Labor history of the United States
aspect of United States history
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- The US has an unusually violent labor history, well into the twentieth century.
- Noam Chomsky and Marv Waterstone, Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance (2021), p. 90
- The wildcat strike holds a particular place in the history and theory of the labour movement, as well as today reaction to the bosses and the government during the coronavirus pandemic. [...] The great advance of American workers in the 1930s that led to the founding of the Congress to Industrial Organizations and a vast expansion of the American Federation of Labor derived from just such wildcat strikes in the rubber plants, the auto industry, among electrical workers and many others. Workers walked out by the thousands, some occupied their plants, while others created mass picket lines, fought scabs and police. Wildcat strikes spread during the Depression decade like a virus through the United States, drawing in small industrial shops and retail workers. A similar thing happened in the 1960s and 1970s with teachers and public employees who walked out in illegal strikes to found their unions. Rank-and-file upheavals also transformed the United Mine Workers in the 1970s and shook up other unions as well.