206 results for “Illinois Workers Alliance”

Demonstrate for Adequate Cash Relief, Chicago, 1936

American workforce was unemployed. Many struggled alone, feeling isolated and disempowered. In Chicago and other large industrial cities, unemployed councils gave voice to the frustrations of the victims of the Depression. Often organized by radicals, the councils demanded increases in relief payments, fought evictions, and illegally turned on gas and electric supplies to poor families cut off by utility companies. The Chicago Commons settlement house worked with the Socialist Party affiliated Illinois Workers Alliance to protest a reduction in relief payments.

Creator
Illinois Workers Alliance
Date
1936
Subjects
Socialism
Working class
Places
Illinois
Main Gate to Works, Pullman

Workers leave the Pullman Palace Car Works, 1893. This picture appeared in a promotional booklet celebrating the paternalistic labor policies of George Pullman. A year later Pullman's workers were at the center of a national strike of rail workers that failed after federal troops intervened.

Date
1893
Subjects
Industry
Pullman Company
Railroads
Working class
Places
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
E.F. Garry to Mr. Lane on Pullman Saving Plan

In the 1920s a growing number of large industrial employers developed welfare, recreation, and representation programs for their employees. This letter, between executives of the Pullman Company, explores the possibility of a company organized savings and investment plan for workers who built, repaired, and serviced railroad cars. Written shortly after the 1922 nationwide strike of railroad shop workers, the letter offers clues as to why employers favored such welfare programs.

Date
1922
Subjects
Industry
Labor
Places
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
Bridge building in Illinois

With the help of a steam-powered crane, workers place a massive steel beam into a railroad bridge. Steel and concrete bridges allowed for heavier trains and were more durable than the wood and stone bridges they replaced.

Creator
United States Army Corps of Engineers
Date
ca. 1890
Subjects
Bridges
Railroads
Workers
Places
Illinois
The Garment Workers' Strike

In 1910 and 1915, tens of thousands of Chicago garment workers, many of them young immigrant women, took to the streets to protest their working conditions. Many of the female leaders of the strike were affiliated with the Women's Trade Union League (WTUL), a national organization that sought better conditions for working women through unionization and education.

Date
1915
Subjects
Gender and society
Strikes and lockouts
Working class
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Joe Hill's Funeral

In November 1915, thousands attended the Chicago funeral of songwriter Joe Hill, who was executed by firing squad in a Utah prison. According to his supporters in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Hill was falsely convicted of murder. The Swedish immigrant was best known for songs such as The Rebel Girl and The Preacher and the Slave, which gave new political lyrics to popular or traditional tunes.

Date
January 1916
Subjects
Immigration
Industrial Workers of the World
Labor unions
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
People
Hill, Joe
English lessons

Finnish-speaking lumber workers in Duluth, Minnesota, learn English through a class in parliamentary procedure. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries tens of millions of farmers and workers from Europe, Asia, and Latin America moved to North America in search of work. Although anti-immigrant sentiment, and sometimes violence, was common in the U.S. and Canada, governments and private agencies also tried to teach immigrants the culture and language of their adopted land. In some cases, immigrants eagerly participated in these “Americanization” and Canadianization” programs, especially when immigrants considered the programs helpful to their own goals. But in other cases, immigrants rejected and resented forced conformity.

Date
1930s
Subjects
Education
Immigration
Places
Minnesota
Report from M. Butler to E.M. Graham, May 11, 1937

The report of an undercover agent to the Pullman Company. Since the late 19th century, the Pullman Company employed African Americans as service workers on its sleeping cars. By the 1920s it was one of the largest industrial employers of African American workers, enjoying a reputation for paternalism. Beginning in the mid-1920s the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) under the leadership of A. Philip Randolph sought to unionize the porters and maids of the Pullman Company. Like other industrial employers, Pullman maintained an extensive network of informants who infiltrated unions and reported back to management.

Date
May 11, 1937
Subjects
African Americans
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters
Unions
Working class
Places
Pullman (Chicago, Ill.)
J. W. Noseworthy and his class at the Hollinger Mine

A group of immigrant miners learns English in a “Frontier College” classroom. During the early 20th century, Canadian mining, timber, and railroad companies recruited thousands of young men from Europe to work as wage laborers. Living in remote work camps, workers endured difficult conditions and had little contact with mainstream Canadian society. The “Frontier College” was an effort to bring Canadian culture to these workers, teach them English, and discourage radicalism. Young Canadian men, like J.W. Noseworthy pictured here, lived and worked alongside immigrants, and during the evening offered classes and access to reading materials.

Date
1914
Subjects
Education
Immigration
Places
Canada
Ontario
Lumber docks, Chicago River

Children watch the photographer as a tugboat pulls a ship through the Chicago River. To the left workers unload lumber from a ship.

Creator
United States Army Corps of Engineers
Date
ca. 1890
Subjects
Children
Industry
Lumber
Places
Chicago (Ill.)
Chicago River