Labor 2012

Last year on this day we took a look back at the history of the labor movement in the United States. This year we’ll take a look around.

This article by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis celebrates the history of the Labor Department, as both a champion and protector of workers and as a force for industrial modernization.

This one is a retrospective of labor’s woes throughout the post-2007 financial crisis, in terms of a jobless recovery and and a surging poverty rate. This article makes similar observations, while arguing that business found ways to foster their own recovery while keeping rehiring to a sorry minimum.

Meanwhile, this article and this one take a look at organized labor, noting declining membership numbers and sustained political assaults. Even with a relatively friendly administration in power, these are not great times for unions.

Bottom line: This labor day, the American worker class is far too close to being forgotten and forlorn. It’s impossible to overstate the injustice of this. Political parties try to lay claim to this new “We built it” meme, but it’s always been the workers who could point to every road, bridge, factory, and skyscraper, and say that and mean it.

Bonus content–a little old-timey rabble-rousing union music, and some links to check out:

U.S. Department of Labor


Working America

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW – “The Wobblies”)

History of the Labor Movement

About editor, facilitator, decider

Doesn't know much about culture, but knows when it's going to hell in a handbasket.
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