Labor History

Labor History 10-9The South Central Federation of Labor SCFL is hosting a presentation by labor historian Peter Rachleff titled “How We Move Forward and Win: Untold Stories from the Past and the Present” at 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 9, 2014 at the Madison Labor Temple, 102 South Park Street.

Event organizers invite union members to “Come learn about the past victories of our movement and about what workers are currently doing to engage, mobilize, and organize their workplaces and communities.”

A food and beverage social will precede Rachleff’s presentation.

Women's Equality Day

In 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26th as “Women’s Equality Day” to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote.

One of the best ways to celebrate Women’s Equality Day this year and honor the memories of the brave women who worked long and hard to pass the 19th Amendment is to make certain you are registered to vote in Wisconsin’s very important Fall 2014 General Election on Tuesday, November 4th.

At you can register to vote, check your voter registration status, find your polling place, and see your sample ballot,

Additional information about elections in Wisconsin is available at the Government Accountability Board website.

Throwback-Thursday-Ziegfield-Follies-Chorus-Girls-Form-Union_blog_post_fullWidthNinety-five years ago, during August 1919 while the members of the Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) were on strike, the chorus girls in the Ziegfield Follies create their own union, the Chorus Equity Association, after they learned their boss, Florenz Ziegfeld, was joining the Producing Managers’ Association. They were helped by a $100,000 donation from superstar and former chorus girl Lillian Russell. In 1955 the union merged with AEA.

Source: AFL-CIO blog

All Wisconsin high school students (grades 9-12) are eligible to participate in the annual Wisconsin Labor History Society Essay Contest. Up to eight cash prizes are awarded for the best essay. The prizes will include one $500 first-place prize, one $300 second-place prize, one $200 third-place prize, and up to five $100 prizes for honorable mention.

Students who wish to enter must write an essay of approximately 750 words on the following theme: “Unions have been important to my family and my community because…” Entries must be postmarked by February 14, 2014.

For additional information, download a PDF of the official flyer for this year’s contest.

Poster for League for Industrial Democracy, designed by Anita Willcox during the Great Depression, showing solidarity with struggles of workers and poor in America

Today is the 99th anniversary of the completion of the writing of the labor anthem “Solidarity Forever.”

Ralph Chaplin began writing “Solidarity Forever” in 1914, while he was covering the Kanawa coal miners’ strike in Huntington, West Virginia. He completed the song on January 15, 1915, in Chicago, on the date of a hunger demonstration.

Click here to read more about the history of this song

Today in Labor History: The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 results in the death of 146 workers

March 25, 2013

102 years ago today, on March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City — one of the deadliest industrial disasters in United States history– left 146 workers dead.

Read the full article →