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Today in Labor History

Dec. 6, 1907
At 10:20 am., explosions occurred at the No. 6 and No. 8 mines at Monongah, West Virginia. The explosions ripped through the mines at 10:28 a.m., causing the earth to shake as far as eight miles away, shattering buildings and pavements, hurling people and horses violently to the ground, and knocking streetcars off the rails. Three-hundred and sixty-two men and boys died. It remains the worst mine disaster in U.S. history. Over 3,200 miners were killed on the job in U.S. mines in 1907 because mining companies persistently disregarded recognized safety practices.
- Voices of Labor

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Updated: Dec. 07 (10:05)

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Aug. 12, 2019 | LABOR HISTORY | A dozen years ago, migrant workers in the “winter tomato capital” of Immokalee, Fla., arrived for work around 7 a.m. but had to wait up to four hours, unpaid, for the sun to dry the plants before they could start picking and start getting paid. For many, the goal was to earn $60 a day, which meant picking 4,800 pounds of tomatoes in the blistering sun without any breaks or shade. As Steven Greenhouse writes in his new book, “Beaten Down, Worked Up,” crew leaders regularly cheated pickers out of $10 or $15 of their wages or withheld pay altogether. “When workers complained, the crew leaders sometimes beat them or fired them,” Greenhouse writes. “Female workers had it worst of all. Crew leaders frequently groped them or demanded sex if women wanted to keep their jobs.”… Washington Post
 
 
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