Labor movements in the US and around the world have been at the center of progressive social change for many generations. In the US, without labor union struggles we would have no child labor laws, no worker safety and worker compensation laws, no unemployment insurance, no social security, no Medicare, and far less social justice across an array of issues.
Labor played a key role in the Ciivil Rights and Chicano/a movements. Groups like the Coalition of Labor Union Women have been tireless in fighting for women's rights in and beyond the workplace.
The links below tell some of the history of labor movement cultures in the US, both historically and as an ongoing, newly energized, ethnically and gender diverse movement, will be a key to widening the agenda of progressive change for decades to come.
- Labor Culture. Excellent set of resources collected by Lincoln Cushing on various aspects of culture (art, literature, film, music, multimedia, etc.) in relation to past and current labor struggles; from the Institute of Industrial Relations Library.
Historical Sites and Documents
- African American Labor History. FIne set of links.
- Bread and Roses: The Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912. by Joyce Kornbluth.
- Haymarket Massacre archive. Site on one of the American labor movement's most famous events.
- Haymarket Massacre as Drama. Fine site from the Chicago Historical Society exploring the various cultural contexts and meanings of the Haymarket massacre.
- Federal Writer's Projects Life Histories Collection. Library of Congress online resource including life stories of many laborers as told to interviewers during the late 1930s.
- Labor Arts. Excellent resource on the role of music, drama, the visual arts and more in labor history.
- Labor Heritage Society. Includes much on labor cultures.
- Official Eugene V. Debs web site. Speeches, biographical and historical information on the famous labor agitator and Socialist Party of America leader in the early 20th century.
- The Paterson Pageant, 1913. Story of the great theatrical reenactment of the Paterson textile strike.
Selected Labor Culture Sites, and Contemporary Labor Organizations
- America's Farmworkers homepage.
- AFL-CIO. America's Union Movement.
- Bread and Roses Cultural Project. Fine site on union culture from the New York's Health and Human Service Union, 1199/SEIU.
- Center for Third World Organizing. A major progressive racial justice/labor organizer training resource.
- Center for Working Class Studies. Excellent resource on history and present of labor and working class issues and movements.
- Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.
- Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions. Resource for the expanding movement of Graduate Student unionization.
- Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). Longstanding group fightingfor the rights of working women.
- International Labor Organization. Key force linkinglabor movements around the globe.
- IWW Homepage. Yes, the IWW is very much alive today and their homepage includes links to other labor and anarchist sites.
- Jobs with Justice National.
- Labor Party.
- The Labor Project. Good links and database from the University of Oregon on the labor movement in the Northwest US.
- Labor Project for Working Families.Maquila Solidarity.org Resource on the attempt to improve conditions in the US-Mexico border maquiladora factories.
- Labor Unions: International Links worldwide to labor unions and worker rights organizations.
- Service Employees International Union (SEIU). A major force for progressiveorganzing of service sector workers in the US and beyond.
- Social Democrats, USA.
- Sweat Free Communities
- UE: International Solidarity. Information and articles on common interests of Mexican and US workers.
- Unite Here. Strong coaltion of textile and hotel workers unions.
- United Farm Workers union.
- United Students Against Sweatshops Central source for the university-bases brach of the anti-sweatshop movement.
Fair Labor Consumer Sites
- China Labor Watch Anti-sweatshop group focused on China's labor processes.
- Equal Exchange. Fair trade issues.
- Global Exchange. Major fair trade organization.
- Good Guide. Helps consumers locate products made under decent labor conditions.
- Union Label. Guide to truly union made products.
General Sites For Further Information
- AFL-CIO Boycott List.
- Become a Union Organizer.Info on the Organizing Institute
- Electronic Democracy Information Network (EDIN) Labor Issues Page.
- EDIN: Department of Labor and Other Government Info on Labor.
- EDIN: Labor and Environmental Hazards.
- EDIN: Labor Research and Education Resources.
- EDIN: Other Labor-Related Gophers.
- EDIN: Publications and Files about Unions.
- EDIN: Unions and Workplace Organizations.
- EDIN: Women and the Workplace.
- LaborNet. Good general source on current labor movements.
- Labor/Community Strategy Center. Provides articles (historical and current) on labor unions and the movement in general. Also provides links to schools for labor organizers.
- Labor Issues and Class Struggle. From Jay's list.
- Labor Net's comprehensive lists of unions and labor movement groups online.
- Labor-Related Films in the Library of Congress Collection.