posts categorized asLaborOnline Features

“We’ll just live within our means then!”: A Reaction to UW-Madison Graduate School Administration’s Proposal to “Restructure” Graduate Employee Pay

by on December 7, 2015

After briefly skimming over the potential effects of the proposed restructuring of pay for graduate assistants, I found myself jadedly stunned by the UW-Madison administration’s most recent attack on the quality of higher education, specifically with regard to the Humanities, at Wisconsin’s prized flagship and world-renowned institution.

Read more →

Woodrow Wilson and Anti-Unionists

by on December 1, 2015

How should Americans remember Woodrow Wilson? This is the central question triggered recently by Princeton University protesters who have brought attention to his racism. The protesters have rightly pointed out the loathsome words and actions of the turn-of-the-century pro-segregationist academic, former Princeton head, and two-term United States president.

Read more →

Fighting Inequality through Teaching, Scholarship and Activism: A Roundtable Discussion on the Career of Jim Barrett

by on September 25, 2015

For five-days “Fighting Inequality” conference (May 2015) participants critically considered ways, then and now, that working-class people experience and struggle against class inequality. One of the conference’s highlights was the session, “Fighting Inequality through Teaching, Scholarship and Activism: A Roundtable Discussion on the Career of Jim Barrett” where panelists shared ways that Barrett’s contributions to the field of labor and working class history offer an inspiring model of how to balance scholarly excellence with civic engagement.

Read more →

Empire of Cotton Still Based on Violence

by on July 10, 2015

At the recent LAWCHA conference here in Washington, D.C., I was among those applauding heartily when Empire of Cotton: A Global History, Sven Beckert’s sweeping study, received the Philip Taft Labor History Book Award. It’s worth taking a look at how the “empire,” carries on today, as Beckert asserts.

Read more →

The More Things Stay the Same: Lessons from 1934

by on June 17, 2015

It has been 81 years since the workers of the Toledo Electric Auto-Lite Company went on strike. A modest but extremely profitable auto parts company, Auto-Lite had gained a level of success before and during the Depression as a major supplier of parts to Ford and Chrysler.

Read more →

Collection Spotlight: The Utah Philips Papers

by on June 17, 2015

Originally posted October 16th, 2014. Written by Dallas Pillen, Archives Technician at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University.

Bruce Duncan “Utah” Phillips (1935-2008) was one of the most prominent members of the American folk community in the latter half of the 20th century.

Read more →

Remembering the Flint Sit-Down Strike

by on June 1, 2015

Originally posted on December 17, 2010. Written by Troy Eller English, Society of Women Engineers Archivist at the Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University.

Tired of reductions in pay and jobs, increased workloads, and harassment of United Automobile Workers organizers, on December 30, 1936 automotive workers in the General Motors Fisher Number One Plant in Flint, Michigan sat down on the job.

Read more →