Livingston & McLean County Labor
Bloomington & Normal Trades & Labor Assembly / Livingston & McLean Counties Building & Trades Council
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  • McLean County Labor history
    On this pull down you will find a history of McLean County labor, along with an article on Irish Railroade constructors in the 1850s and the 1978 Normal Fire Fighters strike, all written by Michael G. Matejka
    Railroad workers displayed unity after Pearl Harbor
    Feb 10, 2017
    Ever drive by Bloomington’s White Oak Park on the west-side and notice that tall flag pole?  Few realize its history. Following the December 7, 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, headlines were bleak for Americans.  The Japanese seemed unstoppable in the Pacific, while from U.S. Atlantic beaches citizens helplessly watched German submarines sink freighters.
    A transit workers' 1890s life...
    Jan 13, 2017
    A wonderful story from WGLT-FM and the McLean County Museum of History about transit worker David Law.  http://wglt.org/post/mchistory-33-years-streetcar
    A transit workers' 1890s life...
    Jan 13, 2017
    A wonderful piece from WGLT-FM and the McLean County Museum of History on David Law, a late 19th, early 20th century transit worker in Bloomington-Normal. http://wglt.org/post/mchistory-33-years-streetcar
    Illinois labor & industrial monuments
    Feb 03, 2016
    Here's a link to a long list of labor & industrial monuments throughout Illinois.http://www.greatplainslaborer.org/docs/ISHS%20Labor%20issue%20landmarks%20001.pdf
    Bloomington's Patrick Morrissey led railroad labor
    Jan 11, 2016
    Born and raised on Bloomington’s west side, Patrick Henry Morrissey became a national labor leader in his early thirties. As grand master (or president) of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen from 1895 to 1909, Morrissey was known as a friend to the rank and file, and a frequent visitor to the White House. Born Sept.
    Download: PJ-Morrissey.jpg

    Social Security, Labor Board mark 80 years
    Sep 04, 2015
    80 years ago workers’ rights were established and seniors protected in U.S. law, followed 50 years ago for another milestone -- Medicare.  Together these programs are a basic right and foundation that helped bring great social change, spearheaded by Democratic   Presidents.
    1850s: Irish Laborers Build a Railroad
    Sep 03, 2014
    Building a Railroad: 1850s Irish immigrant labor in Central Illinois by Mike Matejka A light car, drawn by a single horse, gallops up to the end of a rail and starts forward, the rest of the gang taking hold by twos, until it is clear of the car. They come forward at a run.
    Labor nearly staged an upset in the 1919 election
    Apr 07, 2017
    http://www.pantagraph.com/news/labor-party-nearly-staged-upset-in-election/article_2978396a-45dc-5f00-971d-85afca763706.
    McLean County Labor History: the early days 1830-1877
    Sep 02, 2014
    When McLean County entrepreneurs began developing their businesses in the 19th century, few of them thought about dealing with organized workers. Yet as quickly as industrialization spread, workers began to form organizations, seeking mechanisms to control the workplace and have a voice on the job. Worker organizations can trace their roots to medieval guilds.
    McLean County Labor History - Knights of Labor & AFL 1877-1892
    Sep 02, 2014
    Although William Sylvis of the Moulders attempted forming a national trade union organization in 1866, the first truly national labor federation was the Knight of Labor, organized in Philadelphia in 1869. The Knights believed in organizing workers to form a "cooperative commonwealth.
    McLean County Labor History - Pullman Strike & early Labor Days, 1894-1915
    Sep 02, 2014
    Although usually responding to local affairs, this newly organized federation also responded to national events, particularly if the industry involved struck close to him. On May 11, 1894 in Chicago, during a national recession, Pullman sleeping car workers struck at the company's model town south of Chicago.
    McLean County Labor History - local leaders impact nationally - the Bloomington Labor Party 1894-1953
    Sep 02, 2014
    Union involvement could mean better conditions for workers and a feeling of camaraderie and unity, especially when dealing with distant employers. It could also be an opportunity for individual advancement. A articulate or opportunistic individual working class member could gain social acceptance, power and prestige through union involvement.
    McLean County Labor History: Mother Jones & the Streetcar Strike; Cooperative Store
    Sep 02, 2014
    Although unsuccessful at the polls, Bloomington labor could still point to other accomplishments. In 1917, after an almost 20 years of effort, streetcar workers successfully formed Local 752 of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Workers. The streetcar system, the Bloomington & Normal Railway & Light Company, was owned by U.S. Congressman William B.
    McLean County Labor History: 1922 Rail Shops Workers' strike
    Sep 03, 2014
    Despite its post-war glow, the labor movement's optimism soon soured after the war. The Chicago Federation of Labor's ambitious plans to organize packinghouse and steel workers were defeated. The "American Plan" was formulated by business, promoting a non-union workplace. "We do not believe it to be the wish of the people of this country," a U.S.
    McLean County Labor History: 1930s Depression organizing
    Sep 02, 2014
    Despite its post-war glow, the labor movement's optimism soon soured after the war. The Chicago Federation of Labor's ambitious plans to organize packinghouse and steel workers were defeated. The "American Plan" was formulated by business, promoting a non-union workplace. "We do not believe it to be the wish of the people of this country," a U.S.
    McLean County Labor History: World War II, 1950s & racial integration
    Sep 03, 2014
    During World War II local unions took a no-strike pledge, which was honored for the war's duration. Union construction trades donated building a canteen at the C&A depot, which served coffee and donuts to military personnel on passing trains. The Trades & Labor Assembly also donated $400 monthly to the canteen's operation.
    McLean County Labor History: 1960s-1980s
    Sep 03, 2014
    In 1961 GE workers represented by the IUE struck, but Bloomington workers continued to work and negotiated past their contract's expiration. Lodge 1000 tried unsuccessfully to get a union shop agreement with the national firm, but did win wage increases.
    McLean County Labor History: 1978 Normal Fire Fighters' Strike
    Sep 03, 2014
    Excerpted from "Fiery Struggle" by Michael G. Matejka, 2001, published by the Illinois Labor History Society Introduction "A lifetime" is how fire fighter union organizer Mike Lass described the epic 56-day struggle in Normal, Illinois.
    McLean County Labor History: 1980 - today
    Sep 03, 2014
    Public employees also began organizing unions. Normal Fire Fighters endured 42 days in jail in 1978, eventually winning a contract from the Town of Normal after a 56 day strike. Support for this action helped galvanize and revive local labor solidarity.
    Paul Penn a history maker
    Sep 03, 2014
    On June 14, 2012,, the McLean County Historical Society held its first “History Makers” dinner at Illinois State University. That night civil rights pioneer, the late Caribel Washington, former county board chair Nancy Froelich and Laborers Local 362’s Paul Penn will be the honored “History Makers.
    Christmas Eve labor tragedy - Calumet, Michigan Dec 24, 1913
    Sep 05, 2014
    “Take a trip with me to 1913, to Calumet, Michigan in the Copper Country.”  So begins Woody Guthrie’s song, “1913 Massacre,” which describes a tragedy that occurred in Calumet in 1913, in the upper peninsula of Michigan.   During a party in the Italian Hall that was for the copper miners and their children, someone yelled “Fire.


    Page Last Updated: Feb 10, 2017 (14:19:20)
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