A Brief American History Timeline
1600's
1607
    English planters found Jamestown colony and complain about lack of laborers
slave
Slave Trade Begins


1619
    Slave Trade Begins Slaves from Africa first imported to colonies
 
1620
    Mayflower Compact signed creating "just and equal laws."
 
1636
    Maine Indentured Servants' and Fishermen's Mutiny

1648
    Shoemakers and coopers (barrel-makers) guilds organize in Boston

1664
    First slavery codes begin trend of making African servants slaves for life

1676
    Bacon’s Rebellion of servants and slaves in Virginia

1677
    First recorded prosecution against strikers in New York City
  
Top
1700's
1724
    Carpenter's Company of Philadelphia chartered to assist carpenter's instruction and well-being.

1739
    Stono Rebellion of slaves in South Carolina.
Boston Massacre
The Boston Massacre


1741
    New York bakers quit work to protest local government setting the price of bread-possibly the first work stoppage in America

1765
    The first society of working women, the Daughters of Liberty, is organized as an auxiliary of the Sons of Liberty, a workingman's association

1768
    New York tailors strike to protest a wage cut

1770
    Boston Massacre set off by a conflict between rope workers and British soldiers

1775
    A strike in Boston harbor, more commonly known as the "Boston Tea Party." Local citizens dressed as Indians throw British tea overboard

1776
    Declaration of Independence signed in Carpenter's Hall

1778
    New York printers combine temporarily to ask for a wage increase, disband after winning it

1786
    Philadelphia printers strike

1790
    First textile mill, built in Pawtucket, RI, is staffed entirely by children under the age of 12

1791
    First Building Trades Strike: Philadelphia carpenters strike for a 10-hour day and overtime pay

1792
    The first local craft union formed for collective bargaining was organized by shoemakers in Philadelphia

1794
    The Philadelphia shoemakers reorganized as the Federal Society of Journeymen Cord Wainers.
 
    The Typographical Society was formed by printers in New York City

1799
    The Philadelphia shoemakers in a "sympathy strike" to support a local toolmakers' strike

Top
1800-1829
 1800
    Gabriel Prosser leads a slave revolt in Virginia
 
1805
    A journeymen Cord Wainers' union in New York City includes a closed-shop clause in its constitution

1806
    Employers start taking labor groups to court for "criminal conspiracies in constraint of trade". The shoemakers, found guilty and fined, went bankrupt and disbanded.

    Members of the Philadelphia Journeyman Cord Wainers were tried for criminal conspiracy after a strike for higher wages

1814
    The invention of the power loom makes weaving a factory occupation
spinning mule
Spinning mule 


1819
    Depression begins

1822
    Denmark Vesey leads a slave rebellion in South Carolina

1824
    Women workers strike for the first time, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. 102 women workers strike in support of brother weavers protesting the simultaneous reduction in wages and extension of the workday

1825
    The United Tailoresses of New York, a trade union organization for women, organized in New York City.
 
1827
    The Mechanics Union of Trade Associations, made up of skilled craftsmen in different trades, formed in Philadelphia - first city central federation.

    Philadelphia Carpenters' Strike

1828
    Depression begins

    First workingmen's parties formed to try to elect candidates favoring the 10-hour day, free public education, and ending the practice of imprisoning people in debt

    Paterson New Jersey, Textile Strike
 
1829
    The Workingmen's Party of New York formed

    Carpenter Ebenezer Ford becomes the first trade unionist elected to public office in New York
 
Top
1830-1849
1831
    New England Association of Farmers, Mechanics and other Workingmen formed.

    February, 1600 women members of the United Tailoresses of New York, strike for "a just price for our labor."
 
    Nat Turner leads a slave rebellion in Virginia
Nat Turner
Nat Turner


    Lynn, Massachusetts, Shoe Binders' Protest

1832
    Boston Ship Carpenters' Ten Hour Strike

1833
    Lynn, Massachusetts, Shoe Binders' Protest begins

    Manayunk, Pennsylvania, Textile Strike

    New York City Carpenters' Strike

1834
    National Trades Union, first attempt at a national labor federation, formed in New York

    Lowell, Massachusetts, Mill Women's Strike
 
    Manayunk, Pennsylvania, Textile Strike

1835
    Ten-Hour Movement among skilled workers

    Children employed in the silk mills in Paterson, New Jersey go on strike for the 11 hour day, 6 days a week.
 
1836
    National Cooperative Association of Cord Wainers, the first national union of a specific craft, formed in New York City

    Mill workers Lowell, Massachusetts,
Mill Women
Mill workers


    Mill Women's Strike

    New York City Tailors' Strike

    Philadelphia Bookbinders' Strike

1837
    Depression begins

    Andrew Jackson declares a 10-hour workday in Philadelphia Navy Yard

1840
    President Martin Van Buren establishes the ten-hour day for employees on federal public works projects.

1842
    Massachusetts Supreme Court, in Commonwealth v. Hunt, rules that labor unions, as such, are not illegal conspiracies.

    Anthracite Coal Strike

1845
    The Female Labor Reform Association is formed in Lowell, Massachusetts by Sarah Bagley and other women cotton mill workers to reduce the work day from 12 or 13 hours a day to 10, and to improve sanitation and safety in the mills where they worked.

1847
    New Hampshire passes first state law fixing ten hours as the legal workday.

1848
    Pennsylvania's child labor law makes twelve the minimum age for workers in commercial occupations.

Top
1850-1869

1850
    New York City Tailors' Strike.

1852
    Typographical Union founded - first national union of workers to endure to present day
Eugene Debs
Eugene V. Debs


1855
    Eugene V. Debs , US labor leader, is born

1859
    Iron Molders' International Union founded

1860
    New England Shoemakers' Strike

1861
    Civil War Begins

    American Miners' Association , the first national coal miners' union, is formed in St. Louis, Mo.

1862
    Congress Passes the Homestead Act

1863
    Emancipation Proclamation frees the slaves

    Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers founded

1864
    Cigar Makers' Union founded

1865
    Thirteenth Amendment ratified, abolishing slavery in the United States

1866
    National Labor Union founded - an attempt at creating a national federation of unions

    Molders' Lockout

1867
    Knights of St. Crispin founded - a union of factory workers in the shoe industry

1868
    First federal eight-hour law passed - applied only to laborers, workmen, and mechanics employed by the government

    Anthracite Coal Strike

1869
    Colored National Labor Union founded

    Knights of Labor organized in Philadelphia

    Troy, New York, Collar Laundresses' Strike

    Women shoemakers form the Daughters of St. Crispin, the first national union of women workers, at Lynn, Massachusetts.
Top
1870-1879
 
1870
    First written contract between coal operators and coal miners signed

1872
    National Labor Reform Party formed
Great Railroad Stirke of 1877
The Great Railroad Strike of 1877

1873
    Depression begins

    Miners' National Association formed

1874
    The union label is used for the first time by the Cigar Makers International Union

1875
    A five-month long labor war in Pennsylvania between mostly Irish Coal Miners and the Reading Coal and Iron Company

1876
    Trials of the "Molly Maguires", a secret society of Irish coal miners in Pennsylvania that had been infiltrated by a Pinkerton detective, surrendered state sovereignty. A private corporation initiated the investigation through a private detective agency. A private police force arrested the alleged defenders, and private attorneys for the coal companies prosecuted them. The state provided only the courtroom and the gallows

1877
    National Uprising of Railroad Workers cripples the nation in response to the cutting of wages for the second time in a year by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. The governor of West Virginia sends in state militia, but they refused to use force against the strikers and the governor called for federal troops. President Hayes sent federal troops from city to city. These troops suppressed strike after strike, until at last, approximately 45 days after it had started, the strike was over.
 
    "Rope Day" ten leaders of the Molly Maguires were hanged
Top
1880-1889

1881
Atlanta, Georgia: 3,000 Black women laundry workers stage one of the largest and most effective strikes in the history of the south

1882
September, First Labor Day Celebration takes place in New York City
Haymarket strike
Haymarket Riot


1883
Pendleton Act established the United States Civil Service Commission, which placed most federal employees on the merit system and marked the end of the spoils or patronage system

1885
Knights of Labor Strike of South West System (J. Gould): The Missouri Pacific, the Missouri, Kansas and Texas; and the Wabash.

The Foran Act bans immigration of laborers brought in under contract to break strikes

1886
March, Great Southwest Railroad Strike of 200,000 workers against the Union Pacific and Missouri Pacific railroads owned by Jay Gould, one of the more flamboyant of the 'robber baron' industrialists of the day. The failure of the strike led directly to the collapse of the Knights of Labor and the formation of the American Federation of Labor.

Haymarket Tragedy: May 1, in Chicago's Haymarket Square a bomb went off in the middle of a protest rally against the killing of 4 strikers who had been on strike for the 8-hour day.

The American Federation of Labor is formed at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, representing 140,000 workers grouped in 25 national unions. Sam Gompers is elected President

1888
Thomas W. Talbot and 18 other machinists met in a railroad engine pit in Atlanta, Ga. They formed the Order of United Machinists and Mechanical Engineers of America, now the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

The first federal labor relations law was enacted, applying to Railroad workers. It provided arbitration and Presidential boards of investigation
Top
1890-1899

1892
    The Great Homestead Lockout at the Carnegie Steel Works outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania against the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel & Tin Workers. Carnegie directs his manager, Frick, not to renew the union contract. Frick turns mills into "Fort Frick," hires Pinkertons to protect scabs and locks out union laborers. Strikers battle arriving Pinkertons (9 strikers and 7 Pinkertons killed).
Cripple Creek
Cripple Creek Miners prisoners of
 the military


    Integrated general strike of 42 unions in New Orleans, broken when Governor Foster sends in the State Militia to use military force against the strikers.

    Mary Kenney O'Sullivan of the Bindery Workers is appointed the AFL's first female national organizer
 
1893
    In the Cripple Creek Strike, Colorado gold miners, represented by the Western Federation of Miners are able to negotiate a peaceful end to a pitched battle between unionists and the state militia

1894
    Eugene V. Debs leads the newly formed American Railway Union in a national strike against the Pullman Company. The strike and the union were finally broken by a court injunction and the intervention of federal troops

1898
    Spanish-American War begins

    Congress passes the Erdman Act, a more detailed version of the 1888 Railroad workers legislation, adding sections to make it illegal to fire workers for their union membership

    American Labor Union founded

    Marlboro, Massachusetts, Shoe Workers' Strike begins

1899
    Brotherhood of Teamsters founded

    Buffalo, New York, Grain Shovelers' Strike

    Cleveland, Ohio, Street Railway Workers' Strike

    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Miners' Strike
   
Top
1900-1909

1900
    International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union founded

    Anthracite Coal Strike
Mother Jones
Mother Jones the Miners Angel

    Machinists' Strike
 
1901
    Socialist Party of America founded

    United Textile Workers founded

    Machinists' Strike

    National Cash Register Strike

    San Francisco Restaurant Workers' Strike

    Steel Strike
 
1902
    Great Anthracite Coal Strike , 147,000 miners strike over union recognition. Pres. Roosevelt mediated miners walk off the job for 164 days

    Chicago Teamsters' Strike

    Big Bill Haywood leads the Western Federation of Miners (WMF) through a terrible and bloody series of conflicts spanning two years in what became known as the Colorado Labor Wars
 
1903
    Mary Harris "Mother" Jones leads a protest march of mill children, many of whom were victims of industrial accidents, from Philadelphia to New York

    Department of Commerce and Labor created by Congress
Coal Miners
Miners


    Women's Trade Union League founded

    Cripple Creek, Colorado, Miners' Strike begins

    Oxnard, California, Sugar Beet Strike

    Telluride, Colorado, Miners' Strike begins

    Utah Coal Strike begins
 
1904
    New York City Interborough Rapid Transit Strike

    Packinghouse Workers' Strike

    Santa Fe Railroad Shopmen's Strike begins

1905
    In Chicago, Eugene Debs and Big Bill Haywood combine efforts to found the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies as they were called) to bring all American workers into "One Big Union

    New York Supreme Court, in Lochner v. New York, declares maximum hours law for bakers unconstitutional 1906

    Eight-hour day widely installed in the printing trades
 
1906
    The International Typographical Union successfully strikes for an 8-hour day

1907
    Goldfield, Nevada, Miners' Strike begins

    An explosion kills 361 miners in Monongah, West Virginia in the nation's worst mining disaster
 
1908
    President William Howard Taft elected

    Federal court, in US v. Adair, finds section of the Erdman Act banning yellow-dog contracts unconstitutional

    US Supreme Court, in Danbury Hatters Case, holds a boycott by the United Hatters Union against a manufacturer to be a conspiracy in restraint of trade under the Sherman Antitrust Act

    US Supreme Court, in Muller v. Oregon, declares an Oregon law limiting working hours for women unconstitutional

    IWW Free-Speech Fight in Missoula, Montana
 
1909
    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People founded

    Georgia Railroad Strike

    IWW Free-Speech Fight in Spokane, Washington

    McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Steel Strike

    "Uprising of the 20,000" Garment Strike in New York

    Watertown, Connecticut, Arsenal Strike

    Canada establishes Department of Labour due to union pressure
Top
1910-1919

1910
    Bethlehem Steel Strike
triangle Shirt Waist Fire
Fire Engine Races to the Triangle
Shirtwaist fire.  146 women die.


    Cloak makers' Strike
 
    Chicago Clothing Workers' Strike, led by fifteen year old Bessie Noramowitz

    Los Angeles strike wave

    Philadelphia General Strike

    The wives of striking miners arrested in Greensburg, Pennsylvania sing their way out of jail under the leadership of Mother Jones
 
1911
    US Supreme Court, in Gompers v. Bucks Stove and Range Company, upholds an injunction ordering the AFL to remove the company from its unfair list and cease a boycott.

    Fire kills 146 workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City.

    Illinois Central and Harriman Lines Rail Strike begins

    Southern Lumber Operators' Lockout begins
 
1912
    President Woodrow Wilson elected

    Massachusetts adopt the first minimum wage act for women and minors. women strikers

    Chicago Newspaper Strike

    Fur Workers' Strike

    IWW Free-Speech Fight in San Diego, California

    Lawrence, Massachusetts, Textile Strike, twenty thousand textile workers representing 26 different nationalities win the 60 day "Bread and Roses" strike

    Louisiana Timber Workers' Strike begins

    New York City Hotel Strike

    Pain Creek and Cabin Creek, West Virginia, Mine Strikes
Lawarance strike
20,000 Strikers in 1912
Bread and Roses Strike

 
1913
    US Department of Labor established

    Ludlow, Colorado, Massacre

    Machinists Strike and Boycott

    Michigan Copper Strike

    Paterson, New Jersey, Textile Strike

    Rubber Workers' Strike

    Studebaker Motors Auto Workers' Strike

    Wheatland, California, Hop Riot
 
1914
    Congress passes the Clayton Antitrust Act. Ostensibly limits the use of injunctions in labor disputes

    Amalgamated Clothing Workers founded
Ludlow monument
Monument to Murdered Strikers and
Family Members in Ludlow, Co


    Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill Strike begins

    Company gunmen attack a tent colony of striking UMWA families in Colorado and kill 19 men, women, and children in the Ludlow Massacre
 
1915
    Congress passes the LaFollette Seamen's Act - regulates working conditions for seamen

    Standard Oil Strike

    Youngstown, Ohio, Steel Strike begins

    Joe Hill , IWW union organizer, executed in Salt Lake City on trumped up murder charge
 
1916
    Congress passes Federal Child Labor Law - later declared unconstitutional

    Congress passes the Adamson Act establishing the eight-hour day for railroad workers

    Six killed and forty wounded in bombing of San Francisco preparedness parade - labor leaders arrested

    American Federation of Teachers founded

    Arizona Copper Strike

    Everett, Washington, Massacre

    Minnesota Iron Range Strike

    New York City Transit Strike

    New York Cloak makers' Strike

    San Francisco Open Shop Campaign

    Standard Oil Strike
 
1917
    United States enters World War I

    Supreme Court, in Hitchman Coal and Coke v. Mitchell, upholds the legality of yellow-dog contracts

    Green Corn Rebellion in Oklahoma

    Tom Mooney sentenced to death for role in San Francisco preparedness parade bombing.

    Bisbee, Arizona, Miners' Strike

child labor
Many Young Children were Killed or
Crippled before Child Labor became illegal
in the US.
    Butte, Montana, Miners' Strike

    East St. Louis Race Riot

    Pacific Northwest Lumber Strike
 
1918
    War Labor Board is created

    Keating-Owen Act bans child labor; annulled by Supreme Court Many Young Children were Killed or Crippled before Child Labor became illegal in the US.

    World War I ends

    Leadership of the Industrial Workers of the World sentenced to federal prison on charges of disloyalty to the United States

    First national conference of women trade unionists
 
1919
    Huge postwar strike wave sweeps across the nation

    Communist Party of America founded

    Red Scare begins

    Actors' Strike

    Boston Police Strike

    Centralia, Washington, Massacre

    Chicago Race Riot

    New England Telephone Strike

    Seattle General Strike

    16,000 Silk Workers in Paterson, NJ strike for a shorter workweek

    Steel Strike

    Winnipeg General Strike in Canada
Top
1920-1929

1920
    President Warren Harding elected

    More than four thousand alleged Communists arrested for deportation under "Anarchist Exclusion" Act of 1918; DOL refuses to deport the bulk of those arrested; Secretary Wilson threatened with impeachment.

    Trade Union Educational League founded
Blair Mountain
Coal Miners Turn In Guns in
Matewan County


    Alabama Miners' Strike

    Clothing Workers' Lockout

    West Virginia Coal Wars begin, ten people killed in the Matewan Massacre in a battle over the right to organize the southern West Virginia coalfields

1921 
    Supreme Court, in Duplex Printing Press v. Deering, rules that the Clayton Act notwithstanding, federal courts could enjoin unions for actions in restraint of trade

    Congress restricts immigration to the United States and establishes the national origin quota system
Seamen's Strike

    West Virginia Coal Wars and Baldwin-Felts agents kill West Virginia unionists Sid Hatfield an Ed Chambers on the steps of the McDowell County Courthouse

    Battle of Blair Mountain, 2000 US troops block miners' attempt to organize in southern West Virginia
 
1922
    Conference for Progressive Political Action founded

    Anthracite Coal Strike

    Bituminous Coal Strike

    Herrin, Illinois, Massacre

    Nationwide railroad strike of 400,000 shop workers caused by the Railroad Labor Board's wage cut. The railroads hired strikebreakers, increasing hostilities between the railroads and striking workers. On September 1 federal judge James H. Wilkerson issued a sweeping injunction against striking, assembling, picketing, and a variety of other union activities, colloquially known as the "Daugherty Injunction

1924
    President Calvin Coolidge elected

    Samuel Gompers dies. William Green becomes president of the American Federation of Labor
 
1925
    Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters founded

    Anthracite Coal Strike

1926
    Congress passes the Railway Labor Act, which requires that employers bargain with unions and forbids discrimination against union members

    Passaic, New Jersey, Textile Strike
NY stock exchange
Outside the NY Stock Exchange

 
1927
    Nicolo Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, Massachusetts labor activists are executed

    Bituminous Coal Strike

    Columbine Mine Massacre of striking coal miners in Colorado who were attacked with machine guns

1928
    President Herbert Hoover elected

    New Bedford, Massachusetts, Textile Strike

    Convict-labor system for coal mining is outlawed in Alabama
 
1929
    Stock market crash and the beginning of the Great Depression

    Trade Union Unity League founded

    Conference for Progressive Labor Action founded

    Gastonia, North Carolina, Textile Strike
 
Top
1930-1939

1930
    Mother Jones , UMWA organizer, dies at age 100

    National Unemployed Council formed

    Imperial Valley, California, Farm workers' Strike
 
1931
    Congress passes Davis-Bacon Act providing for payment of prevailing wages to workers employed on public works projects

    "Scottsboro Boys" arrested in Alabama
teamsters strike
Teamsters Battle Police in Minneapolis, MN.


    Harlan County, Kentucky, Miners' Strike

    Tampa, Florida, Cigar Workers' Strike
 
1932
    President Franklin Delano Roosevelt elected

    Emergency Relief and Construction Act; created employment through a public works program.
  
    Congress passes the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which prohibits federal injunctions in labor disputes and outlaws yellow-dog contracts

    Bonus March of World War I veterans on Washington, DC

    American Federation of Government Employees founded

    California Pea Pickers' Strike

    Century Airlines Pilots' Strike

    Davidson-Wilder, Tennessee, Coal Strike begins

    Ford Hunger March in Detroit, Michigan

    Four workers killed as protesters march on Ford Rouge Plant near Detroit seeking jobs during the Great Depression

    Vacaville, California Tree Pruners' Strike
 
1933
    Congress passes the National Industrial Recovery Act, Section 7(a) of which guarantees rights of employees to organize and bargain collectively

    Civilian Conservation Corps established; DOL assists with administration.  

    Frances Perkins becomes secretary of labor and the first woman named to a presidential cabinet
Newspaper Guild founded

    Briggs Manufacturing Strike
western federation of miners
Colorado Miners Poster


    California Farm workers' Strikes

    Detroit, Michigan, Tool and Die Strike

    Hormel, Iowa, Meat-Packing Strike

    New Mexico Miners' Strike
 
1934
    Southern Tenant Farmers' Union founded

    Harlem, New York City, Jobs-for-Negroes Boycott

    Imperial Valley, California, Farm workers' Strike

    Minneapolis Teamsters' Strike

    Newark Star-Ledger Newspaper Strike begins

    Rubber Workers' Strike

    San Francisco Longshoremen & General Strike

    Textile Workers' Strike

    Toledo, Ohio, Auto-Lite Strike
 
1935
    US Supreme Court declares the National Industrial Recovery Act unconstitutional
 
    Congress passes the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which protects the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively.

    FD Roosevelt signs the labor-backed Social Security Act into law

    Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) formed inside the American Federation of Labor

    Negro Labor Committee founded
 
    United Auto Workers founded

    Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri Metal Workers' Strike

    Pacific Northwest Lumber Strike

    Southern Sharecroppers' and Farm Laborers' Strike
 
1936
    President Franklin Roosevelt reelected

    Steel Workers' Organizing Committee formed

    Atlanta, Georgia, Auto Workers' Sit-Down Strike

    Berkshire Knitting Mills Strike

    First sit-down strike by auto workers starts at Bendix Products in South Bend, Indiana

    General Motors Sit-Down Strike

    RCA Strike

    Rubber Workers' begin the nation's first major sit-down strike at the Firestone tire plant in Akron, Ohio

    Seamen's Strike

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Newspaper Strike
 
1937
    US Supreme Court declares the NLRA constitutional

    American Federation of Labor expels the CIO unions

    American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union founded

    General Motors Sit-Down Strikes in US and Canada - strikes end after workers win first UAW contract

    Battle of the Overpass, Ford Motor Co. thugs beat Walter Reuther and other UAW organizers in Dearborn, Michigan

    Hershey, Pennsylvania, Chocolate Workers' Strike
sitdown strike
Sit Down Strikers at Flint MI Ford Plant


    Little Steel Strike and Memorial Day Massacre, ten strikers shot at Republic Steel in Chicago

    US Steel signs a first contract with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee
 
1938
    Congress passes the Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes the forty-hour work week, the minimum wage, and bans child labor in interstate commerce

    Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) is founded with John L. Lewis as president

    John L. Lewis, seeking to organize steelworkers, secures a labor contract with the president of the world's largest steel company, United States Steel, but the smaller companies that collectively were known as "Little Steel" brutally fought steelworkers. Scores of deaths and injuries occurred as the United Steelworkers of America struck at Little Steel plants across the industrial northeast

    Chicago Newspaper Strike begins

    Hilo, Hawaii, Massacre

    Maytag Strike

    US Supreme Court issues decision permitting employers to permanently replace strikers
 
1939
    Chrysler Auto Strike

    General Motors Tool and Die makers' Strike
Top
1940-1949

1940
    President Franklin Roosevelt reelected  
fdr 
President Roosevelt 


    Philip Murray replaces John L. Lewis as CIO president

    Ford Motor Strike
 
1941
    United States enters World War II  

    Walt Disney Animators strike

    AFL and CIO give no-strike pledges for the duration of the war

    Allis-Chalmers Strike

    Captive Coal Mines Strike

    Detroit, Michigan, Hate Strike against black workers

    International Harvester Strike

    New York City Bus Strike

    North American Aviation Strike
 
1942
    National War Labor Board is established - establishes the "Little Steel Formula" for wartime wage adjustments

    United Steel Workers of America founded
 
1943  
    Fair Employment Practices Committee is established

    Congress passes the Smith-Connally Act to restrict strikes and union political activity during the war

    Bituminous Coal Strike, UMWA strike which triggered a US government takeover of the mines ends with a contract providing portal-to-portal pay and other benefits

    Detroit, Michigan, Hate Strikes against black workers
disney strike 
Disney Animators on Strike 


    Detroit, Michigan, Race Riot
 
1944
    President Franklin Roosevelt reelected

    Philadelphia Transit Strike
 
1945
    President Franklin Roosevelt dies

    Vice-President Harry S. Truman becomes President

    World War II ends
 
1945
    Kelsey-Hayes Strike

    New York City Longshoremen's Strike

    Montgomery Ward Strike

    Oil Workers' Strike
  

1946
    Huge postwar strike wave sweeps across the nation

    United Mine Workers win a health and welfare fund in bargaining with the coal operators

    Nationwide coal strike prompts US government to seize the mines to continue production

    Electrical Manufacturing Strikes

    General Motors Strike
rosie the riveter 
Unions Promise Not to
Strike to Support the War Effort. 


    Pittsburgh Power Strike

    Railroad Strike

    Steelworkers launch 30 state strike against US Steel
 
1947
    Congress passes the Taft-Hartley Act (Labor Management Relations Act) restricting union practices and permitting the states to ban union security agreements.

    RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company Strike

    Telephone Strike
 
1948
    President Harry S. Truman is reelected

    Progressive Party formed
 
1949
    CIO expels two unions for alleged Communist domination

    Hawaii Dock Strike
 
Top
1950-1959

1950
    United States enters Korean War  

    CIO expels nine unions for alleged Communist domination
George Meany 
George Meany


    United Auto Workers and General Motors sign a contract that provides for pensions, automatic cost-of-living wage adjustments, and guaranteed increases over the life of the contract

    "Salt of the Earth" Strike of New Mexico Miners begin
 
1951
    UAW president Walter Reuther elected president of CIO
 
1952
 
    President Truman seizes the steel industry when the steel companies reject the Wage Stabilization Board recommendations. Supreme Court rules the action unconstitutional

    George Meany becomes president of the AFL

    Walter Reuther becomes president of the CIO

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower is elected

    Steel Strike
 
1953
    AFL and CIO agree to a "no raiding" pact. AFL expels the International Longshoremen's Association for corruption

    Louisiana Sugar Cane Workers' Strike
kohler 
Kohler Strikers 

 
1954  
    Kohler Strike begins
 
1955
    United Auto Workers win supplementary unemployment benefits in bargaining with Ford

    AFL and CIO merge with George Meany as first president, UMWA remains independent

    Southern Telephone Strike
 
1956
    President Dwight D. Eisenhower is reelected

    East Coast Longshoremen's Strike

    Steel Strike

    Canadian Labour Congress founded
 
1957
    AFL-CIO expels Teamsters, Bakery Workers, and Laundry Workers for corruption
 
1959
    Congress passes the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (Landrum-Griffin), which regulates the internal affairs of unions

    Longest steel strike in U.S. history, shut down 90% of US steel production for 116 days
Top
1960-1969

1960
    President John F. Kennedy is elected

    Civil rights sit-in begins at Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina

    Negro American Labor Council founded
 
    General Electric Strike
 
    Seamen's Strike
 
1962
    Presidential executive order gives federal employee's unions the right to bargain with government agencies
 
    New York City Newspaper Strike begins

    East Coast Longshoremen's Strike
 
1963
    President John F. Kennedy is assassinated

    Vice-President Lyndon B. Johnson becomes President

    Congress passes Equal Pay Act prohibiting wage differentials based on sex for workers covered by the Fair  Labor Standards Act
 
1964
    President Lyndon B. Johnson is reelected
mlk killing 
Dr. Martin Luther King Murdered
 While Supporting Strikers 


    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin

    Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa succeeds in bringing virtually all North American over-the-road truck drivers under a single national master freight agreement
 
1965
    United Farm Workers Organizing Committee formed

    California Grape Workers' Strike
 
1966
    New York City Transportation Strike
 
1967
    Copper Strike begins
 
1968
    President Richard M. Nixon is elected

    Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., is assassinated while supporting a strike by Memphis, Tennessee, sanitation workers.

    New York City Teachers' Strikes

    November 20th, a gas explosion at Consolidated Coal Company's No. 9 mine at Farmington, West Virginia trap 81 men, 78 of whom are killed in the mine.

    The Age Discrimination in Employment Act makes it illegal to discriminate against people 40 to 65 years old
 
1969
    Charleston, South Carolina, Hospital Workers' Strike

    Black Lung compensation bill passes in West Virginia after mass demonstrations by UMWA members
 
Top
1970-1979

1970
    Postal strike is first nationwide strike of public employees

    Hawaii becomes the first state to allow local and state government employees the right to strike

    Congress passes the Occupational Safety and Health act

    General Motors Strike

    Postal Workers' Strike , President Nixon declares a national emergency and orders 30,000 troops to New York City to break the first nationwide postal strike

    Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act takes effect after passing Congress December 30, 1969  
 
1971
    New York City Police Strike
chavez 
Cesar Chavez 

 
1972
    President Richard M. Nixon is reelected

    Farah Clothing Workers' Strike and Boycott

    Lordstown, Ohio, Auto Workers' Strike

    Philadelphia Teachers' Strike begins

    Quebec workers general strike
 
1973
    United Farm Workers, led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, is chartered by the AFL-CIO
 
1974
    Coalition of Labor Union Women is founded (CLUW)

    Congress passes the Employment Retirement Income Security Act regulating all private pension plans
Baltimore Police Strike

    Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers union activist Karen Silkwood is killed during investigation of Kerr-McGee nuclear plant in Oklahoma
 
1975
    First legal statewide public employees' strike in nation's history occurs in Pennsylvania

    Congress defeats a union-sponsored attempt to reform the nation's basic labor law

    Washington Post Pressmen's Strike begins
 
1976
    President Jimmy Carter is elected

    Congress defeats a union-sponsored attempt to have a law enacted that would improve the ability of construction unions to organize and carry out effective strikes

    More than 1 million Canadian workers demonstrate against wage controls
 
1977
    Bituminous Coal Strike begins

    Coors Beer Strike and Boycott begins

    J.P. Stevens Boycott begins

    Willmar, Minnesota, Bank Workers' Strike
 
1978
    Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Newspaper Strike begins
 
1979
    Lane Kirkland becomes president of the AFL-CIO

    Independent Truckers' Strike
   
Top
1980-1989

1980
    President Ronald Reagan is elected President of the United States of America

    Joyce Miller of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union becomes the first woman to sit on the AFL-CIO executive board
 
1981   
    President Ronald Reagan fires most of the nation's air traffic controllers for striking illegally and orders their union, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Association, decertified.

    400,000 unionists, the largest labor rally in American history takes place in Washington in protest against the policies of the Reagan administration
patco 
Striking PATCO Workers 

    Baseball Players' Strike
 
1983
    Phelps-Dodge Copper Strike begins
 
1984
    President Ronald Reagan is reelected President of the United States of America

    Yale University Clerical Workers' Strike
 
1985
    Hormel Meatpackers' Strike begins

    Los Angeles County Sanitation District Strike

    Yale University Clerical Workers' Strike pittson strike
 
1986
    Trans World Airlines Flight Attendants' Strike

    USX (United States Steel) Lockout begins
 
1987
    Professional Football Players' Strike
 
1988
    60,000 Home Care Workers Strike in NY

    President George Bush is elected President of the United States of America
 
1989
    Eastern Airlines Workers' Strike

    Mine Workers' Strike against Pittston Coal Company
Top
1990-1999

1990
    UMWA Pittston Strike ends, miners ratify a new contract  

    Delta Pride Catfish Workers Victory
 
1991
    Three hundred thousand unionists march in Washington, DC to demand workplace fairness and health care reform

    Twenty five workers die in a fire at the nonunion Imperial Food plant in Hamlet, North Carolina , which had never been inspected by federal or state agencies
locked door 
Locked Fire Exit at Non-Union Plant. 
Twenty Five People Died in a Fire at  
the Imperial Food plant.


    Hotel Normandy Strike
 
1992
    Bill Clinton is elected President of the United States of America

    Caterpillar Strike

    Justice for Janitors Century City Demonstration - police attack
 
1993
    Staley Workers' Lockout in Decatur

    A five day strike of 21,000 American Airlines' flight attendants, virtually shutting the airline down is ended when Pres. Clinton persuades the owners to arbitrate the dispute

    The Family and Medical leave Act is passed

    North American Free Trade Agreement Passes

    April 23, 1993, Cesar E. Chavez dies at the age of 66  

1994
    The longest players' strike in sports history (232 days) is conducted by the Major League Players Association against National and American League owners

1996
    Bill Clinton is reelected President of the United States of America

1997
    In a big win for their members and all of organized labor, the Teamsters reach a new five-year agreement with United Parcel Service (UPS) on Aug. 18, ending a two-week strike over abuse of part-time workers and health care for retirees
Top
2000-2009

2001
    The 500,000-member United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners announced that it was disaffiliating with the national AFL-CIO because of differences in the direction of the labor movement.
Boeing Strikers
27,000 Boeing IAM members strike
 against a proposed two tier pay scheme.

    10,000 Public school teachers and 3000 state university faculty in Hawaii shut down all public education in the State in the nation's first state-wide education strike

2004
    70,000 Southern California grocery workers strike Safeway to protect their health benefits and s imposition of a vicious two-tier wage system

2005
    Seven major national unions, representing six million workers, disaffiliate from the AFL-CIO and, in September, form a new coalition called "Change to Win", devoted to organizing

2006: After years of one of the most anti-labor Congresses in decades, strong voter turnout by union members helps put a pro- labor majority in control of the U.S. House of Representatives and a razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate.

2008
    27,000 Machinists union members strike Boeing for 57 days.  "The strike was triggered by a Boeing strategy to create a separate and lower class of employees in its manufacturing facilities; one with lower pay, fewer benefits and a cut-rate retirement plan,” said IAM President Tom Buffenbarger.

2008:
    Barack Obama becomes the first African-American elected President of the United States. Labor voters again play a key role in national elections, increasing the pro-labor majorities in the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate and a pro-labor president. Pro-labor candidates win key governorships and
legislative races.

Top
2010-Present

2010
    In January 2010, a decision handed down by the ultra-conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court allows unlimited spending by corporations in U.S. elections, opening the floodgates for corporate cash in the November elections. Pro- business candidates sweep midterm elections and take control of the U.S. House of Representatives, gain control of many state governorships and secure anti-worker majorities in many state legislatures.

2011
     Pro-business governors and state legislators elected in 2010 start nationwide assault on unions by attacking the right to collectively bargain, proposing right-to-work (for less) laws and other measures to weaken unions. Mass protests erupt in Wisconsin and spread nationwide.