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Get Ready for Labor Day at the 2014 Labor Day Mobilization Luncheon

The Michigan Labor History Society will kick off the 2014 Labor Day observances with its annual Labor Day Mobilization Luncheon on Wednesday, August 20, at 11:30 a.m.

The event will be held at the UAW Region 1 Pavilion, 27800 George Merrelli Drive, in Warren. You can easily get to the pavilion by turning west on Tank Rd. from Van Dyke Ave. north of I-696.

Tickets for this annual event are just $40 per person and include membership in the MLHS as well as a delicious lunch and a celebration of solidarity.

For tickets, contact any of the following: UAW Region 1, 586-427-9200; UAW Region 1A, 313-291-2750; Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, 313-961-0800; or the Michigan Labor History Society, 313-577-4003.

Among other things, the luncheon will commemorate the centenary of the Clayton Anti-Trust Act, which ruled in 2014 “the labor of a human being is not a commodity.”

Members of the MLHS are working to create a narrative and skit on the history of this act and the need for legislative and organizing tools to make sure that this important law is enforced. A subcommittee of the MLHS Program Committee has met several times to fashion educational materials. Click on the “labor history’ link on this website to find an article on the Clayton Act by Mike Kerwin on page seven of the latest issue of our newsletter, “Looking Back, Moving Forward.”

Labor Day 2014: Put on Your Marching Shoes

The 2014 Labor Day march will step off from Michigan and Trumbull on Detroit’s near west side, close to the site of old Tiger Stadium, on Monday morning, September 1, under the slogan “We WILL Win.”

Unions and allied groups will begin staging for the march at 7 a.m., and the march will begin at 9 a.m. sharp, heading toward downtown Detroit.

For further information, call Tanise Hill at the Metro Detroit AFL-CIO, 313-961-0800.

Fund-Raising and Repairs Are Giving a Face-Lift to Labor Legacy Landmark

Visitors to the unique and iconic Labor Legacy Landmark “Transcending” in Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit will notice that broken tiles have been replaced and that the engraved quotations have been re-grouted to make them more readable.

These are the first steps in a project to renew the Landmark, which will include repairs of lights and drainage facilities and the resurfacing of the main plaza.

A fund-raising committee is seeking to raise $75,000 to pay for the repairs. AFT Michigan Chair David Hecker is chair of the committee, and other members are Metro Detroit AFL-CIO President Rick Blocker; Teamster General President James Hoffa; Michigan Carpenters’ Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mike Jackson; Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift; and UAW President Dennis Williams.

Individuals who contribute $100 or more to the fund-raising effort will have their names or the name of a family member or mentor engraved on the wall of honor at the site. A PDF brochure about the project, with a form for contributions, has been made available here: Labor's Legacy Donation Brochure. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Local Folks and Visitors Learn about Labor History By Taking MLHS Tours

This spring and summer have been busy times for the Michigan Labor History’s Society popular bus and walking tours focusing on the area’s labor history. On June 3, the Society presented bus tours for the retirees of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, AFT Local 231, and for the foreign visitors to the UAW international convention at Cobo Hall. Visitors from a dozen different countries visited the sites of the Battle of the Overpass, the Ford Hunger March, and UAW Local 600, with commentary translated simultaneously into five different languages. Dave Elsila and Mike Kerwin were guides.

At the NetrootsNation convention on July 16, teams of MLHS guides, including Mike Kerwin, Bill Conner, Dave Ivers, Ed Ptasznik, John Dick, and John Rummel, led more than 100 people on two separate bus tours and a walking tour, ending at the Labor Legacy Landmark and then the Anchor Bar in downtown Detroit for a report on the Detroit newspaper strike of 1995-2005 from participants Shawn Ellis and Barbara Ingalls. Sergio De Giusti, one of the artists who created the Labor Legacy Landmark, spoke at Hart Plaza as visitors walked along the trail of sculptures that De Giusti created, along with artist David Barr,who designed and built the large stainless-steel arcs.

More tours are scheduled this summer for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, the Michigan Economic Justice Fellows, and the Bricklayers and Tile Setters union.

With the growing interest in tours, we need more guides! MLHS members who would like to train as guides for these tours should contact Dave Elsila, 313-882-2032, or Mike Kerwin, 313-861-5760.

And if you know of any groups – unions, classes, others – who would like to take a tour, please get in touch. We would be happy to arrange either a bus or walking tour.

Collective Courage: The History of Cooperatives

The history of cooperatives and civil rights – “Collective Courage” – will be discussed by author Jessica Gordon Nembhard at an afternoon meeting on August 17, 2014, at the UAW Vote Center, 15140 Livernois, Detroit.

Professor Nembhard has written about the history of black co-operative economic development efforts. She has recently spoken at the Jackson Rising Conference. Admission to the event, which is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., is free.

Last edited: Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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