This week’s Labor History Today podcast: “Politics of the Pantry”; “We Just Come to Work Here”
“This period of time in the Thirties struck me as a period of great innovation and resilience that women organized around the need to provide certain services. And I see that happening in my community today around the pandemic.” Emily Twarog, author of “Politics of the Pantry: Housewives, Food, and Consumer Protest in Twentieth Century America.” Her study of how women used institutions built on patriarchy and consumer capitalism to cultivate a political voice resonates strongly today in the midst of both the COVID-19 pandemic and an election year. Joyce McCawley talked with Twarog on the Heartland Labor Forum, the labor radio show airing weekly in Kansas City on KKFI.
Plus: Ben Grosscup with a new version of “We Just Come to Work Here” and Joe Glazer on the Memorial Day Massacre.
Last week’s show: “The Long Deep Grudge: A Story of Big Capital, Radical Labor, and Class War in the American Heartland”
Animators working for Walt Disney begin what was to become a successful five-week strike for recognition of their union, the Screen Cartoonists' Guild. The animated feature "Dumbo" was being created at the time and, according to Wikipedia, a number of strikers are caricatured in the feature as clowns who go to "hit the big boss for a raise" - 1941
A contract between the United Mine Workers and the U.S. government establishes one of the nation's first union medical and pension plans, the multi-employer UMWA Welfare and Retirement Fund - 1946
The Ford Motor Company signs a "Technical Assistance" contract to produce cars in the Soviet Union, and Ford workers were sent to the Soviet Union to train the labor force in the use of its parts. Many American workers who made the trip, including Walter Reuther, a tool and die maker who later was to become the UAW's president. Reuther returned home with a different view of the duties and privileges of the industrial laborer - 1929
In what became known as the Memorial Day Massacre (photo), police open fire on striking steelworkers at Republic Steel in South Chicago, killing ten and wounding more than 160 - 1937
The Ground Zero cleanup at the site of the World Trade Center is completed 3 months ahead of schedule due to the heroic efforts of more than 3,000 building tradesmen & women who had worked 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for the previous 8 months – 2002
Rose Will Monroe, popularly known as Rosie the Riveter, dies in Clarksville, Ind. During WWII she helped bring women into the labor force - 1997
- David Prosten