NOTE: This show was originally released on June 28, 2020
“The origin of the word strike goes back to the port of London in 1768, when dock workers and sailors struck. When sailors stop work, they take down the sails of their ship and that’s called, nautically, striking your sail. And that term becomes the de facto word for all work stoppages.” Peter Cole, professor of history at Western Illinois University and author of two books on dockworkers, Wobblies on the Waterfront and Dockworker Power: Race and Activism in Durban and the San Francisco Bay Area, talks with Ben Blake and Alan Wierdak about the historic Juneteenth strike by dockworkers this year, and the long history of dockworker activism.
Plus, Arlo Guthrie sings “The Ballad of Harry Bridges” and Elise Bryant reads “Ready To Kill,” Carl Sandburg’s poem about who should be memorialized in our statues.
Produced by Chris Garlock. Alan Wierdak (George Meany Archives) produced the Peter Cole interview. To contribute a labor history item, email email@example.com
Labor History Today is produced by the Metro Washington Council’s Union City Radio and the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University.
Links: The Most Radical Union in the U.S. Is Shutting Down the Ports on Juneteenth (In These Times, June 16, 2020) Your Rights At Work radio show (WPFW 89.3FM) Labor Heritage Foundation Arlo Guthrie: The Ballad of Harry Bridges
In the midst of a tough negotiation with GE Datex-Ohmeda, IAM Local 1406, IAM District 10 members and their families recently gathered for a rally in Madison, WI as a sign of solidarity and to remind the company that these were the hardworking men and women who spent the pandemic on the frontlines building anesthesia, respiratory and infant care machines. Their life-saving ventilators were used around the world to fight the pandemic.
“As the pandemic raged it was workers, not CEOs, who kept this country from falling apart,” said IAM District 10 Directing Business Representative Alex Hoekstra. “The members of IAM 1406 worked tirelessly to build the ventilators that saved countless lives and made General Electric massive profits. District 10 is incredibly proud to represent these heroes and I call on General Electric management to reward them appropriately….”
Vermont AFL-CIO President David Van Deusen was our featured guest on today’s edition of the America’s Work Force Union Podcast. He spoke about the political parties in Vermont, the possibility of a general strike, New Hampshire defeating so-called “Right to Work,” fighting for social justice unionism and more.
Second Annual Lakefront Candlelight Vigil Saturday August 7, 2021 for Peace andGlobal Nuclear Disarmament
Please join Peace Action of Wisconsin on Saturday August 7, 2021, for a candlelight vigil along Lincoln Memorial Drive to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and renew our commitment to a world free from nuclear weapons.
Saturday August 7, 2021, 7 PM – 9:00 PM Along Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee, near the Bradford Beach Pedestrian Bridge
(Free Parking in the lot across from Bradford Beach and the North Point lot just south of there.Meet in either one of the two parking lots to pick up lanterns, signs and banners.)
Everyone please wear masks. Special peace masks will be available for sale.
No More Nuclear Weapons! No More Hiroshima’s or Nagasaki’s!
For more information, contact Peace Action of Wisconsin, 414-269-9525, leave a message.
As you read this message right now, about 1,500 Palestinian people in the al-Bustan neighborhood of Silwan, Jerusalem are fighting to stay in their native homeland, resisting Israeli bulldozers coming to destroy their homes and forcing them out to make room for settlers. For some families, those bulldozers could arrive as soon as today.
Their resistance is part of a global uprising for justice for Palestinians and all oppressed people fighting against exploitation, racism, and repression across the world.
Today we’re showing up on the phones and in the streets in solidarity, alongside thousands of allies for a Week of Action to stop Israel’s ethnic cleansing. We demand that Democratic leadership quit giving Israel the green light to continue ethnic cleansing in Silwan, Jerusalem and all of Palestine. SF Bay Area, join us for a demonstration in front of the SF Federal Building this Thursday, July 1.