Today in Labor History: First ever sit-down strike

On this day in 1906, the first ever sit-down strike in American history took place at the General Electric plant in Schenectady, N.Y.

More than 3,000 workers, all members of the Industrial Workers or the World, stopped work in a wildcat strike. They were fighting to defend three workers who had been discriminated against.

When management called in scabs, the striking workers stood in place and took control of the machinery, making it impossible for the plant to be run by scabs.

One of the principal organizers of the action was the famous Irish Marxist, James Connolly.

Years later, a number of IWW leaders went on to help form the Communist Party USA.

Photo: Tobias Higby // CC 2.0

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Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.

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