US Labor Post-WWII: From Reds Under the Bed to the
War on Public Sector Workers

Taught by Bob Forrant, Prof. of History, UMass Lowell, and Chair of the Bread & Roses Heritage Festival Committee.

Three sessions on Sundays: October 14 and 21, and November 18, from 10:45am-12:15pm. Locations are:

October 14 at Lincoln School, 19 Kennard St., Brookline. Ample parking in rear of building on Hedges Rd (off of Rte. 9); see map here.
October 21 at Boston Workmen's Circle building (1762 Beacon St., Brookline).
November 18 - TBD, but probably at Runkle School, Brookline, our new Shule "home away from home" after this weekend.

Pre-registration is required. Register here.

Where oh where have the union jobs gone? Trade union membership in the United States reached its high water mark in the first few years after the Second World War, with an overall unionization rate that was close to 45 percent. Today, private sector union membership is under 10 percent. And, if not for growing unionization among hotel workers and health care workers, this would be lower still. This three session class will take a look at what happened to unions, how the changing nature of the US economy affected organizing, and how the decline in union membership has had negative ripple affects in wages and benefits for all US workers.

How did the Walmartization of the retail sector affect workers and their wages? How did an increased emphasis on shareholder value change the way firms were managed? How did the Bain Capitals of the world and a focus on free trade lead to a reduction of well-paying manufacturing jobs. And, how did labor's own failure at the end of the Second World War to organize African-American and women workers contribute to the decline? We will also discuss ideas for what can be done to rebuild the labor movement.
For more information, contact the Boston Workmen's Circle office: 617-566-6281 or