STAT$: “A Better Deal for American Workers” — Not Without Unions

by Allan Lichtenstein   AT THE TUFTS Medical Center in Boston, 1,200 nurses recently walked off the job, initiating “the largest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts’s history and the first in Boston for 31 years.” In New York, lawyers representing farmworkers recently argued in the State Supreme Court that they have a constitutional right to organize. In […]

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Commemorating the Fire

by Esther Cohen RUTH SERGEL is a deeply original visual and performance artist and filmmaker, the author of See You in the Streets: Art, Action, and Remembering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, published last year by the University of Iowa Press. The book, she says, “is a chronicle of how I learned to be an […]

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July 12: The Screen Actors Guild

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) was founded on this date in 1933 with the aim of lessening the contractual power of Hollywood’s movie studios over the lives of actors. Jewdayo locates no Jews among the union’s founders, but it was Eddie Cantor who sparked the growth of membership from eighty to more than 4,000 when […]

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July 7: Beatrice Fox’s Department Store

Beatrice Fox Auerbach, who brought progressive employment policies to the department store she owned, G. Fox and Company in Hartford, Connecticut, was born in that city on this date in 1887. She ran the store from 1927 to 1965 and expanded the business ten-fold, making it the largest privately-owned retail outlet in the country, while […]

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June 6: Up on Cripple Creek

The governor of Colorado (Davis H. Waite) dispatched the state militia on this date in 1894 to protect striking workers at the Cripple Creek gold mine — the only instance in American history in which soldiers were mobilized not as strikebreakers but to protect strikers against a private corporate militia. Cripple Creek was a thriving […]

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May 15: The Winnipeg General Strike, 1919

Sam Blumenberg, Michael Charitinoff, and Moses Almazov were among five immigrants arrested for instigating the Winnipeg General Strike, which began on this date in 1919. The strike originated on May Day in the building and metal trades, which had organized into industry-wide unions with which management refused to negotiate. By the 15th, the city was […]

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April 2: Sol Stetin vs. J.P. Stevens

Sol Stetin, the president of the Textile Workers Union of America who led a 17-year struggle to unionize J.P. Stevens in the anti-union American South, was born in Poland, near Lodz, on this date in 1910. As a textile worker, he was active in the nationwide American textile strike of 1934, which involved half a […]

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February 24: 1199 Against the War

Local 1199, the Drug and Hospital Workers in New York led by Leon Davis, became the first U.S. labor union to oppose the war in Vietnam by sending a telegram to President Lyndon Baines Johnson on this date in 1965. In August, Jesse Olson, a vice president of the union, would testify before Congress during […]

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February 1: The Silk Strike

Some 5,000 Jewish men and women, most of them recent immigrants from the textile factories of Lodz and Bialystok, were working in the silk mills of Paterson, New Jersey and the environs when the Paterson Silk Strike began on this date in 1913. A small number of mills were also owned or managed by Jews. […]

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