Today in labor history, February 11, 1913: “You don’t have to die to get to hell. Just come to Akron, Ohio, and get a pass to enter any one of the many rubber shops.” Workers at the Firestone factory walk off the job over the imposition of a new piece-rate scale. Four days later, nearly 15,000 workers were on strike in the city.
Today in labor history, February 6, 1910: A strike by shirtwaist workers – primarily immigrant women and girls – in Philadelphia’s garment sweatshops ends. Despite mass arrests, intimidation, scabs, and media blasts against them, the workers refused to back down until their demands for improved working conditions, reduce working hours, increased wages, and union recognition were met. [Photo: unidentified shirtwaist workers, probably in New York, ca. 1909.]