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labor history



  • The Indomitable Rev. Addie L. Wyatt

    by Kim Kelly

    After starting at Armour's Chicago cannery at age 17, Addie Wyatt rose through the ranks of her local union to lead workers across five states, recognizing the connection between workers' power and racial and gender equality and linking midwestern unions to the southern civil rights struggle. 



  • We Need “CRT” to Understand the Midwest, Too

    by Bradley J. Sommer

    "The continued existence of white nationalist groups came as a shock to many Toledoans. It has likely shocked a lot of Americans in recent years, many of whom thought that Nazis existed only in textbooks and as the bad guys in movies."



  • Strange Beasts of Columbia

    by Eduardo Vergara Torres

    "According to the administration, the typical Columbia student worker must be an eyeless, toothless, infertile male creature bred on the cold shores of New England, who is about to inherit a fortune amassed by generations of well-educated ancestors."



  • The 20-Year Fight to Unionize Grad Student Workers

    by Rebecca Nathanson

    "The 3,000-person strike at Columbia University is the largest active strike in the U.S. and marks a decades-long struggle to recognize grad-student labor," as Rebecca Nathanson explains. 



  • Baseball's Lockout Shows the Growing Power of Labor

    by Gwendolyn Lockman

    "In many ways, the twists and turns of baseball’s labor battle over salaries, pensions and more have reflected the ebbs and flows of labor power in the United States."



  • The Government Pen

    by Nick Delehanty

    "The Skilcraft pen is indeed more than a pen. It’s the physical embodiment of New Deal social policies; it’s the product of disabled people’s labor, labor which has long been a site of contestation."



  • Blair Mountain, West Virginia Still Shows the Grip of the Coal Industry

    “It was kind of weird growing up, knowing that there was a war fought here and nobody knew about it, and there’s no monuments to it,” Professor Chuck Keeney said. Others believe the story of the mine wars has been suppressed because it challenges the image of big coal as a benevolent force in the state. 



  • A New Force in American Labor: Academics

    A member referendum in the United Auto Workers could make the union more amenable to direct democracy, and potentially make academic workers a major power bloc in the union. 



  • The Rise and Fall (And Rise?) of Labor

    Historian Erik Loomis discusses whether the wave of labor activism will start to reverse a half-century of successful union busting by big business. 



  • Are We Witnessing a General Strike Today?

    by Nelson Lichtenstein

    DuBois's insight that enslaved people abandoning plantations during the Civil War was a form of general strike helps us understand the seemingly unorganized trend of workers quitting their jobs today as a meaningful labor action that points in the direction of economic freedom.



  • The Academy Museum Ignores Hollywood Labor History

    by Andy Lewis

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was originally established to help studios negotiate contracts with the studio unions. Today, the on-set tragedy in New Mexico reminds that film production is an industry and workers make it run. The Academy Museum misses that part of the story.



  • Toni Gilpin on Her New Book "The Long Deep Grudge"

    "I was motivated in large part to write The Long Deep Grudge because I do believe the FE’s story has relevance for those seeking to revitalize the labor movement."



  • Black Women, Sanderson Farms, and the Strike for Better Conditions

    by Derrion Arrington

    200 Black women poultry processing workers in Mississippi led a 1979 strike for safer conditions and protection from arbitrary actions by their all-white supervisors; they won, but their story highlights issues of labor exploitation and racism that still characterize the industry. 



  • Unions Gain Traction in the Restaurant Industry-Again

    David Whitford and Dorothy Sue Cobble discuss the ways that workers in the restaurant industry hope to revive the high representation of food service workers by unions that prevailed in the 1950s