Friday, February 10, 2012

The American Prospect, February 1, 2012, Wednesday

The American Prospect

February 1, 2012, Wednesday

The American Prospect (full article)

Where Indiana Goes, So Goes the Nation

"It's not an epicenter of labor history," concurs Jefferson Cowie, a labor historian at Cornell University. "It's a little bit on the margins."

But Indiana was nonetheless a part of the labor movement. After World War I, says Cowie, workers began a renewed push for rights in the workplace, demanding the war's message of spreading democracy also include factories at home. Gary was a central player in the Great Steel Strike of 1919, which included more than 350,000 workers around the country, all demanding an eight-hour work day and other basic rights. The strike ultimately failed, however, and it wasn't until the Great Depression that the labor movement began to see critical legal protections for collective bargaining put in place.