Six to Six Banner Recalls Carpenters’ Leadership

A protest banner from 1835, almost five decades before the UBC’s founding, depicts carpenters pointing to the clock tower as they advocate for a 10-hour workday in Philadelphia. Their slogan was “Six to Six,” as they demanded a shift beginning at 6 a.m. and ending at 6 p.m., with two hours off for lunch and breaks.  

Carpenters carried the hand-painted silk banner in demonstrations and parades as the shorter-hours movement grew. It can be seen in a photograph of UBC members as they marched in a patriotic parade on Philadelphia’s Broad Street in 1887—and held by convention delegates a few years later.  

More recently, the Six-to-Six banner—now fragile and frayed—was displayed at the UBC’s 40th General Convention in 2010 as a reminder that the fight for labor rights continues. 

A treasured part of UBC history, the banner is one of the oldest pieces of U.S. labor heritage still in existence and is now stored in the UBC archives at the University of Maryland.  

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