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.
Illustration of Mexican agricultural laborers forming a raised fist of solidarity

How “Measured Militancy” Empowered California’s Fieldworkers

When Mexican-American fieldworkers' strikes didn't net results, César Chávez led the Ventura County Community Service Organization in alternate tactics.
The Sharing Economy Was Dead on Arrival

The Sharing Economy Was Dead on Arrival

Sharing economy firms like Lyft and Airbnb promised community, but the ideas they promoted as overturning the status quo are the status quo.
black lung coal mining

The Militant Miners Who Exposed the Horrors of Black Lung

This grassroots movement brought occupational health to American labor, paving the way for the creation of OSHA.