Workers' rights and labor relations have been shaped by wars, depressions, government policies, and global competition. One hundred annotated primary documents spanning from 1827 to the present offer immediate access to the key contentious issues in American labor history. Over one-hundred annotated primary documents present compelling and informative snapshots of the shifting and often contentious role played by workers and organized labor in American politics, economics, and history. Shaped by wars, depressions, government policies, judicial rulings, and global competition, the history of worker's rights and labor relations often offers a grim picture of the pursuit of the American Dream. A narrative overview of each event, expert analysis, the text of primary sources contemporary to the time of the event, and ready reference materials will help students understand the conflicting issues behind these events and apply critical thinking skills to their evaluations of those issues. The documents provide insight into the views of people involved in the decisions, actions, and criticisms of each event covered.
The work offers an overview of the history of American labor relations, then presents compelling and informative primary documents illustrating eleven key events in labor history: The Emergence of a Labor Movement, 1827-1837; The New England Shoemakers' Strike of 1860; The Railroad Strikes of 1877; The Pullman Strike and Boycott of 1894; The Lawrence Strike of 1912; The Miners' Program, 1919-1923; The Textile Strike of 1934; The General Motors Strike of 1936-37; The Taft-Hartley Act; The Memphis Sanitation Strike of 1968; and The Air Traffic Controllers Strike of 1981. Each section concludes with suggested readings, Web sites, and videos. The work is fully indexed.
Millie Allen Beik is an independent labor historian who currently works as a reference librarian at Georgia Perimeter College. She earned her doctorate at Northern Illinois University and has taught history at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The International Labor History Association honored her book, The Miners of Windber: The Struggles of New Immigrants for Unionization, 1890s-1930s (1996) as the Best Book of the Year in 1996.