Thursday, July 17, 2014

#1Uhistory at #NN14

That headline is Twitterese for "Labor History" as presented on a tour at the Netroots Nation 2014 conference in Detroit yesterday.

Mike Kerwin of the Michigan Labor History Society led our group around the city. He joined the United Auto Workers in the early 1950s.

AFL-CIO photo
A highlight was passing by the Woolworth's retail store where women workers took over the building on sit-down strike in 1937. They won, including half-pay for the seven days they'd held the building!

According to the dedication on this statue of Detroit mayor and later Michigan governor Hazen S. Pingree (1840-1901):

He was the first to warn the people of the great danger threatened by powerful private corporations, and the first to awake to the great inequalities in taxation and to initiate steps to reform.

Oddly, to contemporary thinking, he was a reforming Republican.

The "Labor's Legacy" monument by the river struck me as triumphal masculine machine-age art -- not my genre.

But some significant reminders are embedded around its base.

Naturally a labor history tour ended up in a bar -- the Anchor Bar, where, in the 1990s, newspaper workers brought out their alternative paper while on strike against the local Gannet paper. Barb Ingalis, a former striker, and Lou Grieco of the Newspaper Guild enthralled a friendly crowd with the story of that epic struggle. The Detroit papers, though shrunken, are still unionized!


amspirnational said...

well, yes, but if you vote for Clinton, you vote for corporate fascism and the Empire's bloodletting.
ain't corporate fascism grand if it just hires the appropriate proportion of minorities?!
Hill will do her best to insure equal opportunity corporate fascist bloodletting.

Hattie said...

Really fantastic. How I envy you meeting all these great people!

amspirnational said...

Hillary will get us in more wars than John McCain if elected.

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