AFSCME's Struggle for a Municipal Contract

Unions

Video of Steve Cullen Describing AFSCME's Struggle for a Municipal Contract
Steve Cullen, labor activist and member of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), remembers this spot -- the office of the mayor of Chicago -- as the central location in AFSCME's many battles to persuade the city to support a state law giving public workers the right to bargain collectively. His description of AFSCME's struggle with the municipal government also sheds light on the history of the 1980 Firefighters Strike In addition, click here to watch a video of Ray Harris, AFSCME lobbyist and director of intergovernmental affairs, describe the union's fight for the right to collective bargaining. Harris explains that AFSCME supported mayoral candidate Harold Washington largely because Washington promised to push for collective bargaining for public workers. Harris also discusses AFSCME's diverse membership, and its role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Labor Trail

US

IL

Chicago

121 N la Salle St

Labor Trail

The Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies (CCWCS) is proud to present the Interactive Labor Trail, made possible by a generous grant from the Illinois Humanities Council. This on-line history resource builds on “The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle,” a map of 140 significant locations in the history of labor, migration, and working-class culture in Chicago and Illinois. The Labor Trail is the product of a joint effort to showcase the many generations of dramatic struggles and working-class life in the Chicago area's rich and turbulent past. The Trail's neighborhood tours invite you to get acquainted with the events, places, and people -- often unsung -- who have made the city what it is today. In addition, the statewide map is just a starting point for further exploration of Illinois' labor heritage. This Interactive Labor Trail expands the number of locations and provides a greater depth of information, while giving map users the chance to add their knowledge of locations and events in the Chicago area’s working-class history.

We invite all individuals, groups, and institutions interested in the labor and working-class history of Chicago, Cook County, the Calumet Region, and Illinois to contribute to the map. Users can add new sites, edit or build upon existing entries with additional text, photographs, primary sources, audio and video files, as well as links to related websites.

Easy-to-use instructions for adding to the on-line version of the map are available at www.labortrail.org.

More information on the Chicago Center for Working-Class Studies is available at: www.workingclassstudies.org

The Labor Trail: Chicago's History of Working-Class Life and Struggle

Project Director:
Leon Fink, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Advisors:
Tobias Higbie, Newberry Library
Lisa Oppenheim, Chicago Metro History Education Center
Liesl Miller Orenic, Dominican University

Administrative Director:
Jeffrey Helgeson, University of Illinois at Chicago

Project Assistants:
Aaron Max Berkowitz, University of Illinois at Chicago; John H. Flores, University of Illinois at Chicago; Erik Gellman, Northwestern University; Dan Harper, University of Illinois at Chicago; Emily LaBarbera-Twarog, University of Illinois at Chicago

Web Design:
William Atwood and Melissa Palmer