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Vol. 76/No. 27      July 23, 2012

25, 50, and 75 Years Ago

July 31, 1987

OAK CREEK, Colo.—The United Mine Workers of America won contracts at a number of Western mines in May after hard-fought strikes. But, Colorado Yampa Coal Co. has refused to sign a contract.

Some 45 members of UMWA Local 1344 have been on strike since April 22.

Miners here told the Militant that CYCC is trying to get them to accept a union-busting scheme. The company will pay them $18 an hour if the UMWA members agree to give up all rights to bid on jobs and to do away with job classifications and seniority.

Virtually every storefront window in Oak Creek prominently displays a “We support UMWA” sign. Wives of strikers and UMWA members from other locals are participating in the picket lines. Rail workers are refusing to drive coal trains to the mine.

July 30, 1962

After fighting bravely for eight weeks and marshalling unprecedented support behind their strikes for union recognition, the nonprofessional workers at two New York City hospitals returned to work July 18. Governor Nelson Rockefeller promised to support a bill at the next session of the legislature granting collective bargaining rights previously denied employes of “voluntary non-profit” hospitals. The proposed law would also ban strikes.

The strike at Beth-El began May 23 and at Manhattan Eye in mid-June. The strikers attracted active support from hundreds of youth, some of whom were arrested on the picket line and in mass sit-ins in the Beth-El corridors. A committee of leaders of the Negro and Puerto Rican communities rallied support and the Congress of Racial Equality threatened a sit-in in the governor’s offices.

May 1, 1937

A reorganized and strengthened Four Hundred Defense Committee is rallying the support of all progressive unions in the Los Angeles area in this crucial test of sit-down rights.

The “Four Hundred,” sit-downers and Douglas Aircraft strike leaders are charged under an eighty year old statute with the felony of “conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor.” From the start the case has been a national test of the right of workers to sit down on the property they built, made profitable, and which they alone can operate.

The defense committee realizes that acquittal depends on the united mass protest of all progressive labor, locally and nationally. Already a caravan of Bay Area aircraft workers is enroute to Los Angeles in autos covered with “Defend the 400” signs. A giant protest meeting in L.A. is planned before the trial date.  
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