passed, 1898
President Theodore Roosevelt signed the Erdman Act into law in an effort to regulate labor disputes in the railroad industry.  The act sought arbitration from a mutual third party to help resolve conflicts and disputes that arose between railroad workers and railroad unionists.  While the law was meant to help address the growing concerns and issues surrounding the ongoing labor movement, the act is generally viewed as ineffective.   

88) The United Textile Workers of America is founded, 1901
The United Textile Workers of America (UTW) was founded in 1901 in affiliation with the AFL. The majority of chapters of the UTW were in the North, where major textile locations such as Fall River, Massachusetts produced cotton products. The UTW would go on to help organize a major strike in 1934 as working conditions worsened due to the Great Depression.

68) Anthracite Coal strike, 1902
The United Coal Workers of America decided to go on strike at the Anthracite coal mines in Pennsylvania to obtain higher wages and recognition of their union.  This strike was quite effective, as the workers threatened to cut off the fuel supply to several major cities during the winter months.  However, the strike ended after Theodore Roosevelt and the federal government stepped in to arrange a “square deal” that would benefit both sides.   

90) Jewish writer's strike, 1903
In 1903, Jewish newspaper writers came together to strike for better wages. They also demanded that the publishers only hire union writers. However, a lack of unity spelled the end not only for the strike, but the union at large. The writers would try again with and without unions to back them up, but they would be largely unsuccessful in their strikes. 

an etching of two women shaking hands
The emblem of the National Women's Trade Union League, c. 1908

91) National Women's Trade Union League unites at the AFL convention in Boston, 1903
At the 1903 AFL convention, several women - including Mary Kenney O'Sullivan and Leonora O'Reilly, two female labor unionists - gathered and formed a group devoted to addressing the injustices that faced working women.  This same group of women would go on to form the National Women’s Trade Union, a group of labor activists devoted to advocating for better working conditions and protection of the rights of women in the workplace.  This event was a significant moment as it provided women with a way to protest for their rights and organize social movements.   

92) The Department of Labor and Commerce is created, 1903
Congress passed an act that created the Department of Labor and Commerce. The act also made the secretary of the department a member of the President’s Cabinet.

93) 1904 "Six Months' Strike" in Fall River, 1904
Textile workers in Fall River, Massachusetts organized a strike opposing proposed wage cuts of 12.5%. Governor William L. Douglas eventually intervened to sign a contract that ensured all workers would be rehired to the plants without discrimination and that he would investigate the circumstances of wage cuts. It was eventually agreed that the wage dividends would not be affected in the future by the strike agreements.  

94) Establishment of Asiatic Exclusion League and endorsement of local unions, 1905
In 1905, the Asiatic Exclusion League was founded in San Francisco. This group, following the Japanese and Korean Exclusion League, worked to keep Asian immigrants out of the country and out of work and even had the support of local unions. This event shows that while unions fought for the rights of workers, they were not perfect and did not always fight for every worker. 

a man wearing a hat with a piece of paper that reads "bread or revolution"
A member of the I.W.W. wearing a hat with a card that reads, "Bread or Revolution," 1914.

95) The Industrial Workers of the World is founded, 1905
Founded as a radical labor union dedicated to organizing workers across industries and promoting class solidarity, the Industrial Workers of the World was one of the most notorious labor movements in history.  Leaders of the group called for revolutionary industrial unionism and sought to unite all workers, regardless of skill, race, or gender, in a single, powerful labor organization.  At the time, the IWW was the first organization to allow anyone to join, including people of color, women, and immigrants.  

96) First ever "sit down" strike, 1906
The first ever sit-down strike took place at the General Electric Plant located in Schenectady, New York.  During the strike, more than 3,000 General Electric workers, all members of the IWW, sat and crossed their arms, refusing to work in protest against the discrimination faced by several of their coworkers.  Even after management tried to intervene, the workers took control of machinery, making it impossible for the plant to run.   

97) Monongah Mine tragedy
An explosion at the Monongah Mines in West Virginia caused damage to mines 6 and 8. Many miners were killed instantly by the explosion, while others were trapped and died in the mines. This tragedy, the worst mining disaster the nation had ever seen, resulted in the death of 361 coal miners.

98) Unorganized immigrant workers strike in McKees Rocks, PA, 1909
Between July 13th and September 8th, 1909, thousands of immigrant workers partook in a labor strike to protest for better working conditions and pay.  These workers were not part of a union. Still, the strike was successful as the workers were able to achieve all of their demands. 

a group of women, with one man in the background and one child in the foreground, sitting for the camera
A group of mainly female shirtwaist workers on strike in New York, 1909.

99) Shirtwaist strike in New York, 1909
The 1909 Shirtwaist strike primarily involved young women who worked in the New York garment industry. The workers struck against unfit working conditions, low wages, long hours, and discrimination against union loyalists. At its peak, the strike involved around 30,000 people, and it lasted a little over 11 weeks. The strike was a success and most of the women’s demands were met, demonstrating the impact of women on the labor movement.  

100) McKees Rock strike, 1909
The McKees Rock strike took place at the Pressed Steel Car Co., located in McKees Rock, PA. The workers, who were mainly immigrants, suffered daily injury and threat to their lives and had no consistent wages. The strike concluded with a victory for the workers, in the form of a 5-10% pay increase, the firing of scabs, and the rehiring of all strikers.  

101) First Butcher's Union general strike, 1909
In August of 1909, the first general strike of the Butcher’s Union began. 600 workers walked out of work, with no place to live and nothing to eat. With help from other unions, the workers were able to find food and shelter and, after two weeks, were successful in their strike. This would help rally other workers to their cause, but would also lead to a future of group conflict and loyalty.  

a tall building on fire being sprayed with large hoses as people watch in the street
The Triangle Waistcoat Factory fire killed 146 people, and drew attention to poor working conditions.

102) Triangle Waistcoat Factory fire in New York, 1911
In 1909, female employees unsuccessfully struck for better safety conditions in the factory. Two years later, a fire started on the eighth floor of the Triangle Waistcoat Factory. Executives on the tenth floor were immediately notified, but workers on the ninth floor were not. Supervisors left only one door unlocked, fire truck ladders were not tall enough to reach the ninth floor, and there was only one weak fire escape which eventually collapsed due to the women’s attempts to escape. 146 people lost their lives in the fire, and it drew attention to poor industrial working conditions, especially the lack of fire safety.

103) Bread and Roses strike, 1912
In 1912, Massachusetts passed a law to shorten the workweek from 56 hours to 54 hours. To compensate for the lost two hours, factory owners in Lawrence, Massachusetts decreased wages and sped up production. In response, 25,000 immigrant textile mill workers, mostly women, went on strike. After a congressional hearing recognized the poor working conditions, the factory owners were forced to negotiate, and reached an acceptable compromise in March.

104) Massachuestts passes the first minimum wage law, 1912
Massachusetts passed the first law requiring companies to pay their employees a standard minimum wage, although it only applied to women and children. The act set no standard wage but instead created a survey to study complaints of low wages.   

105) New York City hotel strike, 1912
The strike began when about 300 servers at the restaurant in the Hotel Belmont walked out on May 7, 1912. By May 24, the strike had spread to many other hotels in the city and included all types of hotel staff. The International Hotel Workers Union issued ten demands for the Hotel Men’s Association, made up of the corporate hotel owners, seeking better wages, working conditions, time off, and recognition of the union. On June 14 the Hotel Men’s Association voted to accept all the demands except to recognize the union. The union then voted to end the strike on June 25, 1912.   

106) Paterson Silk Mill strike, 1913
Located along the Passaic River in New Jersey, Paterson was known as “Silk City” because of the large amount of silk its mills produced. The Henry Doherty plants upgraded the silk looms, which were now advanced enough to allow a single worker to attend to 3 or 4 looms at a time. This increase in work caused 800 loom workers, supported by the Industrial Workers of the World, to go on strike. The strike, which peaked at 24,000 people, demanded a return to the 2-loom system, an 8-hour workday, wage increases, and hiring more employees to decrease workload. The owners held out and by the end of May the strikers went back to work with no progress made.  

107) The Michigan Copper strike, 1913
The Michigan Copper district refused to acknowledge the Western Federation of Miners, causing them to go on strike on June 22, 1913. During a Christmas party for the strikers and their families, someone yelled “fire” causing a panic which led to the death of 72 people, mostly children. The companies granted some of their demands, although they refused to recognize the union.  

a large group of men, women, and children in front of a large tent
Evicted strikers at the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill gather for a meal in front of the "mess tent."

Georgia State University

108) Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill strikes, October 23, 1913-May 15, 1915
In reaction to strict overseers, 12-hour workdays, the firing of coworkers, and a change in the resignation policy, 300 loom workers walked out of the Fulton Mills in Atlanta on October 23, 1913. The policy was reversed, and work resumed – however, on October 31, 1913, the UTW organized a local chapter, and union members went on strike on May 20, 1914. Many workers were evicted from company housing and were replaced by new workers. The strike ended May 15, 1915, with no gains achieved, and most strikers had to find new employment.  

109) Ford Motor Company doubles basic wages, 1914
Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, announced a groundbreaking policy to double basic wages for his workers to $5 per day. This move aimed to address high turnover rates, increase productivity, and enable workers to afford the products they were producing. The decision set a new standard for industrial wages and significantly impacted labor practices and the development of the middle class in the United States.  

drawing of a man with a gun holding a child. another woman and child are on the ground at his feet
During the Ludlow Massacre, the Colorado National Guard and hired gunmen killed 19 people involved with strikes. Some of those killed were women and children.

110) Ludlow Massacre, 1914
During the Colorado Coalfield War, striking coal miners and their families were attacked by the Colorado National Guard and hired gunmen at a tent colony in Ludlow, Colorado. The conflict arose between coal miners and mine operators over labor conditions and unionization efforts, and resulted in the deaths of 19 people, some of whom were women and children. It led to widespread outrage, fueling further labor unrest and ultimately contributing to labor reform in the United States.

111) Alabama Miners' Strike, October 23, 1914-May 15, 1915
The Alabama Miners’ Strike was a major labor dispute in the coal mining industry. The strike escalated into violence between striking miners, a private army hired by coal companies, and local law enforcement. A number of Black workers were injured and at least sixteen laborers died fighting for better wages during this conflict.

112) La Follete Seamen's Act, 1915
Senator Robert M. La Follete, proposed the Seaman's Act to provide marine merchants the same rights that factory workers were gaining. The Act regulated the safety and living conditions of the sailors, reduced their working hours, and established payment requirements.  

113) Bayonne Refinery strikes against Standard Oil, 1915
World War I increased the demand for oil, leading to refinery employees, mostly Eastern European immigrants, being overworked and underpaid. On July 15, 1915, 100 men went on strike demanding a 15 % pay increase and were later joined by 1,500 workers from other oil refineries and other plants and mills in the area. After rioting broke out, resulting in the death of some of the strikers, the strikers returned to work July 27, 1915.

114) The Everett Massacre, 1916
The Industrial Workers of the World went to Everett, Washington to speak at a weaver’s strike. When local authorities heard that 300 IWW members were arriving by ferry, they gathered an armed police force to wait at the docks. Shooting broke out between police and union members. Two deputies and five union members died as a result, and 47 others were wounded.

a group of men and women standing and watching and waiting for a train in the distance
Striking Arizonan copper miners and their families watch a train deporting members of the I.W.W. to New Mexico, 1917.

Library of Congress

115) The Bisbee Deportation, 1917
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) called a strike in the copper mines of Arizona because of poor wages and working conditions. The mine owners contacted the local sheriff Harry Wheeler, who, with the help of 2,000 deputies, gathered 1,284 strikers in an area ballpark on July 12, 1917. They were then marched onto a train, escorted by gunmen on both sides, and dumped in Columbus, New Mexico. The Federal Mediation Committee, newly established by President Wilson, determined the copper companies were at fault. 

116) Green Corn Rebellion, 1917
Hundreds of white, Native American, and African American men met in Oklahoma in 1917 in order to march to Washington to protest the loss of their farms to big businesses and the newly passed Conscription Act. On August 3, the men began burning bridges and cutting telegraph lines along the way, causing them to meet resistance. 400 men were arrested, and 150 were convicted and sent to federal prison, and 3 men were killed.

117) War Labor Board created, 1918  
After entering World War I, the United States created the War Labor Board to facilitate negotiations with unions to prevent members from striking. During the war, it was crucial that production and the supply chain remained uninterrupted by striking. The Board ceased operations at the end of the war.

118) Seattle general strike, 1919
On February 6, 1919, 35,000 shipyard workers, along with 25,000 other sympathetic workers, went on strike in Seattle. The strike remained peaceful and was well organized, but federal officers who managed the shipyards refused to negotiate, and police and hired forces raided union offices and arrested members. By February 11, workers returned to their jobs. Despite its failure, the strike was the first 20th century solidarity strike to be called a general strike.  

uniformed men on the awning of a building. some are seated while others are standing.
The National Guard at their headquarters, Faneuil Hall, during the Boston Police strike, 1919.

119) Boston Police strike, 1919
From September 9th to September 13th, 1919, the Boston police force went on strike, demanding better pay, working conditions, and the right to unionize. Massachusetts Governor Calvin Coolidge refused to negotiate, dismissed the striking officers, and deployed the National Guard to calm the situation. This event had a lasting impact on the labor movement and the political atmosphere in the United States.

120) Great Steel strike, September 22, 1919-January 8, 1920
After dealing with high productivity demands all throughout World War 1, several unions involved in the steel industry organized a nationwide strike to happen in September of 1919. US Steel, the largest employer in the steel industry, refused to acknowledge unions. On September 22, 350,000 workers walked out across 6 states. The strike was ultimately crushed through violence by the police and individuals hired by the company, ending on January 8, 1920.   

121) The Battle of Matewan
In the spring of 1920, coal miners in Mingo County, West Virginia, went on strike due to poor working conditions. Coal operators refused to compromise with the union and hired Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency (BFDA) to evict strikers and their families from company housing. When County Sheriff Hatfield and Mayor Testerman demanded warrants for the evictions, BFDA executive Albert Felts was unable to produce them, and lied about recieving a court order for the evictions. The altercation turned violent, and seven BFDS guards and two townspeople were killed, including Albert Felts.

122) New England Textile Strike, 1922
In 1922, mill owners in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, cut wages and increased the work week, causing textile workers to go on strike. The strike quickly spread throughout the Blackstone River Valley, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, with 60,000-80,000 mill workers on strike, of which about 60% were women and children. The state militia was called out in Rhode Island and other heavily policed areas, leading to violence and deaths. In Rhode Island, the strike ended in September, but it continued longer in New Hampshire. Most owners reverted to the original wages before the cuts, but there was more hesitation about reducing the work week.

123) Herrin Massacre, 1922
On June 21 and 22, 1922, fighting broke out between strikebreakers recruited from Chicago and UMW strikers on their way to the mines. Both parties exchanged fire and 4 people were killed. When around sixty laborers exited the mines and marched into town the next day, union men opened fire, killing 21 and leaving many injured. Prosecutors issued over 214 indictments, but most were dropped.   

124) Great Railroad Strike of 1922, 1922
Despite the post-WWI economic boom, railroad maintenance worker pay was cut by 12%, leading to a nationwide railway strike which began on July 1, 1922. 400,000 railroad workers left their jobs across the country. National Guard troops were called in to control riots, and strikers began to use bombs to damage facilities. As a result, Congress passed the Daughtery Injunction, a federal court order prohibiting striking, assembling, picketing, and other union activities. Ten people died during the strike, and the strike led to a loss of millions of dollars and long-lasting bitterness and tension.

125) San Pedro maritime strike, 1923
On April 25, 1923, the International Workers of the World called a strike at the San Pedro docks in Los Angeles, California, to protest poor working conditions, low wages, and the firing and arrest of union workers. The LAPD banned public meetings, and on May 14th arrested strikers at their meeting place, which they named Liberty Hill. The Ku Klux Klan also played a role in terrorizing the strikers. The strike ended on May 24th and, with none of their demands met, many workers remained in jail or left the city to find new work.

a man photographed from the side wearing a suit and tie
A. Philip Randolph, a co-founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, c.1920.

126) Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters founded, 1925
In 1925, the Pullman Porters founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. The Pullman Company introduced sleeping cars on railways as a luxurious experience for wealthy travelers, and Black Americans were hired in large numbers to cater to these cars. The American Railway Union did not accept Black members, so the Pullman Porters founded a union of their own.

127) Passaic Textile strike, January 25, 1926-March 1, 1927
Wool and silk mill workers in Passaic, New Jersey, mobilized in response to a 10% wage cut, and also demanded time and a half for overtime, decent sanitary conditions, no discrimination against union members, and recognition of the union. On March 1, 2,000 strikers gathered in protest and were met by police with clubs, tear gas, and freezing fire hoses. Within two months, nine mills in the area were on strike, amounting to about 15,000 strikers, who continued to face police violence. The mills granted most of their demands and the strike ended on March 1, 1927, despite the fact that mill owners violated the agreement shortly after, firing many of the newly rehired workers.

128) Fur Workers strike, 1926
The Fur and Leather Workers Union called a strike of 12,000 workers in New York City. The picketers were met with violence, including the use of clubs and police vehicles being driven into the crowd. On March 13th, the first company settled with the strikers, making them the first workers to win the 40-hour work week. The strike continued for many and expanded to include other unions in the city who were fighting for the 40-hour work week, and by June 11th, the employers agreed to their demands.

129) Railway Labor Act, 1926
The Railway Labor Act details the required procedures for railroad workers to go on strike. These procedures require negotiations involving the National Mediation Board prior to any action. The railways were and are a very important party of the supply chain and public transportation, and rail strikes had the potential to impact many different industries, creating the need for this act.

130) Columbine Mine Massacre, 1927
After being on strike for three weeks, miners in the northern Colorado Columbine mine were met with extreme violence. A crowd of 200-600 picketers were shot at by the Colorado State Police. Six miners were killed and twenty others were wounded.   

a large group of people holding signs and waving to the camera with houses in the background
1,800 mill workers struck against the Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina in 1929.

131) Loray Mill strike, 1929
In Gastonia, North Carolina, 1,800 mill workers went on strike demanding improved working conditions, a forty-hour workweek, a minimum wage of $20 a week, and recognition of their union. Managment evicted strikers’ families from company owned homes, and two people were killed. The strike was unsuccessful, and many strikers found themselves blacklisted from area mills.

132) Davis-Bacon Act, 1931
The Davis-Bacon Act gave the Department of Labor the responsibility to determine minimum wage for public laborers through federal regulations. The act oversaw the enforcement of these labor standards and funded supporting projects. The act has since been amended multiple times at the demand of labor unions.

133) Century Airlines pilots strike, 1932
The Century Airlines Pilots Strike, considered to be the first strike among commercial airline pilots in the United States, took place over two months in 1932. The strike began when Century Airline owner Errett Lobban Cord cut wages by nearly 40%. The pilots, all members of the Air Line Pilots Association, formed various committees to speak with Cord about better working conditions, but only managed to speak with him once. Cord sent armed guards with resignation letters to the pilots, which they refused to sign. The strike was unsuccessful, as all of the pilots were replaced.

134) National Industrial Recovery Act, 1933
Passed by Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the Great Depression, the National Industrial Recovery Act intended to help facilitate economic recovery and benefit workers. The act enforced industrial self-regulation while giving employees the ability to collectively organize and bargain. NIRA was ruled as unconstitutional in May of 1935, and demonstrate Congress and big business’ unwillingness to support labor innovation.

135) Minneapolis Teamsters strike, 1934
In 1934, Minneapolis truck drivers went on strike, demanding recognition of the union, wage increases, and shorter working hours. Violence quickly broke out between police and unarmed strikers, and the governor of Minnesota declared martial law and sent in about 4,000 soldiers to control the situation. The strikers achieved most of their demands, and the strike contributed to the passage of the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act.

a group of people marching holding signs through a city
8,000 textile workers went on strike in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, as part of the General Textile Strike of 1934, led by the UTW.

136) Woonsocket strike, 1934
In Woonsocket, Rhode Island, approximately 8,000 textile workers, most of whom were women, went on strike against local mill owners. The strike was part of the larger General Textile Strike of 1934, which aimed to secure better wages and working conditions, led by the UTW. After four days, federal troops were used to forcibly end the strike.  

137) The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) passed, 1935
The National Labor Relations Act, better known as the Wagner Act, is a landmark piece of legislation that guarantees workers’ rights to organize unions and petition for better wages and working conditions. The Act established the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to oversee the unions and labor rights issues, strengthening the position of labor unions across the country, and marking a major shift in labor relations which empowered workers and promoted a fundamental right for many laborers.

138) General Motors sit-down strike, December 30, 1936-February 11, 1937
The General Motors (GM) strike was one of the most significant labor disputes in American history. The strike involved thousands of workers from the General Motors factories in Flint, Michigan, who demanded better wages, working conditions and a union. The sit-down strike was very effective for their demonstration as it had immobilized GM’s production. The strike ended with the recognition of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) which helped many factory workers achieve better pay and conditions across the United States.   

139) The Flint sit-down strike, December 30, 1936-February 11, 1937
The 1936-1937 Flint Sit-Down Strike was a pivotal event in American labor history. It involved workers at General Motors factories in Flint, Michigan, conducting a sit-down strike, demanding better wages, working conditions, and recognition of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) Union. The strike disrupted General Motors’ production and forced the company to negotiate with the workers. Ultimately, the strike ended with GM recognizing the UAW, marking a significant victory for the labor movement and leading to improved conditions for industrial workers across the United States.  

140) Little Steel strike, 1937
The Little Steel Strike involved steel workers, particularly those employed by smaller steel companies, hence the name ‘Little Steel.’ The strike was in response to low wages, poor working conditions, and the lack of recognition for unions. Violence ensued between strikers and company-hired private military forces, resulting in injury and death, and strikers were able to achieve their demands five years later using legal action, not striking.

uniformed police run after running men. the police are holding weapons. there is smoke in the air.
In 1937, police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators during the Little Steel Strike in Chicago, IL.

141) The Memorial Day Massacre, 1937
On May 30, 1937, striking steelworkers who were part of the Little Steel Strike in Chicago and their families gathered for a peaceful march near the Republic Steel plant. Tensions escalated, and police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators, killing ten and injuring many more. The Memorial Day Massacre highlighted violent tactics used by corporations and law enforcement against striking workers and was in many ways symbolic of the broader struggle for workers’ rights during the labor movement of the 1930s.

142) The Wages and Hours Act (Fair Labor Standards Act) passed, 1938
The Wages and Hours Act was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States. It established the federal minimum wage, prohibited child labor, and mandated overtime pay for certain workers. The FLSA aimed to improve working conditions, promote fair wages, and protect workers' rights across various industries. Its passage marked a significant milestone in labor reform.  

143) The Chrysler Auto strike, 1939
The 1939 Chrysler Auto Strike was a major labor dispute involving workers at Chrysler Corporation factories. The strike was sparked by demands for wage increases, improved working conditions, and union recognition by the United Automobile Workers (UAW). Lasting from February to April 1939, the strike saw significant tensions between workers and management and clashes with law enforcement. The strike ultimately ended with Chrysler agreeing to many of the workers' demands, solidifying the UAW's position in the auto industry and contributing to broader gains for organized labor in the United States.  

144) Supreme Court rules that sit-down strikes are illegal, 1939
On February 27, 1939, the Supreme Court ruled that sit-down strikes are illegal. Sit-down strikes, which involved sitting down within the manufacturing plant and refusing to work, were used as a less violent method of striking, and became especially popular in the 1930s when increased automation meant that workers could quickly stop all production in a factory. In response to the 1936 General Motors Sit Down Strike, which had a major impact on appliance production in the United States, the Supreme Court ruled they are illegal.

145) Ford Motor strike, 1941
Despite several previous strikes, including at General Motors and Chrysler, Ford Motor Company still refused to recognize the United Auto Workers (UAW). In April 1941, eight union members were fired by Ford’s head of security, and as a result, all workers left the factory and barricaded the entrance. After 10 days of striking and a rise in racial tensions between white and Black workers, Ford signed a contract which recognized the unionization of his workers.

146) Fair Employment Practices Commission founded, 1941
The Fair Employment Practices Commission was founded in 1943 to help implement Executive Order 8802, which banned all employment discrimination based on race. The order’s execution and enforcement led to increased employment of African Americans, though many of the jobs were skilled and poorly paid.

147) Meat Packer's strike of 1946
The United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA) and the Amalgamated Meat Cutters organized a strike of 93,000 packinghouse workers, hoping to obtain wage increases. This halted all production in the industry, and as a result, on January 24 President Truman ordered the government to seize all packing plants, claiming they were essential to the war effort. The Amalgamated Meat Cutters ended their strike and accepted the offer of a 15 cent per hour raise, while the UPWA held out a bit longer, and received a raise of 16 cents per hour.

148) The Railraod strike of 1946
On May 18th, 1946, several railway unions planned a railroad walkout. The day before the planned strike, President Truman signed Executive Order 9727, which allowed the government to seize and operate the railroads. The strike began on May 22, after failed negotiations with the White House, and caused massive supply chain disruptions and the decade’s worst car traffic. On May 24th, Truman threatened to use the army as strikebreakers, and as a result, the strikers accepted a 16 cent per hour wage increase the next day.

a group of ladies carrying signs and marching through the streets
The International Garment Workers Union protests the Taft-Hartley Act, 1952.

Kheel Center
Cornell University

149) Taft-Hartley Act, 1947
This law stated that employees have the right to not join a union, prohibited secondary boycotts on organizations that were not the company they were protesting, stated that unions could not charge excessive dues or initiation fees, and introduced many new types of representative elections.    

150) Meat Packers' strike of 1948
In March of 1948, the United Packinghouse Workers of America (UPWA) demanded a raise of 29 cents per hour, from the Big Four meat packing companies, while the Amalgamated Meat Cutters settled immediately for the nine cents raise per hour counteroffer. The UPWA went on strike on March 16, 1948, with the most employees on strike in South St. Paul and Newport, Minnesota. On May 14 the Minnesota National Guard was mobilized as ordered by the governor, and the strike ended on May 22 at noon when the UPWA decided to accept the 9-cent wage increase.

151) Hawaiian dock strike, 1949
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union led a six-month strike to gain equal wages for workers in Hawaii to their mainland counterparts. After years of receiving significantly lower pay, the Hawaiian Dock Strikers spent 171 days fighting against the dominating companies of Hawaii. Due to their steadfast determination and unified labor movement, the ILWU achieved their demands and gained more equality for workers and the future state of Hawaii.  

152) Operation Dixie, 1951
Operation Dixie began in 1951 as an effort by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) to unionize Southern workers, despite strong anti-union sentiment.  The campaign involved extensive outreach and meetings, but widespread success was slowed because of strong opposition in the Southern region.  Operation Dixie ended without achieving its goal, showing the challenges of organizing in the face of anti-union ideas. 

a group of men and women marching holding signs
Men and women holding signs that read "Boycott Kohler" in support of the UAW strike, 1954.

Wayne State University

153) Kohler strike, 1954
In 1954, United Auto Workers (UAW) members at Kohler Company initiated a strike to protest inadequate wages and working conditions.  The strike involved picketing and demonstrations.  The strike concluded in 1961 with a negotiated agreement, securing better wages and conditions for Kohler workers. Lasting 7 years, this strike is considered the longest strike in American labor history. 

154) Westinghouse strike, 1955
In 1955, Westinghouse employees initiated a 116-day strike to demand higher wages and improved benefits.  The strike involved picketing and demonstrations and played a pivotal role in labor negotiations in the electrical industry.  The strike ended with improved pay and benefits for workers. 

155) RWDSU strike, 1957
In 1957, members of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) went on strike, demanding better wages and working conditions. The strike was resolved through negotiated agreements that led to improved conditions for retail workers. 

156) ILGWU wildcat strike, 1959
In 1959, ILGWU members launched a wildcat strike, engaging in spontaneous picketing and protests without official union authorization. However, the picket line was abandoned in 1963, without many of the requests being met. This strike is important as it shows a more unsanctioned side to striking.

a female nurse stands in front of a house
A nurse standing in front of a newly opened health clinic for migratory farm workers in Tulare County, California.

157) Farm workers health clinics, 1962
In 1962, farm workers established health clinics to address healthcare needs and improve their overall well-being.  The initiative aimed to provide accessible healthcare for agricultural workers and took a proactive approach.  The establishment of health clinics marked a successful initiative to address healthcare needs for farm workers. 

158) NYC newspaper strike, 1963
The 1963, New York City Newspaper Strike began with extensive picketing and strikes by newspaper workers demanding better wages and job security.  Negotiated agreements concluded the strike, and strikers received an $8 pay raise. 

159) OCAW strike, 1966
In July 1966, members of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union (OCAW) went on strike after rejecting the contract offer made by the Union Carbide Company. The outcome of the strike is unclear. However, in January of 1967, OCAW signed contracts with several other large oil companies such as Gulf and Standard oil, that saw higher wages and improved worker benefits.

160) FLOC formation, 1967
In 1967, farm laborers organized the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) to represent migrant farm workers. The FLOC would lead a massive strike in Ohio in 1978, and begin a boycott of Campbell’s Soup that same year.

161) New York Telephone Co. strike, 1967
In July and August of 1967, thousands of telephone installers and repairmen went on a wildcat strike, stating that they were afraid to work alone in unsafe areas of New York City. After just over a week of negotiations, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) agreed to fire three workers involved, but also experimented with having workers work in pairs for 45 days to improve safety.

162) PATCO formation, 1968
In 1968 a group of New York traffic controllers who were unsatisfied with existing organizations for air traffic controllers created the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), with the help of attorney F. Lee Bailey. Only air traffic controllers could be members of this union. PATCO would play an important role in labor relations between traffic controllers and the FAA.

163) PATCO slowdown, 1968
On July 3, 1968, PATCO initiated “Operation Air Safety,” which was the first of many slowages by the union. The action slowed traffic by forcing traffic controllers to follow strict aircraft separation standards and demonstrated the strength of the new union.

164) CWA strikes against AT&T, 1969
In 1969, 200,000 members of the Communication Workers of America (CWA) struck against AT&T, demanding cost of living wage increases. After 18 days, AT&T agreed to a raise in both wages and benefits of almost 20% over three years, and also agreed to pay health care premiums in full.

a group of women protesting outside of a department store and holding signs
Workers at the Farah Manufacturing Company picket outside of a department store, 1972.

Pennsylvania State University
Penn State Special Collections

165) Farah strike, 1972
In May of 1972, 4,000 workers at the Farah Manufacturing Company struck for their right to have a union. Workers were paid poor wages, had few benefits, and were pressured to meet unreasonable quotas. In January of 1973, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered the company to allow a union, which was able to secure better pay, more job stability, and better bargaining procedures.

166) The Lordstown strike, 1972
In 1972, workers began a series of wildcat strikes against unattainable deadlines at the General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio. The strike was partially successful, as timelines were slowed to a more achievable pace, fired workers got backpay, and management became less aggressive. However, the strike mostly fell on deaf ears.

167) NYC teachers strike, 1973
In 1973, teachers in New York went on strike demanding better job security, smaller classroom sizes, wage increases, and better disciplinary procedures. 22 teachers were jailed and fined as a result of the strike. 

a group of men stand in a field
An early meeting of the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union (SFTU) in 1937. The union dissolved in 1974.

168) Southern Tenant Farmers' Union dissolution, 1974
In 1974, the Southern Tenant Farmers’ Union dissolved due to internal conflict and external pressure. Changing societal dynamics and internal divisions contributed to the decline of the union.

169) Atlanta sanitation workers go on strike, 1977
In 1973, Atlanta, Georgia elected its first African American mayor, Maynard Jackson, who had a reputation for advocating for Black city workers. Despite his election, sanitation workers still faced intermittent unjustified layoffs, and went on strike in 1977 to obtain a 50-cent hourly wage increase. Jackson resisted the strike and fired over 900 workers, and within a month the rest of the striking workers returned to work.

170) New York City goes three months without its three top newspapers, 1978
On August 9, 1978, New York City’s three primary newspapers—The Times, the Daily News, and the New York Post—announced they would unilaterally reduce their respective work staffs. In protest, local newspaper union members walked out the next day, and for 88 whole days, none of the three newspapers would publish an edition, effectively suspending the news industry in the nation’s largest city. This means there are no reports from the city’s biggest and most popular newspapers on the Yankees’ 1978 World Series victory (or their famous late-season comebacks against the Red Sox)! On November 6, management and the unions agreed that the newspapers could not fire swaths of their respective staffs at once, but instead could do so gradually. Neither side considered the agreement a win. 

171) Congress passes the Airline Deregulation Act, 1978
On October 24, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act, which abolished the previous system that gave the Civil Aeronautics Board, a division of the federal government, regulatory power over the airline industry. Now that airlines ran privately, new airlines formed, competition increased, fares lowered, and ticket sales soared, but air traffic congestion increased. When a recession hit at the end of the decade, the airlines which had expanded proved to be poorly financed, and many went out of business. The airlines that survived are the ones we know best today: American, United, Delta, and Southwest. 

172) Politically-charged Coors strikes end with union's dissolution, 1978
For more than a decade prior, labor unions had boycotted and struck against Coors Brewing Company over its ownership’s endorsements of politically conservative causes. The brewery’s discriminatory hiring practices against minorities such as Hispanics and members of the LGBTQ community were among the primary causes for union protest. In December of 1978, Local 366, the union most involved in the strike, was decertified, which was a victory for Coors. Despite this, the boycotts continued, especially on the West Coast, and throughout the 1980s Coors made efforts to extend its marketing to minority groups. 

173) Boston University faculty goes on strike, 1979
In the middle of the spring semester of 1979, much of the faculty of Boston University went on strike demanding higher salaries and an increased role in the college’s administrative affairs. The campus was like a ghost town, as no one knew whether classes would resume. On April 13, BU’s president John Silber agreed to their demands. This was the first professors’ strike at a major university in American history and served as a source of inspiration for teachers represented by education unions nationwide. 

174) UAW strikes against International Harvester, 1979
In August of 1979, members of the United Auto Workers (UAW) union began negotiations to amend a variety of work rules, especially involving overtime, with International Harvester (IH), a manufacturer of commercial and agricultural machinery. When the talks did not go well, UAW workers stopped going to work, causing millions of dollars in losses to IH, whose negotiators were often criticized for their inexperience and ineffectiveness. By April of 1980, IH gave in to the demands of the UAW, whose negotiators called their success an “overwhelming victory.” 

175) Hollywood goes on strike, 1980
With the recent emergence of home video and TV markets, actors of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) wanted imbursements from sales in the new entertainment distribution markets. The following year, they would strike again for similar demands. The familiar faces that graced the screens of TV boxes and movie theaters throughout America would go on to win in both efforts—and even gain higher general wages. 

a crowd of people holding signs, with one man clearly in the center, wearing a blue shirt and holding a sign
Baseball fans protest the MLB players' strike in 1981.

176) The summer without baseball, 1981
Not yet accustomed to the recently strengthened players’ union, Major League Baseball team owners failed to present a satisfying Basic Agreement to the MLB Players’ Association, causing the players, represented by Marvin Miller, on June 12 to refuse to continue the season. Fans would have to wait until August for Pete Rose’s record-claiming 3,361st hit. On July 31, with changes to free agency rules, the players agreed to play ball once again. To this day, 1981 remains the only year in which the MLB season was split into two halves. 

177) The PATCO strike, 1981
In early August of 1981, 12,000 members of PATCO went on strike seeking a 32-hour work week, a $10,000 pay raise, and better retirement plans. Though rarely enforced, a 1955 law banned such federal strikes. Calling it a “peril to national safety,” newly-elected President Ronald Reagan ordered them to return to work in 48 hours and fired and replaced the 11,000 who did not after time had run out. Shortly thereafter, the Federal Labor Relations Authority decertified the union. This event, often considered the most important labor strike of the era, sent a stark message to labor unions under the new presidential administration: that the government would not tolerate the ceasing of federal operations. 

178) Brown and Sharpe Manufacturing workers embark on 15-year legal battle, 1981
In late October of 1981, one third of Brown and Sharpe Tool Manufacturing’s 4,500 North Kingstown employees went on strike to challenge recent job transfers and poor pension plans. The second-largest private employer in Rhode Island, Brown and Sharpe had been outsourcing to Japan for a number of years prior to the union’s action. As the strike continued into the next year, state police fought with picketers, even going as far as to use tear gas on them. Workers soon returned to work, but the union’s pleas continued in court until 1998 when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal on the National Labor Relations Board’s rejection of the union’s attempt to prove the company had illegally forced the strike. 

179) Cartoon animators go on strike, 1982
In 1982, Hollywood animators went on strike, protesting the outsourcing of animation work overseas to Japan and South Korea. As a result, many cartoon series had to delay air dates scheduled for the fall. In the end, studios failed to cede to animators’ demands, resulting in the decline of American animation companies like Hanna-Barbera and the rise of ones based in foreign countries. 

180) NFL season cut short by striking players, 1982
Only a week into the 1982 NFL season, players announced a strike to protest, among other grievances, owners’ tight control. America would go without its beloved autumn sport until the middle of November when an agreement was made to increase players’ minimum wages and contractual benefits. The League ended up reducing the season to nine games, but the playoffs were significantly expanded to include sixteen teams instead of the usual twelve.

181) The Great Arizona Copper Miners' Strike begins, 1983
In the summer of 1983, copper miners in southeastern Arizona embarked on a three-year-long strike when the Phelps Dodge Corporation, the mine owner, stopped guaranteeing periodic collective bargaining meetings with mining unions. During the strike, the miners, who were primarily Mexican, advocated for improved wages and a ceasing of layoffs after recent copper devaluations forced the company to reduce its operations.The strike came to an end in 1986 when unions ceded to Phelps Dodge’s demands. 

182) First Greyhound bus drivers' strike begins, 1983
Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) across the country went on strike to protest pay cuts, which Greyhound Bus Lines determined were necessary due to increased competition, especially with the airline industry. When the company replaced the strikers with untrained drivers, picketers got violent, delaying running buses by breaking their headlights and bombarding scabs and strikebreakers with eggs and empty beer bottles. The ATU gave in to Greyhound’s demands as Christmas approached, and the following year the company would begin laying off much of its workforce. 

183) The Pan American World Airways strike, 1985
On February 28, 1985, unionized workers from Pan American World Airways began walkouts to protest a labor agreement that failed to satisfy their demands for better pay. A month later, tough negotiations forced the unions to settle with a contract similar to that which had caused the strike in the first place. After what proved to be a difficult decade for the transportation industry’s relations with labor unions, Pan Am would go on to cease operations six years later. 

184) The Hormel strike begins, 1985
During the recession of the early 1980s, Hormel Foods Corporation, a food processing company, cut wages and failed to improve working conditions. In protest, many workers from local unions around the company’s headquarters in Minnesota went on strike, though the parent union, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), did not support it. To maintain the workforce, Hormel hired non-union replacement workers who were mainly Mexican migrants, causing a rift in the community. In the fall of 1986, the local unions agreed to a new contract with Hormel, but only about 20% of workers regained their jobs. 

a group of people holding signs and protesting at a dock with ships in the background
New Bedford fishermen striking for better profits in 1985-1986.

New Bedford Fishing Heritage Center

185) New Bedford fishermen strike against boat owners, 1985-1986
On December 26, 700 fishermen of the country’s number one fleet began a strike to fight against a plethora of issues mostly concerned with their share in profits as trip expenses began to rise. Despite the bitter disagreements between union negotiators and boat owners, many fishermen returned to work in February of 1986.

186) John Deere workers fight against poor contracts, 1986-1987
A multitude of poor management decisions and ineffective contract-making led unionized workers at John Deere facilities in Iowa and Illinois to go on strike against ownership on August 23, 1986. In response, the company closed three facilities, prompting workers in other states to join the strike. In February of 1987, 163 days after the strike began, the company granted its workers better retirement plans, increased job security, and expanded pensions. However, the strike greatly reduced John Deere’s inventory and caused the company to experience its worst financial losses since the Great Depression. 

187) Hollywood writers go on strike, 1988
Seven years after Hollywood’s actors went on strike, Hollywood’s writers started making demands too. This time, they desired compensation for TV shows sold to foreign markets. Overall, they succeeded as well, and also gained more victories in retaining control over scripts after release. 

188) IAM strike at Eastern Airlines, 1989
In March of 1989, the Industrial Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers struck against Eastern Airlines. The conflict quickly turned personal, and Eastern Airlines President Frank Lorenzo hired non-union replacements for striking pilots, flight attendants, and mechanics. Though other factors contributed, the IAM strike was a significant reason for Eastern Airlines’ collapse in 1991.

a woman with a ponytail holding a picket sign outside of a ralph's grocery store
A grocery store worker on strike in 2003-2004.

189) Railway workers strike and the President responds, 1992
For two days, unionized workers represented by the International Association of Machinists went on strike when CSX Transportation, a railroad company, ignored pay demands. Rail lines across the country ceased operations, resulting in $1 billion in losses to the national economy as industries reliant on the efficiency of the railroads could not sustain their own operations. Only two days passed before President George H.W. Bush signed a bill passed through Congress that banned the strike and forced unions and companies to make a deal immediately. Though most union leaders consider the law unfair, the event serves as a stark reminder of the importance of the railroads in seemingly unrelated sectors of the United States’ economy. 

190) Eroding labor movement welcomes first contested election since 1970s, 1995
Around Labor Day of 1995, the Providence Journal reflected on the decline of the labor movement in the United States. At one time, many of the nation’s workers had strong unions to fight for them, but such support had dwindled when factories introduced automation and manufacturers outsourced jobs abroad. Despite this, the AFL-CIO, the nation’s largest federation of trade unions, began holding elections to contest the presidency of Thomas R. Donahue, whose term had just surpassed the 15-year mark. In the fall of 1995, insurgent John Sweeney would defeat Donahue and serve as the AFL-CIO president until 2009. 

191) General Electric strike, 2003
Almost 20,000 employees went on strike at forty-eight General Electric plants to protest the company's plan to increase the cost of healthcare benefits for current and retired G.E. workers. The strike, which spanned over 33 states, lasted two days and successfully ended with a resolution that protected G.E. workers against the proposed increase in healthcare costs.  

192) Broadway musicians' strike, 2003
Over 1000 Broadway musicians, actors, and stagehands from various unions went on strike after a failure to agree by producers and musicians regarding minimum contract requirements and downsizing orchestras. The strike caused all Broadway musicals to shut down and significantly impacted New York City's economy. The New York City Mayor intervened, and both parties reached a mutual agreement four days later, restoring NYC’s Broadway Industry.  

193) Southern California supermarket strike, 2003-2004
Over 70,000 Californian supermarket workers from four supermarket chains went on strike against plans that proposed to reduce workers’ healthcare benefits. The strike lasted four months and, although ultimately settled, significantly impacted the state's economy. Additionally, the strike resulted in Kroger Co. being indicted on felony charges and being fined 70 million for violating labor laws and hiring workers while negotiating with the union.  

194) NHL lockout, 2004-2005
The labor lockout of the National Hockey League was a 10-month-long strike that resulted in the cancelation of the 88th season. The strike resulted from the failure to reach new collective bargaining agreements between the league and the NHL Players' Association. The strike canceled over 1000 games and had a significant economic impact on league cities. A resolution was eventually met ten months later, leading to contract agreements, player policies, and game rule changes.  

195) General Motors strike, 2007
The two-day strike resulted from failed labor contract negotiations between G.M. and the United Auto Workers union. Over 73,000 workers protested, resulting in a pause in operations in over 80 facilities. The strike significantly impacted G.M.'s production and supply chains internationally. The parties eventually reached a deal, and the strike inspired the UAW to initiate labor contract agreements with other manufacturers, such as Ford and Chrysler.

a group of people wearing red and holding picket signs and bullhorns
Members of the Chicago Teachers Union on strike in 2012

196) Chicago Teachers Union strike, 2012
The impressive CTU strike inspired the 'Bargaining for the Common Good' initiative, in which unions protested demands that aided workers and society. The 2012 CTU strike responded to the City's decision to decline proposed budget increases for faculty pay and facilities such as the arts. The strike lasted seven days, resulted in significant changes, and highlighted the power of union protests nationally.  

197) U.S. prison strike, 2016
The largest U.S. prison strike involved 24,000 prisoners who protested unjust prisoner labor and living conditions. The nationwide strike aimed at ending constitutional servitude but ultimately failed.  

198) Verizon strike, 2016
The Verizon Strike involved over 40,000 workers demanding better contractual agreements regarding healthcare, pensions, and wages. The strike gained nationwide attention, and after nearly two months, a mutual agreement was formed between the parties.  

a group of people holding picket signs and a large yellow banner that says SAG-AFTRA
Members of SAG-AFTRA and other sympathetic unions rally in Philadelphia, 2023.

Piette / Flickr

199) Writers Guild of America strike, 2023
11,000 screenwriters went on strike for over 148 days due to a disagreement over their contracts, specifically regarding streaming residuals. The strike and the 2023 SAG -AFTRA strike halted the American film industry and significantly impacted workers' lives and the economy. The strike ended successfully, and the union reached a new contract agreement deal on September 24, 2023.    

200) SAG-AFTRA strike, 2023
The longest recorded strike between the Screen Actors Guild and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television producers over contract disagreements, specifically, the use of A.I., began on July 14, 2023, and coincided with the 2023 Writers Guild of America Strike, which led to the loss of almost 45,000 jobs. The strike also cost the Californian economy an estimated 6.5 billion dollars and significantly impacted the lives of workers who went without pay for months. The strike halted all film and television production and dominated headlines for months. The strike ended on November 9, and the parties reached a tentative contract agreement.  

1) Melvyn Dubofsky, "The Origins of the Labor Movememnt in the United States: Themes from the Nineteenth Century," Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 58, no. 4 (October 1991): 269-277.

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