Unions & Strikes

Teaching Labor's Story

Unions & Strikes

Overviews: Historical Context

Coming soon

7.1 Destitution in West Virginia, Commission Report, 1922

An excerpt from a longer report describing living and working conditions of miners in West Virginia in 1922.

7.5 Lady Vaudeville and Her White Rats, 1909

Excerpt from George Fuller Golden’s 1909 memoir about his career as a Vaudeville artist and labor organizer.

8.1 UAW-CIO song, 1942

This song is about the struggles by auto workers to organize a union and their patriotic pride as both producers for and soldiers in the American war effort during World War II. It equates unionism with patriotism. 

8.2 Blank Pay Days, 1933

This document is excerpted from an article written by a Chicago school teacher about how the Great Depression was affecting her work and personal life; published 1933 in The Saturday Evening Post.

8.3 Spasmodic Diary of a Chicago School Teacher, 1933

An excerpt from a published selection of a diary that belonged to an anonymous Chicago public school teacher, which was published in The Atlantic Monthly in November 1933.

8.4 Memorial Day Massacre, 1937

An eyewitness narration of unedited newsreel footage of the 1937 Memorial Day Massacre in Chicago, Illinois when steel unionists and their supporters were met with police violence on their way to demand the right to set up a mass picket in front of Republic Steel.

9.1 Triumph of the Paraprofessionals, August 22, 1970

This opinion piece by civil rights organizer Bayard Rustin celebrates the signing of the first union contract for paraprofessional educators — community-based classroom and school support staff, nearly all of them black and Hispanic women — in New York City. It was published in the New York Amsterdam News, the city’s largest black-owned newspaper, in 1970.

9.2 Chavez Explains the Need for Boycotts, 1972

A TV interview with United Farm Workers leader Cesar Chavez conducted at the height of the struggle during the 1972 election season.

9.4 DRUM, Demands 1969

All autoworkers on the Dodge assembly line were represented by United Auto Workers (UAW) Local 3, but some workers, particularly Black workers, did not feel equally protected and supported by their union. In 1969 a group of these autoworkers joined with community activists to form the Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement (DRUM). This is one of the first list of demands DRUM issued to Dodge management.

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