Wednesday, May 29, 2024
HomeNewsJob Safety: 100 Years Ago, Bosses Had ‘Divine’ Rights, Workers None

Job Safety: 100 Years Ago, Bosses Had ‘Divine’ Rights, Workers None

Many of them were immigrants.

“They don’t suffer,” George F. Baer said of coal miners who came to America from eastern Europe. “Why, hell, half of them don’t even speak English.”

Known as “Divine Right” Baer and “George the Last,” he was the fiercely anti-union president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. The company also owned coal mines.

Baer rates only a few lines in most history books. Even so, he is worth remembering every day, but especially on Workers Memorial Day, which has been observed every April 28 since 1989.

Read more about “divine rights” on the AFL-CIO Blog.

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