Category Archives: Other Resources

We Were There

“We Were There” video with Bev Grant’s song and historic photos

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Union Women: Roots of Leadership

Interviews with women labor leaders

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LaborArts

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Labor Songs

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…

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Women and Work

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 …

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Union Maid Lyrics

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 …

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Labor Videos

The following are videos available from YouTube on labor history. Please let us know if you are aware of others.

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Women’s Labor History

Read the Lyrics to Union Maid

Women and Work – An Introduction

A Brief History of Women in the Labor Movement – An Article by Juliet H. Mofford for Women’s History Magazine

The Face of the Labor Movement – Women at the Front Lines

Suggested Information for Further Research

An Extensive Collection of Links on Women’s Labor History
(Developed by the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees)

Resources for Women’s History Month Provided by the Coalition of Labor Union Women

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U.S. Labor and Industrial History Audio Archive

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.

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Union Histories

Click here to read the histories of most American unions

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Labor History Timelines

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César Estrada Chavez



(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…

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Nelson Hale Cruikshank

(Click Here) Nelson Hale Cruikshank helped create Social Security and Medicare

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Eugene Victor Debs



(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…

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Thomas Reilly Donahue



(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…

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Arthur Goldberg

(Click Here) Arthur Goldberg was a labor strategist for the union movement and former Secretary of Labor

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Samuel Gompers



(1850-1924)
London, England

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…

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William Green

(Click Here) Former AFL president, moved the federation toward “social reform unionism.”

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Joe Hill

(Click Here) Songwriter, itenerant laborer, union organizer-and martyr.

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Sidney Hillman

(Click Here) Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America founder. Often credited with inventing trade unionism as we know it today.

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Mary Harris Jones (Mother Jones)


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…

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Lane Kirkland

(Click Here) Former AFL-CIO president – had a profound effect on world affairs.

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John L. Lewis

(Click Here) President off the United Mine Workers (UMWA) and founding president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO).

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Lucy Randolph Mason

(Click Here) Social reformer dedicated to workers’ rights and racial justice.

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Peter McGuire

(Click Here) The “father” of Labor Day and of May Day – championed the need for a national federation.

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George Meany


(1894-1980)
“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.”
-George Meany…

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Phillip Murray

(Click Here) CIO president who helped transform the industrial union movement into a stable powerful organization.

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Kate Mullaney

Click here to read about Kate Mullaney

Click here to visit Kate Mullany National Historic Site Website.

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Albert Parsons

Click here to read about Albert Parsons.

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Frances Perkins


(Click Here)
Served Secretary of Labor and held the distinction of being the first women to serve in a presidential cabinet position.

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Esther Eggersten Peterson


(Click Here)
Eloquent and effective advocate for the rights of workers, women and consumers.

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A. Philip Randolph




“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

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Walter Reuther


(Click Here)
Long-time president of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) considered the model of a reform-minded, liberal trade unionist.

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Bayard Rustin


(Click here)
Brilliant theorist, tactician and organizer and the first head of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute.

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Albert Shanker

Click here to read about Albert Shanker.

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Linda Chavez-Thompson


Lubbock, Texas

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…

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Triangle Factory Fire

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

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Award Winning Documentary of Labor History

If You Don’t Come in on Sunday, Don’t Come in on Monday

Newly available award winning documentary of labor history.

-Click here to read the review
-Click here to order a copy of the documentary

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The Tamiment Library & Wagner Labor Archives

Click this link to see New York City Labor History Map.

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Botto House National Landmark

Click this link to learn about the American Labor Museum Botto House National Landmark

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Labor Arts

Labor Arts

Click here to visit a virtual museum designed to gather, identify and display examples of the cultural and artistic history of working people.

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Black Labor History

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…

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Labor and Religion

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…

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Cornell University

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.

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Bibliographies Containing Publications on Labor History and Related Topics

Worker Rights: A Bibliography

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…

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Labor Photos

A comprehensive list of links to labor-related photos…

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No Holds Barred: The Intensification Of Employer Opposition to Organizing

Click this link to read about: No Holds Barred: The Intensification Of Employer Opposition to Organizing by Kate Bronfenbrenner

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A Cry for Justice: The Voices of Chinese Workers

Click this link to read about: “A Cry for Justice: The Voices of Chinese Workers”

Posted in Child Labor, Collective Bargaining, Contemporary Labor Issues, Global Studies, Labor History, Labor Union Histories, Policy Issues, Union Histories | Leave a comment

Unions Are Good for the American Economy by David Madland and Karla Walter

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…

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Beyond Justice: Bush Administration’s Labor Department Abuses Labor Union Regulatory Authorities

“Beyond Justice: Bush Administration’s Labor Department Abuses Labor Union Regulatory Authorities”
by Scott Lilly of the Center for American Progress.

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The Silent War

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…

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Do Fat Cats Pay Lower Tax Rates Than Workers?

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

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Will Pensions Exist In The Future?

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/

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Education For Democracy

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?…

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How Unions Help All Workers

How Unions Help All Workers: Unions have a substantial impact on the compensation and work lives of both unionized and nonunionized workers. Unions play a pivotal role in securing and enforcing labor protections such as overtime compensation, family and medical…

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Documenting Labor Inside and Out

Documenting Labor Inside and Out uses the Archives of Public Affairs and Policy, located at the University at Albany New York, to document the lives of working people with material on worker’s culture and social welfare organizations. The digital exhibit, created by Cynthia K. Sauer and Brian Keough, makes many primary resources available while adding instructional elements such as: Who Uses Labor Records? and Labor Culture.

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Our Documents

Our Documents is a national initiative on American History, Civics, and Service. It is intended to promote public understanding of how rights and responsibilities have taken shape over time. The National Archives and Records Administration is largely responsible for the project. Click here to learn more.

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Child Labor Web Resources

Child Labor Resources at the Cornell University Catherwood Library and the Kheel Center

Child Labor Web Resources -
This site provides links to education institutions, government, media, and non-governmental web sites on child labor….

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Photographs of Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor

Photographs of Lewis Hine: Documentation of Child Labor – This “Teaching with Documents Lesson Plan” was developed by the staff at the National Archives & Records Administration. The well developed lesson plan contains a correlation to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and Government. Once at the NARA web site you’ll find many other interesting lessons. (Hine’s Photos @ “The History Place”)

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Employee Free Choice Act & Labor Law History

The Employee Free Choice Act, supported by a bipartisan coalition in Congress, would enable working people to bargain for better benefits, wages and working conditions by restoring workers’ freedom to choose for themselves whether to join a union…

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Chronology of American Labor History

Chronology of American Labor History
An extensive resource of research tools including bibliography, biography, materials (texts and journals), organizations, instructional centers, instruction, timelines and labor history maintained by Dr. Lynn Nelson of the Kansas Heritage Group

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