Today in revolutionary history: National Labor Union formed, U.S. affiliate 1st International

 
BY:Joe Sims| August 21, 2014
Today in revolutionary history: National Labor Union formed, U.S. affiliate 1st International

On this day in 1866 the National Labor Union (NLA) was founded, the first effort to organize craft and unskilled workers in the U.S. The union called for the establishment of an 8-hour work day and a new political party representing the working class.

It was led by William H Sylvis an iron worker. At its height the union boasted some 600,000 members.

In 1868 Congress passed legislation enacting an 8 hour workday. The new law however proved to be ineffective due to numerous loop holes. Sylvis was active in the International Workingmen’s Association (First International) of which the NLA was a member. The NLA was dissolved in 1874. Sylvis died in 1869. He was 41 years old.

 

Comments

Author
    Joe Sims is co-chairperson of the CPUSA.

Related Articles

For democracy. For equality. For socialism. For a sustainable future and a world that puts people before profits. Join the Communist Party USA today.

Join Now

We are a political party of the working class, for the working class, with no corporate sponsors or billionaire backers. Join the generations of workers whose generosity and solidarity sustains the fight for justice.

Donate Now

CPUSA Mailbag

If you have any questions related to CPUSA, you can ask our experts
  • QHow does the CPUSA feel about the current American foreign...
  • AThanks for a great question, Conlan.  CPUSA stands for peace and international solidarity, and has a long history of involvement...
Read More
Ask a question
See all Answer