Labor History

Labor History Lesson: The Women's Strike

The struggle by women to close the gender wage gap and achieve pay equity has been a global one. But the specific methods and efforts of equal rights activists has varied greatly among the countries of the world. In his latest "Vocational Instructor" labor history column, AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy shares how the women in one Nordic nation took the path of direct action:

Voice for All Workers at Risk in High Court Case

Union leaders are expressing disappointment with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision today to hear arguments in a case challenging fees that support wage increases and benefits for non-member workers. A majority agreed to take up Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association (CTA), which endangers the legal precedent allowing "fair share" fees to support public sector unions' collective bargaining costs.
Click here for press coverage of the court's decision.

Labor History Lesson: The Abood Decision

Most of the gains that organized labor has made are due to courageous and principled stands by working men and women. In his latest "Vocational Instructor" labor history column, AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy acknowledges the important role that the courts have also played in shaping our rights:

Honoring Our Past, Inspiring Our Future

Ninety-nine years ago today, on May 9, 1916, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) was founded in Chicago, when eight local unions were granted a charter signed by American Federation of Labor (AFL) President Samuel Gompers. Leading up to AFT's national convention in 2016, we will spend the next year looking back on our rich history -- our struggles, our accomplishments, our proudest moments -- and celebrating how far we have come and what lies ahead.
Click here to watch a brief promo of AFT's 100th anniversary celebration.

"Fast Track:" Bad for Our Economy

The so-called "Fast Track" bill on trade promotion authority introduced last week in the U.S. Senate will hurt everyday working people and stack the deck in favor of corporations. The legislation threatens to limit the ability of labor unions, environmental advocates, and all Americans to have meaningful input on our nation’s trade policy.
Click here to tell Congress to stop Fast Track.

Labor History Lesson: Coxey's Army

The first "march on Washington" is the subject of AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy's latest "Vocational Instructor" labor labor history column. He details events that took place a full seven decades before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech -- and which still resonate today.
The words the march's leader planned to deliver -- "the rich have been growing richer, the poor poorer, and that by the close of the present century the middle class will have disappeared" -- ring true 121 years later:

Labor History Lesson: "The Lone Fighter"

In his latest post, AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy tells the story of a rank-and-file member who took enormous risks to restore his union to its roots. This labor history column from the February edition of the "Vocational Instructor" is a both a look back to the labor movement's past and a look ahead to our future. 
As Ed says, the men involved in the rise of the New York Building Trades Council may be lost to history, "but the struggle for the soul of unions remains:"

Labor History Lesson: Homestead

Longtime activist and AFT Connecticut Secretary-Treasurer Ed Leavy writes a regular post for his local union's newsletter that explores the rich labor history of the United States. Beginning with his submission for the last edition of the "Vocational Instructor" we'll share his work here so it reaches an even larger audience.
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