Did you know that . . .
In 1786 Philadelphia printers called the first strike in U. S. history in order to gain a minimum wage of $6 a week?

From 1835 until 1898 ship masters had the legal right to beat, wound, imprison, or withhold food from sailors, as long as they had "justifiable" cause for the punishment?

In Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1840, women textile workers outnumbered men 6,430 to 2,077?

In 1865 the Pennsylvania State Legislature gave railroads the right to organize private police forces and extended that right in 1866 to all "corporations, firms, or individuals" involved in the coal and iron industry?

In the 1880s a baker worked as long as 16 hours a day Monday through Friday, and 23 hours on Saturday -- and then another 5 hours on Sunday?

In the 1890s electrical linemen worked 10 to 12 hour days on high-tension wires in all kinds of weather -- without any safety equipment or specialized training? And that structural iron workers were called "cowboys of the skies" because they worked high atop skyscrapers without harnesses or safety nets? Both jobs easily qualified as dangerous work.

In 1909 more than 250 mine workers lost their lives in a fire, largely because they had no means of escape? And that two years later 146 shirt waist makers suffered the same fate for the same reason?

In 1910 2 million children under age 15 worked in industrial jobs – in glass factories, coal mines, textile mills, and clothing factories?

In 1917 more than 1,500 copper miners on strike in Bisbee, Arizona, were rounded up, put in cattle cars, and sent out of the state?

Between 1850 and 1900 the national economy collapsed three times-- in 1857, 1873, and 1893 -- causing mass unemployment and significant hardship?

Before 1935 workers had no right to organize or bargain collectively with employers?