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North Pole Elves Win Big with Escalating Strike

“Yes, Virginia, there is a S.A.N.T.A. clause!” shouted Elves, Reindeer, and Candy Stripers Local 1224 President Cindy Lou Who to whoops and cheers as North Pole workers celebrated their new contract, ending a two-month strike. The Seasonal Advancement Noel Training Allowance, a new education fund so members can get on-the-job training for higher-paying positions, is one of several breakthrough wins in the deal, ratified in a 94 percent vote. “You bet I voted yes,” said Vixen, a 25-year reindeer. “I’ve put in enough years on the road. I’m planning to retrain as a toy train mechanic.” Who and the rest of the True North slate, longtime reformers in the Elves, won leadership this year in the union’s first one-member-one-vote election.

- Labor Notes; read more here.

Union-Made Gift Guides

AFL-CIO Union-Made Holiday Gift Guide

Labor411 Holiday Gift Guide

On this week’s Labor Heritage Power Hour radio show, SFMT's "A Red Carol": "People always think this story is about you,” Bob Crachit tells Scrooge in the San Francisco Mime Troupe’s “A Red Carol” on this week’s show. “But it ain’t about you, it’s about us - and how we let ourselves get infected with your ideas, your greed, your lies, it’s you steppin’ over the hungry and homeless and us following your lead, it’s us lettin’ you turn our government into a casino, listenin’ while you say day after day that profit is the new god, and us not standin’ up and shouting "NO!"'

Click here to support the San Francisco Mime Troupe and here to support WPFW’s jazz and justice in the New Year!

CLICK HERE to listen to the show.

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

PICKET SIGN of the Week

The 9-month Medieval Times strike in Buena Park CA is over. In what the union calls "blatant" retaliation, the company denied reinstatement to three workers, including a knight/union activist who alleged horse abuse.

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

OTW = Of The Week

Labor VIDEO of the Week

The NFL Is Choosing Concerts Over Player Safety. It’s Ending Careers.

Read more on More Perfect Union

Got labor video? Email us at [email protected]
Labor SONG of the Week

All I Want is Union – Pete Seeger and The Hooteneers

Labor ART of the Week

Bricklayer, detail from a mural, "The Best Hands in the Business," 1995, by Kathleen Farrell, artist and muralist, for the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts.

Collection: George Meany Memorial Archives. From the LaborArts website

Got labor art? Email us at [email protected]

Labor POEM of the Week


Tune: Let it Snow; lyrics by Julie McCall

Though the minimum wage is frightful

For the wealthy, life's delightful

Tell those billionaire CEOs

Share the dough, share the dough, share the dough!


The battle round us rages

As we fight for living wages

And we want to get what we're owed

Share the dough, share the dough, share the dough!


We leave family home at night

Working two jobs a day is the norm

It's really not a good choice

Do we want to eat or stay warm?


The economy's globalizing

In the streets we're organizing

And we're making our movement grow

Share the dough, share the dough, share the dough!

See more holiday union songs here on Friday’s Folklore.

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

Labor QUOTE of the Week

“You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I’m telling you why: union elves are coming to town!”

- members of Elves, Reindeer, and Candy Stripers Local 1224, as quoted in Labor Notes

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!

ART: Hear Me Now: The Black Potters of Old Edgefield, South Carolina

Weekly on Thursday, Friday (10:00am – 8:00pm), until Jan 6, 2024

University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor, MI

FREE; details here

NoVA Labor BOOK CLUB: The Fraud (by Zadie Jones)

Tue, January 2, 2024, 7:30pm – 8:30pm

LHF "Gonna Take Us All" Ball

Sun, January 14, 2024, 7pm – 11pm

McGinty's Public House, 911 Ellsworth Dr, Silver Spring, MD 20910

FREE (but you must RSVP); click here for tickets.


Woody’s ”1913 Massacre”; listen to the Labor History Today podcast here! On Christmas Eve 1913, 72 copper miners’ children died in panic caused by a company stooge at Calumet, Mich., who shouted “fire” up the stairs into a crowded hall where the children had gathered. They were crushed against closed doors when they tried to flee; Woody Guthrie Center Director Cady Shaw tells the story behind Woody Guthrie’s song. Plus, Radical Songbook podcast host Michael Funke’s brief history of unions at sawmills in Bend, Oregon.

A protest by 500 women in Kansas that began earlier in the week – organized in support of striking mine workers and against new anti-labor legislation that forced unions into arbitration and outlawed strikes in the state – swells to 4,000, stretching a mile long (photo). The women, dubbed the “Amazon Army” by The New York Times, disbanded upon hearing that the militia was on its way. Victory came a year later when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Kansas anti-labor laws unconstitutional. December 15, 1921

The Knights of Labor banned which of these from membership?
All of the above

LAST WEEK'S QUIZ: The AFL convention passed a one-cent per capita assessment to aid the organization of women workers around December 15, 1913

"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. 


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)

Springfield (OR) Labor Mural dedication (9/8)

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