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Archive for September 2011

The past instructs us

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Remarks by Bob Zieger (University of Florida, emeritus) at the annual Labor Day Breakfast, Sept. 3, 2011, sponsored by the North Central Florida Central Labor Council, Gainesville.

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka has recently said that “nostalgia for organized labor’s past is no strategy for our future.”

As a historian, however, I do think that the past can continue to instruct us.

Let me bring you back to the year 1935 and the founding of the CIO, or Congress of Industrial Organizations. The CIO existed as a separate organization between that year and 1955 when it merged with the AFL to form the AFL-CIO. Many historians see the formation and struggles of the CIO to build industrial unions as the single most important episode in the history of American labor. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by writer. Edited by editor.

September 4, 2011 at 8:59 am

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