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labor history



  • 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


  • The Border and the Contingent Status of Mexican Workers

    by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

    In this excerpt from her new book "Not 'A Nation of Immigrants'," Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz argues that the politics of the border and the racialization of Mexican laborers has been a longstanding and glaring exception to the American myth of welcoming immigrants. 



  • The Filibuster is an Anti-Worker Rule, Too

    by Emily DiVito and Suzanne Kahn

    Since 1948, the filibuster has blocked three major labor reform bills affecting "right to work" laws, streamlining the union recognition process, and protecting workers from retaliation during labor disputes. Eliminating it is critical for economic justice. 



  • How the "Job" Became the Center of American Life

    "Since about the 1940s, Americans have been encouraged to look to their jobs for nearly all of life’s necessities: a living wage, health insurance, and retirement benefits, as well as intangibles like friendship, identity, and a sense of purpose." Historians Nelson Lichtenstein and James Livingston explain why. 



  • Socialist Actor Ed Asner Fought for Labor

    by Jeff Schuhrke

    Ed Asner fought for the representation of small-time actors in the Screen Actors Guild and protested American support for right-wing autocrats in Central America. 



  • Richard L. Trumka, 1949-2021

    by Lane Windham

    Richard Trumka started in the labor movement as a miner, but came to recognize as the AFL-CIO president that the movement would have to organize new sectors and more diverse workers to survive. 



  • What Connects 2021's "Stillwater" and 1979's "Norma Rae"?

    by Aimee Loiselle

    Both Amanda Knox, an American student accused of murder in Italy, and Crystal Lee Sutton, the southern labor organizer portrayed in "Norma Rae," have challenged the way that Hollywood films have reinterpreted their stories for commercial gain. 



  • Is the PATCO Era Ending?

    by Joseph A. McCartin

    Forty years ago, Ronald Reagan's handling of the air traffic controllers' strike enshrined the era of union-busting. Can labor start to recover now?