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The historical role of May Day was to provide an eight-hour workday and extend Workplace Rights to hardworking men and women across the nation. Michigan's workforce benefits from the right to organize, bargain collectively and advocate for better protections, leveraging their knowledge to create equity amidst a growing Michigan economy.
Serving the residents of Michigan is of utmost importance and aligns with LEO's mission and purpose. The Workplace Rights resources showcases the state's commitment to the Labor movement and establishes Michigan as a place for economic growth and prosperity for all. These resources will help working people better understand their rights and feel empowered to fight for their protection.
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Labor Movements that Shaped History
May Day - May 1, 1886
200,000 U.S. workmen engineered a nationwide strike for an 8-hour day. The historical role of May Day was to extend Workplace Rights to hardworking men and women across the nation. Michigan's workforce benefits from the right to organize, bargain collectively and advocate for better protections, leveraging their knowledge to create equity amidst a growing Michigan economy.
Furniture Strike, Grand Rapids - 1911
Ford Hunger March, Dearborn - 1932
Unemployed workers gathered at several locations in metro Detroit on March 7, 1932 and marched to the Ford River Rouge plant in Dearborn to seek jobs and relief. Ford security guards fired bullets into the crowd, killing four workers that day and wounding a fifth, who died later.;
Flint Sit Down Strike 1936-37
Woolworth's Five and Dime, Detroit - February 1937
Over 100 women as young as 16 years old locked the doors of this popular downtown five-and-ten store on a busy Saturday shopping day in February 1937. They occupied the store for six days, winning raises and shorter hours.
Battle of the Overpass, Dearborn - May 1937
Labor Holiday Monument, Lansing - June 1937
A historical marker at City Hall Plaza commemorates the Lansing Labor Holiday, a citywide general strike that shut down much of the city's factories and businesses on June 7, 1937. Workers took over downtown streets to protest strong-arm tactics by police against strikers at Capital City Wrecking Co., one of many shops newly organized by the United Automobile Workers. Capital City eventually negotiated a contract with its workers.