Employees of Ottenheimer on strike for poor treatment

The Global History of Labor and Race: Foundations and Key Concepts

How have workers around the world sought to change their conditions, and how have racial divisions affected their efforts?
Cigarmakers, Tampa, Florida, 1909 by Lewis Hine

Are Children “Persons”?

In the mid-nineteenth century, the law was ambiguous.
I.W.W. Picnic, July 1919, Seattle, Washington.

How the IWW Grew after the Centralia Tragedy

A violent confrontation between the IWW and the American Legion put organized labor on trial, but a hostile federal government didn’t stop the IWW from growing.
Cannabis sativa, 1828

Growing Cannabis to Fight Exploitation

In the early years of cannabis prohibition, agricultural workers in the western United States used the plant to treat pain and supplement family incomes.
A group of Puerto Ricans at Newark airport, who just arrived by plane from Puerto Rico waiting to be transported to New York, 1947

How Migrant Labor Policies Shaped a Latino Identity

When Puerto Rican and Mexican workers came to the U.S. in large numbers, they faced similar discrimination and bigotry.
Demonstration of Protest and Mourning for Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of March 25, 1911, 04/05/1911

The History of Mourning in Public

After a massive factory fire in 1911, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to stage a "symbolic funeral."
Men prepare bacon at a meat packing plant in Chicago, circa 1955

Why Does Meatpacking Have Such Bad Working Conditions?

In the long time between The Jungle and today, meatpacking has changed—first for the better, due to strong unions, then for the worse.
A young Irish woman working at a spinning wheel. Engraving by Francis Holl

How War Revolutionized Ireland’s Linen Industry

During the Napoleonic Wars, Irish women, who had traditionally only spun flax into thread, took over the traditionally male job of weaving linen as well.
A black and white image of a person trapped behind glass

How YouTube Is Shaping the Future of Work

Americans expect our jobs to provide us with not just money but fulfillment. For many, YouTube represents exactly that promise.