Events In Labor History
1946 to 1960

The Economics


In 1950...

  1. A pound of bacon cost 64 cents                                                                 

  2. A dozen eggs cost 60 cents

  3. A loaf of bread cost about 14 cents   

  4. 5 pounds of sugar was 49 cents and a 1 oz Hersey bar was 5 cents.                                                                                                    

  5. A half-gallon of milk cost (delivered) cost just over 41 cents and a

    box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes (8 oz.) was 16 cents.

  1. The average cost of a new house in Rhode Island was $9,767 and

    gasoline cost 18 cents per gallon. 

The average hourly wage $1.55 cents and the federal minimum hourly wage

was 75 cents.

$10.30 had the same purchasing power as $100 in 2013.


To hear Harry Truman’s 1949 speech on labor delivered in Cadillac, Michigan, click on the image and scroll to the highlighted speech and click the play arrow.


1950 United Auto Workers and General Motors agree to five-year pact with no reopening provision and provide for pensions, automatic cost of living increases, and guaranteed raises.

1955 UAW and Ford Motor include supplementary unemployment compensation in contract.

1959 Wisconsin establishes first collective bargaining laws for public employees.

March 10, 1952 Providence Teachers commence strike.

1951 Pawtucket Teachers engage in 16-week strike.

Click on image to read the complete article

Click on image to read the complete article