Click here to check out this week's Labor History Today podcast. On this week’s show: Robyn Leigh Muncy, whose article “The Strange Career of ‘the Working Class’ in US Political Culture Since the 1950s” was published in the December issue of "Labor: Studies in Working Class History." Plus, in this week’s “Cool things from the George Meany Labor Archives,” Alan, Chloe and Ben discover something unexpected in their “Miscellaneous” folder for the 1912 Lawrence textile strike. Interviews by Chris Garlock, Patrick Dixon and Allan Wierdak.
Michigan authorizes formation of workers’ cooperatives. Thirteen are formed in the state over a 25-year period. Labor reform organizations were advocating "cooperation" over "competitive" capitalism following the Civil War and several thousand cooperatives opened for business across the country during this era. Participants envisioned a world free from conflict where workers would receive the full value of their labor and freely exercise democratic citizenship in the political and economic realms – 1865
photo courtesy U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives
Fifty-eight workers are killed, 150 injured when a boiler explosion levels the R.B. Grover shoe factory in Brockton, Mass. The four-story wooden building collapsed and the ruins burst into flames, incinerating workers trapped in the wreckage - 1905
The American Federation of Labor issues a charter to a new Building Trades Department. Trades unions had formed a Structural Building Trades Alliance several years earlier to work out jurisdictional conflicts, but lacked the power to enforce Alliance rulings - 1908
Members of the Int’l Union of Electrical Workers reach agreement with Westinghouse Electric Corp., end a 156-day strike - 1956
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that employers could not exclude women from (the often highest paying) jobs where exposure to toxic chemicals could potentially damage a fetus - 1991
Three hundred family farmers at a National Pork Producers Council meeting in Iowa protest factory-style hog farms - 1997
Labor history courtesy Union Communication Services.