Posts tagged workers

Remembering Haymarket

I am often too cynical for my own good. So I am taking time to reflect on the fact that on 1st May 1886, thousands of workers in Chicago went on strike to demand an eight-hour day. The police attacked them, their leaders were hanged, and the bosses went on the offensive. They must have thought they had achieved nothing. But then the newly-formed American Federation of Labor took the cause forward, publicized the Haymarket massacre, and a couple of years later the Second International in Paris heard about them… Read More

International Workers’ Memorial Day

Thanks to Aotearoa-based Spanblather, I have discovered very belatedly that it’s International Workers’ Memorial Day today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 5,734 fatal occupational injuries in the USA in 2005. In my time as a journalist in the US I used the databases available online at OSHA to get stories of horrific workplace accidents – workers with limbs caught in machinery, crushed under forklift trucks, poisoned due to inadequate safety gear, etc etc. The companies were often found liable, and fined a few hundred dollars. Yes,… Read More