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labor history



  • The Saddest Union Story

    by Harold Myerson

    The recent announcement of a settlement between federal prosecutors and leaders of the United Auto Workers union presents a dire contrast to the heyday of the union, when the leadership of Walter Reuther made the union the only influential social democratic institution in American history and anchored the midcentury middle class. 



  • The Great Black Radical You've Never Heard Of

    by Peter Cole

    The author of a new book on an understudied Black labor radical presents context for an exerpt of an interview Ben Fletcher gave to the New York Amsterdam News, a rare surviving case of the organizer telling his own story.



  • Labor Pulse: Is This Election Labor's Last Chance?

    by Jim Castagnera

    The election presents organized labor with a choice between a death sentence and a reprieve that will prove temporary unless unions can put their needs at the center of a Biden presidency's priorities. 



  • American Democracy Is in the Mail

    by Daniel Carpenter

    The Postal Service has been a circuit of information vital to democracy, a non-exclusionary employer, and a service connecting all communities in the nation. It's also been a tool of conquest and voracious capitalism. For good and ill, the history of the USPS is the history of America. 



  • The Wages of Whiteness (Review Essay)

    Hari Kunzru's review essay examines the current vogue for white antiracism (and antiracist training) through the history of whiteness as a political and academic concept, concluding that many  of the most popular books and multicultural pieties strip the idea of its structural elements and reduce it to a question of personal purification. 



  • Blue Bloods: America's Brotherhood of Police Officers

    by Eve L. Ewing

    “How many unions are there where you’re assigned a gun and told you can shoot people?” Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner asked me during a phone interview. “I mean, they have superpowers. They are given superpowers over the lives and freedom of other people. Over the integrity of their bodies.” 


  • Unions Are Essential for Eliminating Racism

    A new study finds that unions don't just increase wages and benefits for workers on the job — union membership is also linked to diminished racist attitudes among white workers. If we want to defeat racism, building strong, democratic unions is essential.



  • The Story Behind the Lee Statue in Richmond, Virginia

    by Peter Rachleff

    Now the time has come for the story of the Workingmen’s Reform Party, the building of Richmond’s City Hall, and the solidarity-based politics of the Black and white members of the Knights of Labor, to come out into the light.