This week’s Labor History Today podcast: Why America’s most radical union shut down ports on Juneteenth. Plus, Arlo Guthrie sings “The Ballad of Harry Bridges” and Elise Bryant reads “Ready To Kill,” Carl Sandburg’s poem about who should be memorialized in our statues.
Last week’s show: SCOTUS bans LGBTQ workplace discrimination; Queer history of the UAW.
Alabama outlaws the leasing of convicts to mine coal, a practice that had been in place since 1848. In 1898, 73 percent of the state's total revenue came from this source. 25 percent of all black leased convicts died - 1928
The Walsh-Healey Act took effect today. It requires companies that supply goods to the government to pay wages according to a schedule set by the Secretary of Labor - 1936
The storied Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, a union whose roots traced back to the militant Western Federation of Miners, and which helped found the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), merges into the United Steelworkers of America - 1967
Up to 40,000 New York construction workers demonstrated in midtown Manhattan, protesting the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s awarding of a $33 million contract to a nonunion company. Eighteen police and three demonstrators were injured. "There were some scattered incidents and some minor violence," Police Commissioner Howard Safir told the New York Post. "Generally, it was a pretty well-behaved crowd." - 1998
- David Prosten