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The Origins of Right-to-Work: Vance Muse, Anti-Semitism, and the Maintenance of Jim Crow Labor Relations

As Kentucky legislators pass a measure outlawing the union shop and Missouri’s General Assembly contemplates doing the same, it is worth remembering that so-called Right-to-Work laws originated as means to maintain Jim Crow labor relations and to beat back what was seen as a Jewish cabal to foment a revolution. No one was more important in placing Right-to-Work on the conservatives’ political agenda than Vance Muse of the Christian American Association, a larger-than-life Texan whose own grandson described him as “a white supremacist, an anti-Semite, and a Communist-baiter, a man who beat on labor unions not on behalf of working people, as he said, but because he was paid to do so.” Read more →

January 12th, 2017

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Recent Posts Archives

Kennesaw State University faculty need your support

by Rosemary Feurer  on October 10th, 2016

We Do the Work: An Interview with Conor Casey

by Conor Casey  on September 2nd, 2016
The latest episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s regular segment on the KSVR radio show We Do the Work is now streaming online via KSVR and Public Radio International’s Exchange. Read more →

Speech by Dilma Rousseff, Upon Her Removal as President of Brazil, 31 August 2016

by Bryan Pitts  on September 2nd, 2016
Dilma Roussef, the first woman to head Brazil, was removed from office on August 31, 2016, after months of impeachment hearings led the country’s corruption-tainted senate. Her trial symbolized the end of 13 years of Workers’ party rule. Read more →

National History Day Students Win 2016 Regional Video Contest Employing Labor Archives of Washington Collections and Staff Interviews

by Conor Casey  on August 31st, 2016
Every year the Labor Archives of Washington at the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections works with National History Day students on their projects. This year, students Ashley Luty, Ananya Jain, and Eileen Zhang placed 1st in Washington State for the Junior Group Documentary category for their film “A Wave of Change: The 1934 West Coast Waterfront Strike.” The documentary employed the Labor Archives’ collections and included interviews with LAW Labor Archivist Conor Casey. Read more →

AWOC Audio Recordings Now Digitized

by The Walter P. Reuther Library  on August 15th, 2016
The Reuther Library is pleased to announce the digitization of over 100 reel-to-reel audio recordings related to the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee (AWOC)… Read more →

Tinkering with Taxes

David Obringer , October 10th, 2016

Poverty and Precarious Work

John Russo , September 7th, 2016

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James N. Gregory, “Radicals in the Democratic Party, from Upton Sinclair to Bernie Sanders,” The Conversation (August 2, 2016)

Ryan Poe, August 4th, 2016

As we watch Bernie Sanders’ supporters struggling to come to terms with the nomination of Hillary Clinton, it makes sense to ask why leftists are involved in the Democratic Party in the first place… Read more →