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April 18, 1912 and 1941 Labor Movement and Leaders


By jimstaro - Posted on 18 April 2011

Striking miners and their families being evicted from company houses

April 18 1912 - Members of the United Mine Workers of America on Paint Creek in Kanawha County, West Virginia, demanded wages equal to those of other area mines. The operators rejected the wage increase and miners walked off the job. Miners along nearby Cabin Creek, having previously lost their union, joined the Paint Creek strikers and demanded:
• the right to organize
• recognition of their constitutional rights to free speech and assembly
• an end to blacklisting union organizers
• alternatives to company stores
• an end to the practice of using mine guards
• prohibition of cribbing
• installation of scales at all mines for accurately weighing coal
• unions be allowed to hire their own checkweighmen to make sure the companies' checkweighmen were not cheating the miners.

When the strike began, operators brought in mine guards from the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency to evict miners and their families from company houses. The evicted miners set up tent colonies and lived in other makeshift housing. The mine guards' primary responsibility was to break the strike by making the lives of the miners as uncomfortable as possible. Deep background on the W. Virginia coal business and the strike

In Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama approximately 150,000 miners were unorganized and "utterly helpless in meeting the encroachments of organized wealth" under a regime of individual bargaining.

April 18 1941 - Bus companies in New York City agreed to hire 200 black workers after a four-week boycott by riders led by Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. of Harlem’s Abysinnian Baptist Church, the largest Protestant congregation in the U.S. Powell ran and won a City Council seat later that year and became a member of Congress four years later.

Rev. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.

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