This was the first time in U.S. history that Black and white workers united and organized a general strike. It was November 1892. There were general strikes in America before 1892, but none involved Black workers. This was one of the greatest victories of labor. The strike grew out of the local labor movement beginning with the streetcar drivers’ victory early that year. Under an alliance involving two white unions and one black union, the workers were demanding a shorter work day (10-hour day), overtime pay after 60 hours and a union shop.
Here 30 years after the end of the Civil War, and with the betrayal of Reconstruction, Black and white workers had united to walk out for joint demands. The tour reveals the conditions of labor that gave rise to the strike and the tactics of the workers; additionally the tour reveals the all out strike breaking assault by the owners, the bosses, the press and the state militia. By visiting various spots in the French Quarter and downtown New Orleans, you will learn how over 25,000 workers won a 25% wage increase, a shorter work day, and other gains.