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The Brown and Sharpe Strike in Historical Perspective: Why Organized Labor Declined in the Late Twentieth Century (And How It Might Revive Itself)
In 1981, workers at the Brown and Sharpe factory in North Kingstown, Rhode Island began what became the longest strike in American history. But the workers had almost no chance of winning because conditions for labor changed dramatically from the height of union power in the 1940s and 1950s. This talk places one of Rhode Island's iconic moments in the context of the larger decline of the labor movement, demonstrating the structural issues that have always limited union power in the United States. Finally, it considers recent changes to the labor movement in Rhode Island and nationally and suggests some reason for cautious optimism about its future.

Feb 25, 2021 06:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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