From the category archives:

Labor Unions

Naples, September 1974.

“Anni di piombo” (“The Lead Years”) has little nostalgic resonance in the US. Unlike “Mai ‘68”, which instantly evokes exhilarating scenes of French student occupations, demonstrations, police brutality, wildcat strikes, riots, and barricades. (And perhaps some fervent threesomes if you made it through Bertolucci’s The Dreamers.) While Mai ‘68 appears retrospectively as both the unfulfilled apex and mythic nativity for so many –isms of the late twentieth-century, the tumultuous anni di pombo are largely overlooked despite the radical political and cultural activity maintained by the Italians for a decade after similar movements had withered in France and the United States. [click to continue…]


Sally, Ted (drawings). Labor Day Sketch Book 1947. Los Angeles CIO Council. Unpaginated (ca. 32 pp.) presentation of proposed designs, drawn by Sally, for floats, banners, costumes, and other accoutrements for a union-oriented progressive Labor Day parade. Oblong large 4to. Orig. printed wrpps. Los Angeles (CIO Council) 1947. (47538)

In the spring of 1947, The Congress of Industrial Organizations was cautiously optimistic.  The end of the war meant that industrial labor was no longer bound to its no-strike pledge, and the U.S. Congress had not yet passed the Taft-Hartley act.  By mid-summer, however, the picture had changed. Republicans in Congress had managed to vote in the restrictive legislation which promised to hamper the unions’ legal right to strike and prohibit socialists from holding positions of leadership in labor organizations.  In response, the Los Angeles Council of the CIO planned an ambitious Labor Day parade to celebrate the organization’s achievements on behalf of white and black working men, and to warn against the lurking dangers of unchecked corporate  greed. In advance of the parade, the Council hired cartoonist Ted Sally to sketch several dozen dramatic parade floats, banners and costumes designed to showcase the broad social benefits of collective bargaining.

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