WELCOME: News and Events


The Michigan Labor History Society is offering a set of six stunning 4” x 6” Voices of Labor notecards and envelopes for just $10. Funds will go to help the restoration efforts at the Michigan Labor Legacy Landmark on Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit. To see an illustration of the cards on this website go to Note Cards.

The cards, photographed and designed by MLHS Program Committee Member Barbara Ingalls, carry photos of six quotations on the central platform of the Landmark. The insides are blank for your personal message.

To get your cards for holiday gifts or for anytime, please send a check for $10 per set plus $3 for handling and postage for your order of one or more sets, to:

Michigan Labor History Society
c/o Walter P. Reuther Library
5401 Cass Avenue,
Detroit MI 48202


More than 100 unions, individuals, and supporting groups have donated a total of about $75,000 to help repair and restore the Labor Legacy Landmark “Transcending” in downtown Detroit. Look for the Transcending Honor Roll of donors on this website.

The donations will make possible extensive repairs and renovations at Transcending. Already, new granite stones have been placed around the perimeter of the dais, new skateboard deflectors have been attached, and the etched quotations on the dais and walkway have been re-grouted to make them more readable. Repairs to electrical lights and the main plaza surface, and coatings to protect the bronze reliefs are next on the agenda.

Contributions are Still Being Accepted

You can still add your name to the Honor Roll and have your name or the name of a family member or friend permanently added to the wall of honor at the Labor Legacy site with a donation of $100 or more. Use the form on the Donate Now page of this site to make your contribution.


The Michigan Labor History Society has provided guided labor history bus or walking tours to more than 750 people, most recently to the fellows of the Michigan Economic Justice group, who toured the Labor Legacy Landmark in August.

Other groups that enjoyed tours this year have been international guests of the UAW constitutional convention, delegates to the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom convention, retired members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, and officials of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union. Three teams of guides also gave tours to the NetrootsNation convention at Cobo Hall.

Volunteer guides or guest speakers included Mike Kerwin, Bill Connor, Dave Ivers, Dave Elsila, Ed Ptasznik, John Dick, John Rummel, Barbara Ingalls, and Shawn Ellis.

Mike Kerwin is developing material to help guides present in-depth explorations of labor history at the Transcending landmark for future tours.

Any MLHS member who would like to volunteer to be trained as a guide may contact the MLHS office at 313-577-4003 or write us at Michigan Labor History Society, 5401 Cass Ave., Detroit MI 48202.


The Michigan Labor History Society has developed a new, short skit about the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Woodrow Wilson, 100 years ago, which declared that “the labor of a human being is not a commodity or an article of commerce.”

MLHS is using the centenary of the Act to help educate workers about the promises in that law, and to encourage lawmakers to pass enforcement mechanisms to achieve its goals by creating a level playing field between labor and management. The skit is one tool in that effort.

Paul Felton, who wrote the skit, performed the skit along with Dave Ivers and Mike Kerwin at the general board meeting of the Michigan AFL-CIO in Lansing in September. Then, in October, Kerwin spoke about the importance of the Act at the North American Labor History Conference at Wayne State University, where an appreciative audience warmly received his talk.

At the same conference, MLHS member Dave Elsila chaired a workshop about the creation of a virtual tour of Southwest Detroit including major labor events. Panelists included tour coordinator Ron Alpern, Diane Feeley, Roberto Munoz, and Mitch Fleischer.

Last edited: Tuesday, January 20, 2015

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