Labor

Alcoa, Inc. (Aluminum Company of America)
Organized as the Pittsburgh Reduction Company in 1888, the company changed its name in 1907 to the Aluminum Company of America and began using the acronym ALCOA in the early 1900s after applying the a... Continue Reading »
Bemis
Developed by the Jackson Fibre Company (a division of the Bemis Brothers Bag Company) beginning in 1900, the town of Bemis rose from the cotton fields of Madison County as a model company town created... Continue Reading »
Berry, George Leonard
George L. Berry was president of the Tennessee-based International Pressmen's and Assistants Union (1907-48), a prominent labor leader and advisor who served on several New Deal labor committees ... Continue Reading »
Christopher, Paul Revere
Influential labor leader Paul Revere Christopher was born in Easley, South Carolina, the son of Clarence Christopher, a craft unionist. Christopher graduated from high school in 1930 and attended Clem... Continue Reading »
Convict Lease Wars
From 1866 to 1896 Tennessee state government adopted the widely used convict lease system to make prisons self-supporting and provide revenue to fund the state debt. Under this system, the state lease... Continue Reading »
Elizabethton Rayon Plants Strikes, 1929
On March 12, 1929, Margaret Bowen, a worker at American Glanzstoff, led a walkout of 523 women operatives. After other shifts joined the walkout the next day, the plant closed on March 14. Four days l... Continue Reading »
Englewood Mills
While New England is the birthplace of America's textile industry and the Carolinas are known for massive textile production, the small town of Englewood, Tennessee, serves as a reminder of the t... Continue Reading »
Foley, Gerald
Gerald Foley, union organizer and president of the Tennessee Federation of Labor, was a native of Pennsylvania. Foley's family moved to Nashville when he was a boy. A plumber by trade, he joined ... Continue Reading »
Fraterville Mine Disaster
The worst mine disaster in Tennessee history took place on May 19, 1902, at the Fraterville mine, near Coal Creek (now Lake City), Campbell County. At about 7:30 a.m., 184 men and boys entered the min... Continue Reading »
French, Lizzie Crozier
Lizzie Crozier French, organizer of the Knoxville Equal Suffrage Association, president of the Tennessee Equal Suffrage Association and the Tennessee Federation of Women's Clubs, and state chair ... Continue Reading »
Harriman Hosiery Mills Strike of 1933-34
On July 1, 1933, textile workers at the Harriman Hosiery Mills (HHM) plant in Harriman seized the opportunity created by Section 7 (a) of the National Industrial Recovery Act to organize a local union... Continue Reading »
Highlander Folk School
The history of the Highlander Folk School reflects the course of organized labor and Civil Rights movements in the South, as well as the struggles of southern activists between the 1930s and early 196... Continue Reading »
Highlander Research and Education Center
Chartered in 1961, the Highlander Research and Education Center is the institutional successor of the Highlander Folk School. The adult education center operates in a considerably different context, h... Continue Reading »
Horton, Myles Falls
Myles F. Horton, a founder and director of both the Highlander Folk School and the Highlander Research and Education Center, was a progressive educator whose programs not only contributed significantl... Continue Reading »
International Printing Pressmen and Assistants’ Union (IPPAU) and Pressmen's Home
The International Printing Pressmen and Assistants' Union of North America (IPPAU-NA), was organized in 1889, when disgruntled pressmen and press feeders left the International Typographical Unio... Continue Reading »
Knights of Labor
Founded in 1869 by a group of Philadelphia tailors, the Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor grew slowly as a secret organization under the leadership of Uriah Stephens. In 1879, when Terence ... Continue Reading »
Knoxville Iron Company v. Harbison
In the case of Knoxville Iron Company v. Harbison (183 U.S. 13) the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an 1899 Tennessee statute requiring cash redemption of store orders and other noncash payments to employee... Continue Reading »
Labor
In its broadest context, "labor" refers to a very diverse set of conditions: slave and free labor; craft and industrial labor; farm and factory labor; and blue, pink, and white collar labor. Because t... Continue Reading »
Louisville and Nashville Railroad
The Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad achieved national recognition as one of the most profitable and influential railroads in the southern market from the second half of the nineteenth to well ... Continue Reading »
Lynch, Matthew Simpson
Labor organizer, lobbyist, and administrator Matthew S. Lynch was the grandson of an organizer of New England shoe workers. Lynch began working in a Chattanooga hosiery mill and joined his first union... Continue Reading »