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labor history



  • 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? 



  • The KKK was also a Bosses' Organization

    by Chad Pearson

    While the membership of the Reconstruction-era Klan was broad, its leadership was drawn from the Southern elite, whose vision of white supremacy was inseparable from the exploitation of Black labor.