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2020 National History Day Gold Medal and $1000 prize for best entry in any category in American labor history
The 2019-2020 theme is Breaking Barriers in History, a topic well suited for a project on labor history including important people and events. Go to the ALSC web site for extensive ideas and resources for a an individual or team project
Learn about the best and most comprehensive state federation program for teaching about labor.
Support the work of the ALSC by sponsoring an ad in the Commemorative Journal Click here for order form
The 100th Anniversary of the Great Lawrence Strike of 1912, popularly referred to as the Bread & Roses Strike, begins January 2012. A number of events have been planned to commemorate this historically significant event. The Bread and Roses Centennial …
American Labor and U.S. History Textbooks: How Labor’s Story is Distorted in High School History Textbooks
“Imagine opening a high school U.S. history textbook and finding no mention of —or at most a passing sentence about—Valley Forge, the Missouri Compromise, or the League of Nations…”
The Empirical Case for Streamlining the NLRB Certification Process: The Role of Date and Unfair Labor Practice Occurrence.
The Empirical Case for Streamlining the NLRB Certification Process: The Role of Date and Unfair Labor Practice Occurrence.
This study by Cornell’s Kate Bronfenbrenner and Columbia’s Dorian Warren examines a proposal
New Data: NLRB Process Fails to Ensure a Fair Vote
This new analysis of NLRB election data reveals how current NLRB procedures…
Recently, Freedom House released The Global State of Workers’ Rights: Free Labor in a Hostile World, an assessment of trade union and worker freedoms in 165 countries.
RSVP American Labor Studies Center: email@example.com.
If You Don’t Come in on Sunday, Don’t Come in on Monday The Review (http://labor-studies.org/pdfs/If-You-Dont-Come-in-on-Sunday.pdf) Order Information Order Online Here (click here to download form) MEI Publishing Inc. 44424 Oriole Dr. #203 Fort Mill, SC 29707-5953 Phone: (718)548-4200 Fax: (718)548-4202 …
A rich resource for books, DVDs, posters, buttons and other items about labor.
Using Songs to Teach Labor History
The American labor movement has a long and rich heritage of song. Like hymns and patriotic songs, union songs are songs with a message. Thousands have been written by union members and others over the years. These men and women, black and white, native American and foreign born, created their own literature reflecting every aspect of life in the mines, mills, factories, shops and farms where they were forced to labor…
Click here for a variety of labor history lesson plans including ‘United We Stand’ from the Library of Congress
The American Labor Merit Badge was established by the Boy Scouts in 1987. For requirements and more.
Nearly a decade after Wisconsin passed a law declaring that the teaching of labor history must be part of the teaching standards for the state’s children, it is near to becoming reality.
Quick Links – An Alphabetical Guide to All Web Site Resources
Why Have Professional Atheletes Formed Unions? This instrutional unit uses the history of labor relations in major league baseball as a case study to probe this question. The American Labor Studies Center and the Baseball Hall of Fame have joined …
The National Labor Relations Act (Wagner Act) gives workers the right to form unions and bargain collectively. These classroom simulations offer a unique opportunity to explore how workers can exercise these rights.
For more information:
Linda Tubach Ltubach.firstname.lastname@example.org
There is currently a great debate in the United States on the issue of the rights of workers in both the public and private sectors to organize and bargain collectively. Missing from the current national debate is the issue of whether the rights of workers are considered fundamental human rights as articulated in a number of universally accepted documents.
Click here for a number of excellent resources for teachers and students on the topic.
A rich source for more than 100 books from economics and history to books for children and young adults. Click here to visit Labor’s Bookstore.
A Short History of American Labor This brief history of more than 100 years of the modem trade union movement in the United States can only touch the high spots of activity and identify the principal trends of a “century …
History of Women in the Labor Movement “We are starving while we work; we might as well starve while we strike!” — 1909 Garment Workers’ Strike Banner Introduction Women have worked for ages in industrial, clerical, and service work and …
Union Maid A Song by Woody Guthrie © 1961 Ludlow Music Inc. There once was a union maid She never was afraid Of goons and ginks and company finks And the deputy sheriffs who made the raid She went to …
Workers Independent News (WIN) gathers news by and about working people and creates programs and feature stories for commercial, public, community and college radio stations throughout the United States:
This study reviews U.S. history textbooks and examines how unions and labor rights issues are presented; especially recognizing those workers’ rights is today viewed as human rights by international institutions.
Click here to read about Human Rights and Freedom of Association
Click here to read about the latest legislation and politics news from AFL-CIO.
The following are videos available from YouTube on labor history. Please let us know if you are aware of others.
Click here to read Julian Bond’s speech to the AFL-CIO 25th Constitutional Convention.
Click here to visit the U.S. Labor and Industrial History World Wide Web Audio Archive from the Department of History at University at Albany, State University of New York.
Merrimack Films – producer and distributor of videos on labor relations.
The exercise of freedom of association by workers, students, and others in society has always been at the heart of the struggle for democracy around the world, and it remains at the heart of society once democracy has been achieved. Without freedom of association, other freedoms lose their substance. It is impossible to defend individual rights if citizens are unable to organize around common needs and interests
The American Labor Studies Center in a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization and contributions are tax deductible. All ALSC positions, including executive director, are voluntary. Those wishing to make a contribution to advance the the Center’s mission of promoting labor history and restoring the Kate Mullany National Historic Site may mail their check to:
- American Labor Studies Center
- 100 S. Swan Street
- Albany, NY 12210-1939
- Attn: R Garbarino
Click here to read the histories of most American unions
This article by Kevin Kolben argues that labor rights and human rights movements have a great deal in common: both are motivated by a commitment to justice, both advocate for the interests of the oppressed, and both have long used rights principles and language to advocate for their goals. Click here to read this article.
The California Federation of Teachers (CFT) Labor in the Schools Committee has produced curricula for students at all levels of education, from pre-school coloring books to college and university readings, to union-based new member orientation programs. Click here to learn more.
The Economic Policy Institute is a nonprofit Washington D.C. think tank created in 1986 to broaden the discussion about economic policy to include the interests of low- and middle-income workers.
Fifteen years after he set foot in San Francisco 1920, Harry Bridges was at the forefront of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), which was the first US union to actively fight against racism. He led the longshoreman’s San Francisco General Strike (May 9, 1934), notable for “Bloody Thursday” and being first industry-wide strike in US history…
(1927-1993) Yuma, Arizona
César lived amongst former migrant workers and endured the conditions and racial issues that affected them. Starting his political work with the Community Service Organization (CSO) in 1952, he founded the United Farm Worker’s (UFW) in 1962…
(Click Here) Nelson Hale Cruikshank helped create Social Security and Medicare
(1855-1926) Terre Haute, Indiana
Eugene V. Debs was born in a wooden shack in Terre Haute, Indiana on February 5, 1855. At age 16 he became a locomotive fireman, stoking fires on the early prairie railroads. His years working on the railroad affected him so deeply that when the local of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen was organized in 1875 Debs played an active role…
(1928-) New York City, New York
Donahue grew up in an Irish Catholic family in The Bronx, New York, the son of Thomas R. and Mary E. Donahue. After completing his elementary and secondary schooling, he joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 17, serving as a seaman from 1945-1946…
(Click Here) Arthur Goldberg was a labor strategist for the union movement and former Secretary of Labor
Samuel Gompers emigrated in 1863 to New York, where he followed his father’s trade of cigar making and became a naturalized citizen in 1872. As a labour leader, Gompers gained a worldwide reputation for conservatism. In a period when the U.S. was bitterly hostile to labour organizations, he evolved the principles of “voluntarism,” which stressed that unions should exert coercion by economic actions, i.e., strikes and boycotts…
(Click Here) Former AFL president, moved the federation toward “social reform unionism.”
(Click Here) Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America founder. Often credited with inventing trade unionism as we know it today.
The Workers’ Warrior
One of the most colorful figures in American labor history is Mary Harris Jones, “Mother Jones.” Frequently showing up at strikes and rallies, she was known as a real “hell raiser.” While she is most often recognized for her comment, “Pray for the dead, and fight like hell for the living,” many of her speeches were profound and prophetic…
(Click Here) President off the United Mine Workers (UMWA) and founding president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).
(Click Here) The “father” of Labor Day and of May Day – championed the need for a national federation.
“The basic goal of labor will not change. It is — as it has always been, and I am sure always will be — to better the standards of life for all who work for wages and to seek decency and justice and dignity for all Americans.”
(Click Here) CIO president who helped transform the industrial union movement into a stable powerful organization.
Click here to read about Kate Mullaney
Click here to visit Kate Mullany National Historic Site Website.
(Click Here) Served Secretary of Labor and held the distinction of being the first women to serve in a presidential cabinet position.
(Click Here) Eloquent and effective advocate for the rights of workers, women and consumers.
“The essence of trade unionism is social uplift. The labor movement has been the haven for the dispossessed, the despised, the neglected, the downtrodden, the poor.”
A. Philip Randolph
(Click Here) Long-time president of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) considered the model of a reform-minded, liberal trade unionist.
(Click here) Brilliant theorist, tactician and organizer and the first head of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute.
Linda Chavez-Thompson became the highest-ranking woman in the labor movement when she was first elected to the new position of AFL-CIO executive vice president at the federation’s 1995 convention. Born in Lubbock, Texas, on Aug. 3, 1944, Chavez-Thompson was elected to the AFL-CIO Executive Council in 1993…
Click here to learn about Labor History DBQ (8th Grade).
Triangle Factory Fire This web exhibit presents original documents and secondary sources on the Triangle Fire, held by the Cornell University Library. Remembering the Triangle Fire
If You Don’t Come in on Sunday, Don’t Come in on Monday
Newly available award winning documentary of labor history.
Click this link to see New York City Labor History Map.
Click this link to learn about the American Labor Museum Botto House National Landmark
Click here to visit a virtual museum designed to gather, identify and display examples of the cultural and artistic history of working people.
An Employment Guide For Young Workers Nichole Bighess, a student at Cornell University, compiled “Your Rights On The Job” while working as an intern at the American Labor Studies Center. The infomation she has assembled is designed to help young …
Negro History Week was celebrated for the first time in 1926 during the second week in February. This month was chosen because Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln celebrate their birthdays during the month. In 1976 Negro History Week became Black History Month and the rich history of African Americans began to receive special attention during the entire month of February…
Labor-religion coalitions have become increasingly common throughout the United States. While some may be surprised by this development, most people of faith immediately recognize the natural connection between religious creeds and the mission of organized labor. Both religion and labor…
Cornell University School’s Catherwood Library Reference Staff each Monday through Friday provides abstracts and links to workplace-related news stories covered in the major media.
Reprint of Timothy G. Borden’s annotated list of some of the leading works of the literature of American working-class studies.
Click here to see the list…
A comprehensive list of links to labor-related photos…
The use of quotations can be an effective way to engage students in analyzing different points of view. For example, teachers can provide students with the first two quotations below and ask them to explain the point each person is making and state which, in their opinion, they most agree with and provide evidence for their answer…
Click this link to read about: No Holds Barred: The Intensification Of Employer Opposition to Organizing by Kate Bronfenbrenner
Click this link to read about: “A Cry for Justice: The Voices of Chinese Workers”
Unions Are Good for the American Economy by David Madland and Karla Walter
New research shows workers’ freedom to form unions and bargain will be critical…
“Beyond Justice: Bush Administration’s Labor Department Abuses Labor Union Regulatory Authorities”
by Scott Lilly of the Center for American Progress.
The Silent War: “The Silent War,” speaks to the assault on workers’ freedom to choose a union and bargain collectively in the United States. Additional policy statements…
Do Fat Cats Pay Lower Tax Rates Than Workers? The federal tax code has become skewed in favor of investors over workers. Federal taxes on earnings are now one-and -one-half greater than personal taxes on investment income. Tax policy is the subject of many additional reports at: www.ctj.org
Will Pensions Exist In The Future? Pensions provide financial security to retired workers. Although, pensions are scarce, a disturbing trend of corporate malfeasance threatens their stability. Learn more about how the Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA) is fighting to protect retired workers. Additional information on matters impacting our seniors can be found at the ARA web site: http://www.retiredamericans.org/
Education For Democracy: “Education For Democracy,” is a recent position paper developed by the Albert Shanker Institute that addresses the following: How do we instill in a new generation an understanding of an an appreciation for their stunning political historic?…