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(Library of Congress, New York World-Telegram and Sun Collection)

Woolworth's sit-down strike, 1937

Akron rubberworkers and Flint autoworkers first used the sitdown strike in 1937, and the tactic spread (until it was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in 1939). In New York first H.L.Green store employees were demanding a forty hour week and 20 dollar minimum weekly wage, and four days later the employees of Woolworth's at Union Square also sat down. Stores were occupied for 10 days, until Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia intervened, imposing a settlement that provided union recognition, an 8 hour day, 6 day week and 32.5 cent minimum wage.

Audio clip: George Meisler, organizer, Store Workers Local 1250 Listen >>

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