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Help Mother Jones march again

Mother Jones plans to march in the annual Chicago St Patrick’s Parade – which is watched by over a million people -- but she’s looking for some support to do so. “We need to raise about $1500 to cover the costs of registration, float and materials,” for the March 12 event, reports the Mother Jones Heritage Project, “please consider a donation of any amount to help out.” Click here for details. If you’d like to march with MoJo, email [email protected]

photo: MoJo on the UAW picket line in 2023

AFL-CIO’s Black History Month Reading List

“Black history is not a separate history,” says the AFL-CIO. “It’s not a single month. Black history is also America’s history, and it’s America’s labor history, too.” In addition to celebrating great labor leaders like A. Philip RandolphHattie CantyBayard RustinArlene Holt Baker and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the AFL-CIO’s Civil, Human and Women’s Rights Department has put together a list of recommended Black history reading, sourcing each book and linking to some union bookstore choices where you can order online.

Readers Write: NYC, not SF

“Having been a member of the New York City Labor Chorus for many years, without a doubt, I believe I can recognize the voice of Denise Jones singing Rockin’ Solidarity backed up by our chorus,” writes Marian Goldberg. “I am delighted that I was sent your newsletter (and) I scrolled down to find a link to the Labor Heritage Power Hour Podcast which started with the singing of Rockin Solidarity and comments about its history. When it was over, credit was given to the San Francisco Labor Chorus. Unless Denise has a voice twin on the West Coast, I do believe that is her and the New York City Labor Chorus.”

Marian’s correct; it was indeed the New York City Labor Chorus, with their live version of Rockin’ Solidarity; our apologies for the error!

Letters to the editor are always welcome; email them to [email protected]


JFK's Last Words to Labor: John F. Kennedy addressed the AFL-CIO one week before his assassination in November, 1963; we hear some of those words and talk to two labor archivists about the recently digitized speech. Plus: Saving the UE Chicago Mural, Discovering Maxo Vanka, "the Diego Rivera of Pittsburgh", UE president Carl Rosen’ Favorite Labor Song, Anita Mathias with The Story Behind the Song, and, on Labor History in 2:00: the Seattle General Strike.  The Labor Heritage Power Hour radio show airs at 1p ET Thursdays on WPFW 89.3FM or listen to the podcast anytime.

Labor VIDEO of the Week

Watch free online here

Female professional athletes need unions. The issues that workers face are universal whether those workers are basketball players or teachers or welders.

A new documentary explores the groundbreaking work of the Women’s National Basketball Players Association (WNBPA)—the first and longest-running union in women’s professional sports—as the union prepares to make its decision on whether to opt-out of the groundbreaking agreement it secured in 2020 and return to the bargaining table in 2025.

“Shattered Glass: A WNBPA Story” highlights the stories of Seattle Storm forward and WNBPA President Nneka Ogwumike and New York Liberty star forwards Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones.

“Shattered Glass” is so powerful in part because it doesn’t just tell a story about the state of gender equity in sports and the inner workings of contract negotiations within athletics. The players featured represent a larger, powerful story about our country and being worker. Got a great labor video? Email us at [email protected]

Labor ART of the Week

Earle Richardson, Employment of Negroes in Agriculture, 1934; on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (or online here).

Earle Richardson chose to depict fellow African Americans working barefoot in a southern cotton field. These workers are not bent over to pick cotton; the monumental figures stand with a quiet pride that transcends their identity as manual laborers. Their forms take up the foreground, confronting the viewers as equals. Got great labor art? Email us at [email protected]


You got a fast car

We go cruisin', entertain ourselves

You still ain't got a job

And I work in a market as a checkout girl

I know things will get better

You'll find work and I'll get promoted

And we'll move out of the shelter

Buy a bigger house and live in the suburbs

Tracy Chapman, Fast Car, at the 2024 Grammy’s this week Got a great labor quote? Email us at [email protected]



It's too early on a Tuesday

morning. The agency's having

budget problems, they're cutting

back on juice and fruit and the only

things on the table are coffee and tea,

bagels cut in half. The director

of our useless human resources

department is introducing the new

director of training, He's wearing

a sports jacket, a brightly striped

wide tie. His smile is too big,

he's talking too fast and he moves

around the room like Jerry Springer

on cocaine. Jason comes from New

Hampshire and he's of course

much too young to know anything

about anything that matters.

- Tony Gloeggler; excerpted in The Blue Collar Review; click here for the rest of the poem. Got a great labor poem? 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!

BOOK/MUSIC: Bill Fletcher Jr. & The Black Worker Center Chorus

Tue, February 13, 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Busboys and Poets, 235 Carroll St NW, Washington, DC 20012, USA (map)

FREE but you must RSVP

HISTORY: “A Housewife's Crusade, Desegregation, and General Motors' Reign -or- Lansing, Michigan's Westside Neighborhood in 3D”

Thu, February 15, 12:15pm – 1:30pm

Dani Willcutt, MSU Department of History, Green Room, MSU Library, and available as an online webinar (password is odwodl)

RADIO/PODCAST: Labor Heritage Power Hour

Thu, February 15, 1pm – 2pm

WPFW 89.3 FM or listen online; Podcast version available at 2p

THEATRE: We Got the Power

Tue, February 20, 7pm – 9pm

Solas Bar, 232 E 9th St, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10003

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 in Chicago. Labor Notes Conferences are the biggest gatherings of grassroots union activists, union reformers, and all-around troublemakers out there! Register by March 1 for a big discount. Here's the link to book in the LN block at the DoubleTree. Don’t miss a weekend of inspiration, education, and agitation!


February 9, 1950

U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy falsely charged that the State Department was riddled with Communists. It seems that just about everyone else the Wisconsin senator didn’t like was a Communist as well, including scores of unionists. This was the beginning of "McCarthyism." He ultimately was officially condemned by the senate and died of alcoholism. 

On this week’s Labor History Today podcast, Saving "the Diego Rivera of Pittsburgh"; David Byrne called him "the Diego Rivera of Pittsburgh." The Steel Workers’ Solidarity Works podcast talks with two of their union’s members who are dedicating their time and expertise to saving the historic murals of Croatian painter and immigrant Maxo Vanka (photo), which cover the walls of the St. Nicholas Croatian Church in Pittsburgh, and which depict themes of social justice, immigration and the heartbreak of love, loss and war.  

What was Wobblie activist Tom Mooney convicted for on Feb 9, 1917?
Opposing World War 1
Bombing a Preparedness Day parade
Socialist organizing

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ: Legal secretary Iris Rivera was fired on Feb. 2, 1977 when she refused to make coffee, secretaries across Chicago protested. 

"The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too."

Please CLICK HERE NOW to pledge your financial support to our 2024 program, which 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. 


Flood fails to sweep away Socialist Labor Party Hall (1/26)

“Dazzling” night at LHF’s MLK Ball (1/19)

“Solidarity and song will get us through” (1/11) North Pole Elves Win Big with Escalating Strike (12/22)

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