In discussions about the last global pandemic, the “Spanish flu,” we never hear about the strike wave that kicked off at the exact same time. But in 1919, one-fifth of American workers walked off the job. We shouldn’t be surprised that labor militancy is spreading during today’s coronavirus pandemic.
Joshua Freeman is a professor of history at Queens College and the City University of New York Graduate Center. He is the author most recently of Behemoth: The History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World.
Mass unionization in the public sector wasn't inevitable. New York labor leader Victor Gotbaum helped make it happen.
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