Image created by Walter Crane to celebrate International Workers' Day (May Day, 1 May), 1889. The image depicts workers from the five populated continents (Africa, Asia, Americas, Australia and Europe) in unity underneath an angel representing freedom, fraternity and equality.
The labour movement is the collective organisation of working people to further their shared political and economic interests. It consists of the trade union or labour union movement, as well as political parties of labour. It can be considered an instance of class conflict.

The labour movement developed as a response to capitalism and the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, at about the same time as socialism. The early goals of the movement were the right to unionise, the right to vote, democracy and the 40-hour week. As these were achieved in many of the advanced economies of western Europe and north America in the early decades of the 20th century, the labour movement expanded to issues of welfare and social insurance, wealth distribution and income distribution, public services like health care and education, social housing and common ownership. (Full article...)

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The 1985–1987 Watsonville Cannery strike was a labor strike that involved over 1,000 workers at two food processing facilities in Watsonville, California, United States. The facilities were owned by Watsonville Canning and Richard A. Shaw Inc., two of the largest frozen food processors in the United States, while the workers were all union members of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) Local 912. The strike began on September 9, 1985, and completely ended about 18 months later, on March 11, 1987.

The city of Watsonville has historically been a center for the food processing industry in California, and by the mid-1900s, it had branded itself as the "frozen food capital of the world", with eight frozen food processing plants in the city. These plants were in an industry-wide labor contract with IBT Local 912, who represented several thousand employees in the city. By the 1980s, due to an increase in migration from Mexico, a large number of these food processing workers were Latinos. Around that same time, changes in the food processing industry caused the Watsonville plants to become less profitable, and in 1982, Watsonville Canning (the single-largest frozen food processor in the United States) negotiated an hourly wage decrease for their union employees from $7.06 to $6.66. In 1985, their labor contract had expired, and Watsonville Canning began pushing for further wage and employee benefits reductions. Richard A. Shaw Inc., another major food processing company in the city, similarly began requesting wage and benefits reductions, which were opposed by the local union. On September 9, union members from both companies began a strike, with picketing commencing shortly thereafter.

The strike received significant support from the local Latino community, with support coming from Chicano and Hispanic organizations such as the League of United Latin American Citizens and the Mexican American Political Association. Additionally, civil rights leaders Cesar Chavez and Jesse Jackson were supportive of the strikers, viewing the labor dispute as part of a larger struggle for civil rights for Latinos in the United States. Additional support came from organized labor activists in both northern California and nationwide, and the strike was characterized by its militancy and rank-and-file leadership. The strikers elected their own Strike Committee that managed the overall daily operations of the strike, and the Teamsters for a Democratic Union also contributed to organizing the strike. On February 14, 1986, Shaw and Local 912 agreed to an hourly wage of $5.85, which soon became the industry standard. However, the strike continued against Watsonville Canning through 1986. In August, the company tried to decertify the union in an election, but failed, and subsequently the company (which had taken on a large debt during this time) declared bankruptcy, with the plant being sold. A tentative contract was reached with the new owners in March 1987 that set wages to the industry standard but contained cuts to medical benefits. While the IBT declared the strike over, several workers continued the dispute as a wildcat strike that lasted for about a week before the company agreed to include medical benefits, with the strike finally coming to an end on March 11. (Full article...)
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If hard work were such a wonderful thing, surely the rich would have kept it all to themselves."
— Lane Kirkland.

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