Workers and their unions gathered Friday in Chicago at the Haymarket monument to honor the significance and sacrifice of those who died in the struggle for the eight-hour day. On this day in 1886 a labor rally supporting the strike at McCormick Harvesting for the eight-hour day ended in bloodshed. Police charged into labor activists, a bomb was thrown at them and police opened fire on the crowd of activists. Many people were killed and wounded. In the immediate aftermath workers were rounded up and harshly treated. Eight Haymarket labor activists were tried and four were executed. T
The AFL-CIO’s Ross Hyman added a commemorative plaque to the Haymarket monument.
[Hyman]: “We join our sisters and brothers from Chicago, and Colombia and Iraq and all over the word at one of the most sacred sites for working people everywhere, the Chicago Haymarket monument. Because we believe in solidarity with workers everywhere, we’re proud that the AFL-CIO now has a plaque at the place where May Day itself – the international day for workers – was born. As long as working people struggle for what is right and fair, they’ll tell the story of Haymarket.”
Armando Robles, President of UE Local 1110 that occupied the Republic Windows factory in a successful Chicago sit-down last year, said the Haymarket workers and labor activists who followed them inspired and empowered workers worldwide.
[Robles]: “They made history when they gave their lives to change the world. And not only in the United States, in the whole world. And in 1937 the Flint workers- the autoworkers – they take the factory and show the world. And thank God, God bless the workers all over the world.”