posts categorized asLabor History

It’s Time to Fire the “Union Boss”: Here’s Why

by on September 4, 2017

In case natural disaster, nuclear war, and unpredictable political leaders are not enough to keep us up at night, we remain under threat by an age-old specter: the menace of the “union boss.” Just this week a Newsmax headline screamed “Union Boss: Too Early for 2018 Targets,” while the Washington Times blared “Union boss Richard Trumka focused on retaking Trump’s Rust Belt states next year.”

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More Than A Picnic: A Lesson in Labor Day

by on September 4, 2017

Before there were Labor Day barbecues and Labor Day sales, there was Labor–workers in the 19th century pushing for an eight-hour day and safe conditions as the U.S. economy was transforming itself from one of small enterprises to one dominated by industrial corporations.

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Labor Mobilizations and Movements: The 2017 Midwest Labor and Working-Class History Colloquium

by on June 29, 2017

The Midwest Labor and Working-Class History (MLWCH) colloquium met at the University of Memphis on June 2nd, 2017.  The one-day event included academic papers and roundtables that addressed larger labor and working-class issues.  This year’s theme, “Labor Mobilizations and Movements: From the Local to the Global,” attracted an impressive swath of academic scholars, public historians, and activists who addressed a range of historical and contemporary topics.

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Black Education, Racism, and Class: Reflections from a Charter High School Graduation

by on June 20, 2017

This May I attended the commencement ceremony for a young cousin who was one of 117 graduates from an overwhelmingly black charter high school in a south suburb of Chicago.  Launched in 2010, the school – which I will dub “South Charter High” – was the brainchild of black educators, and working-class and middle-class parents, a fair share of them former Chicagoans displaced from the city by urban redevelopment and a skyrocketing cost of living. 

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Labor and the Legacies of World War I

by on March 20, 2017

April 2017 marks the 100th year anniversary of U.S. entrance into World War I.   Doubtless most of the commemorations of this event will focus on the significant legacies of the war for international political configurations and for the future U.S.

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