Today in 1934: Retail workers at the Boston Stores in Milwaukee strike at the beginning of the Christmas rush. Retail Clerks International Protective Association Local twelve-eighty four launched an organizing drive this fall but was unable to get wage increases from store management.
The strike is a united effort of three unions, including clerks, teamsters and building-service employees. Today, one thousand two hundred workers picket the stores. The entire Milwaukee labor movement will pledge its support and, on a December Saturday, ten thousand picketers will jam the sidewalks around the main store.
Six federal mediators will come to Milwaukee in a fruitless effort to reach a settlement. An extremely cold winter and the stores willingness to hold out through the holiday season will eventually break the strikers morale.
In mid-January, the unions will settle for a small pay increase but no union recognition. The defeat will set the tone for future Milwaukee department-store labor relations. In sixty years, none of the city’s major department stores will be unionized.
It’s today’s Action Calendar!
Tonight, Bill McKibben “Do the Math” tour comes to Madison. Hosted by 350.org, this also featurs Cloud Cult and Josh Fox, director of Gasland. This is at 6pm at the Masonic Temple, 301 Wisconsin Avenue. There is a fee for this event. For more info, visit cleanwisconsin.org/mckibben.
Tonight, the topic of Madison Socrate’s Cafe is “Why Do People Stereotype Each Other?” This will be at 7pm at Redamte Coffeehouse, 449 State Street. For more info, call Richard at 608-257-8869.
Dane County CASA, a local charity that provides volunteer advocates to abused and neglected children in the Dane County court system, will host its annual “Gingerbread Casas for CASA” event this weekend at Hilldale Mall, 702 North Midvale Boulevard. This will be Saturday and Sunday from 11a.m. to 3p.m. More info at 608-283-2969.