This week’s Labor History Today podcast: Paul Robeson and the 1948 Library of Congress cafeteria workers’ strike: With 95% of DC’s hotel and restaurant workers out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we look back at the history of cafeteria workers’ struggle at the Library of Congress for a union and how singer and activist Paul Robeson supported their 1948 strike. Plus: AFSCME's Lillian Roberts tells how a showdown with NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller over the right of state workers to organize led to her being jailed for two weeks in December, 1968; Mark Bradley, author of Blood Runs Coal, about the brutal 1968 murder of Jock Yablonski and his family by United Mineworkers president Tony Boyle, and how it inspired a surge in union democracy; The Beginning of the End of Apartheid.
Last week’s show: America’s last general strike. photo: mass picket outside the Federal Works Administration during the 1948 cafeteria strike.
Protesting unemployment, lack of political representation, and taxation without representation, a thousand members of the Australian Workers’ Union, led by Harold Nelson, marched on the Government House in Darwin, Australia (below), demanding the resignation of John Gilruth, Administrator of the Northern Territory. Gilruth left under military protection, never to return, and Nelson went on to win the first Territory seat in Australia’s House of Representatives -1918
Int’l Union of Aluminum, Brick & Glass Workers merges with United Steelworkers of America - 1996
- David Prosten