Labor's Schoolhouse
Lessons from the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913

Keizer, Garret

Publisher:  Harper's Magazine
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22984

The author recounts the Paterson Silk Strike, a 1913 labour dispute organized by mill workers and noted for its large size, duration, and non-violence. Central to the dispute was the requirement by overworked weavers to start running four large looms instead of two, an appropriation of technolgy for the bottom line which has particular relevance for us today.



Around the time that Donald Trump became the Republican Party's nominee for president, my wife and I visited the American Labor Museum at the Botto House National Landmark, in Haledon, New Jersey. Several Muslim children, three whose parents came from Bangladesh and another whose parents came from Morocco, were tending the museum's Immigrant Garden. Education director Evelyn Hershey worked beside them, highlighting the garden's history, redirecting the hose. It was hard to watch her young helpers without wondering how fraught the words "immigrant" and "Muslim" might soon be for them.
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