Union Timeline

Timeline created by 17sieferti1
  • Lowell Mill Women Create First Union of Working Women

    Lowell Mill Women Create First Union of Working Women
    In the 1830s, half a century before the better-known mass movements for workers' rights in the United States, the Lowell mill women organized, went on strike and mobilized in politics when women couldn't even vote—and created the first union of working women in American history.
  • Atlanta's Washerwomen Strike 1881

    Atlanta's Washerwomen Strike 1881
    With slavery less than two decades behind them, thousands of black laundresses went on strike for higher wages, respect for their work and control over how their work was organized. In the summer of 1881, the laundresses took on Atlanta’s business and political establishment and gained so much support that they threatened to call a general strike, which would have shut the city down.
  • Haymarket Riot

    Haymarket Riot
    A labor rally at the Haymarket Square in Chicago, called in support of the eight-hour day, erupts into chaos when an unknown party tosses a bomb at police, who then fire into the crowd. The incident stains labor's image and creates turmoil within the movement.
  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)

    Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)
    The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 was the first measure passed by the U.S. Congress to prohibit trusts. The law forbade any "restraint of commerce" across state lines, and courts ruled that union strikes and boycotts were covered by the law. This was ironic since the Sherman Act had been passed by liberal reformers hoping to curb the abuses of business cartels and monopolies, not to crack down on unions.
  • 1892 Homestead Strike

    1892 Homestead Strike
    The 1892 Homestead strike in Pennsylvania and the ensuing bloody battle instigated by the steel plant's management remain a transformational moment in U.S. history, leaving scars that have never fully healed after five generations. The skilled workers at the steel mills in Homestead, seven miles southeast of downtown Pittsburgh, were members of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers who had bargained exceptionally good wages and work rules.
  • McKees Rock Strike 1909

    McKees Rock Strike 1909
    Eugene V. Debs, arguably the foremost union activist in American history, described the 1909 McKees Rock, Pa., strike this way: "The greatest labor fight in all my history in the labor movement." Yet today, few remember this struggle when immigrant workers rose up and changed the course of American unionism.The strike took place at the huge Pressed Steel Car Co. plant in McKees Rock, a few miles down the Ohio River from Pittsburgh.
  • LA Times Bombing

    LA Times Bombing
    A bomb explodes at the headquarters of the stridently anti-union Los Angeles Times, killing twenty people. Eventually two men connected with the Iron Workers Union, which has been implicated in other bombings, will confess to dynamiting the Times.
  • Pro-Labor Wagner Act of 1935

    Pro-Labor Wagner Act of 1935
    The act of 1935 establish the legal right of most workers. It gave employees the right, under Section 7, to form and join unions, and it obligated employers to bargain collectively with unions selected by a majority of the employees in an appropriate bargaining unit. It set up a permanent three-member National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) with the power to hear and resolve labour disputes through quasi-judicial proceedings.
  • Pro-business Taft-Hartley Act passed Congress in 1947

    Pro-business Taft-Hartley Act passed Congress in 1947
    In 1947, Republican lawmakers, reflecting the public perception that unions had grown too powerful, passed the Taft-Hartley Act over the veto of President Truman. The assertion by labor unions that the law was a "slave labor act" was obviously overblown, but the legislation did hit unions right where it hurt. While the New Deal Wagner Act had protected the rights of unions, Taft-Hartley gave new rights to businesses.
  • The Great Postal Strike of 1970

    The Great Postal Strike of 1970
    Maybe Time was stunned. But 200,000 postal workers had a different view. For them, the Great Postal Strike of 1970 was the moment they were "standing 10 feet tall instead of groveling in the dust," as a Manhattan letter carrier put it. They got fed up, joined together, and transformed both the Postal Service and their own lives forever.