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Flood fails to sweep away Socialist Labor Party Hall

“Things are (mostly) back to normal” at the Socialist Labor Party Hall in Barre, Vermont, reports the Barre Historical Society. “The Stephen’s Branch of the Winooski looks tame now, but it left us with a hellish mess as it overflowed its banks during the July 10 monsoon,” which damaged much of Barre and other local communities. Grants, flood insurance and generous personal contributions have helped offset much of the $120,000 in damages to the Hall, but they’re still facing a shortfall of about $26,000; click here to contribute and here to sign up for their newsletter. “Donations help keep the boiler running and the lights on while preserving an important piece of Vermont labor and immigrant history.” Among the events the Hall is planning to host this year are the annual performance by Bread & Puppet, Primo Maggio and Soiree Sucree. 

Preserve the Solidarity mural!

Fifty years ago, a team of artists led by John Pitman Weber and Jose Guerrero created the “Solidarity” mural in the lobby of the UE Hall in Chicago, at that time the center of a vibrant working-class neighborhood. With the neighborhood gentrifying, UE is in the process of selling the aging building — but is working hard to preserve the mural for the Chicago community and future generations. Click here by January 31 to demonstrate to potential funders that there is widespread support for preserving this vital piece of history.

The mural tells the story of UE, industrial unionism, and related social movements in the style of Diego Rivera. For 50 years, it has served as a visual narrative of the struggles and triumphs of the working class, capturing the spirit of solidarity, resilience, and the fight for workers’ rights. Learn more about the mural in this 2019 article in the Chicago Sun-Times, which includes an interview with one of the muralists and spectacular photos of the artwork. 


Essayist, novelist and activist Cory Doctorow on Chokepoint Capitalism and the threats that Amazon and other huge corporations pose to creative freedom and the wellbeing of authors and the world. Plus, Elise shares one of her Top 10 Favorite Labor Songs, Labor Notes editor Al Bradbury tells us the story behind her song “Union Conga” and previews this year’s Labor Notes conference; the R.J. Phillips Band remembers the Bread and Roses Strike.

The Labor Heritage Power Hour radio show airs at 1p ET Thursdays on WPFW 89.3FM or listen to the podcast anytime.

PICKET SIGN of the Week

Workers at Delta Ramp, Cargo and Tower are organizing with the IAM. Learn more here

Got a great picket sign? Email us at [email protected]

Labor VIDEO of the Week

Find out more about Labor Notes, the voice of activists who are "putting the movement back in the labor movement." This year’s LHF Great Labor Arts Exchange will be held at the Labor Notes Conference, April 18-21 in Chicago; click here for details

Got labor video? Email us at [email protected]

Labor SONG of the Week

Bread and Roses – The R.J. Phillips Band

On January 11, 1912, the Bread and Roses Strike began in Massachusetts.

Also known as the Lawrence Textile Strike, the workers actions resulted from a reduction in pay and working hours. At its peak, the strike involved some 20,000 workers and included labor leaders Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.

Labor ART of the Week

Marketplace’s new series, "Breaking Ground" explores how the New Deal changed American society.

Got labor art? Email us at [email protected]

Labor POEM of the Week

We Pulled a Wildcat Strike

The older guys said they were pretty sure that the USWA

started in the Coke Ovens at Bethlehem/Lackawanna.

Couldn't prove it, but what better place to forge

a labor movement in the steel industry?


Of the local steelworker unions, #2601 was the strongest,

having the entire plant by the short hairs. After all,

no energy, no steel.

And the work was so steady, the senior guys said,

they worked right through the Great Depression.

George Grace; click here to read the rest of the poem, from the latest Blue Collar Review, a quarterly journal of poetry and prose published by Partisan Press.

Got a labor poem? Email us at [email protected]

Labor QUOTE of the Week

From Anne Feeney’s Have you been to jail for justice?, posted by 18-year-old Israeli Tal Mitnick, who served 30 days in a military prison after refusing mandatory military service in Israel. "I refuse to agree with the idea that killing civilians in Gaza would provide security for anyone," he said. "It doesn't bring security to anyone, neither to the people of Gaza nor to the people of Israel. I believe that the only path to security and peace lies in coexistence."

Thanks to Peter Jones and Friday's Labor Folklore; subscribe here.

Got a labor quote? Email us at [email protected]

LHF's comprehensive listing of labor's cultural events: music, films, theater, books, history and more...

Click here to add your labor arts event!

People's Music Network Winter Convergence

Jan 26 – 28, 2024

The People's Forum, 320 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018, USA (map)


We feel called to devote our musical craft to supporting social movements for justice and liberation. The PMN/NYC Organizing Committee recognizes the urgency of the political moment we're in right now and our program will connect the music of our members with major social justice struggles.

FILM: At The River I Stand

Fri, January 26, 5:30pm – 9:00pm

MFT Office, 67 8th Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN (map)


Film viewing and discussion on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s influence on the Memphis Sanitation Worker's Strike. William Jones, History Professor, University of Minnesota Peter Rachleff, Co-Executive Director, East Side Freedom Library

NoVA Labor BOOK CLUB: If We Burn: The Mass Protest Decade and the Missing Revolution

Tue, January 30, 7:30pm – 8:30pm


Vincent Blevins will join us to discuss his book, If We Burn: The Mass Protest Decade and the Missing Revolution, which draws lessons from the popular uprisings of the 2010's.

For more information about the NoVA Labor Book Club, contact Mark Hanna, [email protected]

Great Labor Arts Exchange (at Labor Notes)

Apr 18 – 21, 2024

Once again the Great Labor Arts Exchange will be part of the Labor Notes Conference this year. Labor arts workshops and performances will be woven throughout the weekend, scheduled for April 18-21 in Chicago.

Register by March 1 for a big discount. Email [email protected] to learn more.

Song, Poem, and Hip-Hop Contest: The Great Labor Arts Exchange's annual contest will be held live at Labor Notes. To enter the contest, enter the contest, fill out this form


January 26, 1695

In what could be considered the first workers’ compensation agreement in America, pirate Henry Morgan pledges his underlings 600 pieces of eight or six slaves to compensate for a lost arm or leg. Also part of the pirate’s code, reports the late Roger Newell: shares of the booty were equal regardless of race or sex, and shipboard decisions were made collectively. 

Listen to the Labor History Today podcast here. This week: MLK at the AFL-CIO in 1961: On December 11, 1961, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the AFL-CIO’s Fourth Constitutional Convention at the Americana Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, connecting the civil rights movement and labor movement, calling them “the two most dynamic and cohesive liberal forces in the country.” This episode includes the speech, and labor historian Joe McCartin provides context for King's quiet but powerful challenge to the American labor movement. 

In 1834, Pres. Andrew Jackson sent American troops to do what?
Forcibly relocate Native Americans
Suppress a labor dispute
Collect tariff duties

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ: Hard working Mickey Mantle signed a new contract with the New York Yankees on January 20, 1961, making him the highest paid player in baseball: $75,000 for the entire 1961 season. 

"The worker must have bread,

but she must have roses, too."

Please CLICK HERE NOW to pledge your financial support to our 2023 program, which this year includes our annual Solidarity Forever Award, the Great Labor Arts Exchange, the DC Labor FilmFest and much more (check out our website for details!).

Donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. 


North Pole Elves Win Big with Escalating Strike (12/22)

Rudolph the Union Reindeer (12/15)

Washington Post members strike (12/8)

Wins for NYC Ballet Orchestra and Opera Colorado workers (12/1)

Socially responsible shopping on Black Friday (11/24)

Museum workers win in LA (11/17)

New monument honors union victims of Centralia tragedy (11/10)

Exit singing: Elise Bryant retires from LHF (11/3)

Elise Bryant shows why she’s “Queen of the Night” 10/27)

“TRIANGLE: Scenes from a Prosecution” (10/20)

Triangle Fire Dedication Ceremony streams live today (10/11)

Leadville Irish Miners’ Memorial to be unveiled Saturday (9/13)

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