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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
 
 
June 28, 2017
Financial Secretary Debra Abent
Updated On: Jun 05, 2017
Lansing's general strike

Eighty years ago this June, workers in Lansing staged a one-day general strike which came to be known as the Lansing Labor Holiday. By the start of the work day on June 7, between 2,000 and 5,000 union members and sympathizers poured into the downtown streets, forcing the closing of many shops, factories, theaters, and business of all kinds. 
Workers paraded down the streets of the city singing labor songs, while UAW-AFL organizer Lester Washburn and other union representatives successfully negotiated the release of those imprisoned for illegal picketing (including Washburn’s wife Nevah). By nightfall, after the intervention of Governor Frank Murphy, the holiday was over and before long, Capital City Wrecking negotiated a contract with its workers. 
The Lansing Labor Holiday was a rare instance of a mass, spontaneous demonstration by the working class of the city of Lansing to address injustice standing in the way of the momentum of the union organizing of the late
1930s.
The workers forcefully demanded that the new industrial relations regime ushered in by the passage of the successful Lansing Labor Holiday gave voice to the desires of this generation of newly empowered workers.
A commemoration event was held on June 3 at the City Hall Plaza, which included labor speakers and the unveiling of the Lansing Labor Holiday State Historical Marker. – Information from John Beck of the MSU Labor  Education Program


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