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Trade unionists from Michigan


William H. Friedland

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William H. Friedland

William Herbert Friedland (May 27, 1923 – February 20, 2018) was an American sociologist. Friedland was of Russian Jewish descent and grew up in Staten Island. After attending Wagner College, he moved to Detroit and worked at automobile factories for a decade, namely for the Hudson Motor Car Company and Ford Motor Company. Allied with Max Shachtman's third camp, Friedland was also active as a labor organizer for the United Auto Workers and Congress of Industrial Organizations. He was introduced to Joe Glazer by Bill Kemsley. Friedland and Glazer recorded songs of the labor movement, releasing two albums together. Friedland left his factory job and returned to academia, earning a bachelor's degree from Wayne State University and a doctorate at University of California, Berkeley. He then taught at Cornell University, where he established the Migrant Labor Project, which introduced undergraduate students to field study practices used at the graduate level. Friedland joined the faculty of the University of Calif

Trade unionists from New York (state)

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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Labor unionists from Michigan

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General Baker

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General Baker

General Gordon Baker Jr. (September 6, 1941[1] – May 18, 2014[2]) was an American labor organizer and activist. Biography General Baker was born in Detroit, Michigan, where his parents had relocated from Georgia so that his father could find work in the automotive industry. Baker graduated from Southwestern High School in 1958.[3] As a student at Wayne State University, Baker studied the work of Karl Marx and became involved in socialism and Black nationalism.[3] In 1963 he co-founded UHURU (Swahili for "freedom"), an African-American student organization at Wayne.[2] Baker visited Cuba in 1964 to study the Castro government. After returning to Detroit, he found work at the Dodge Main plant in Hamtramck, Michigan.[3] In 1965, Baker wrote an open letter to the draft board, refusing its request that he appear for an examination to determine his fitness to serve in the Vietnam War, a landmark in American draft resistance during that era.[2][4][5] In the late 1960s, Baker was a co-founder of the Dodge Revol

Activists from Detroit

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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Labor unionists from Michigan

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Mike Hamlin

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Mike Hamlin

Mike Hamlin (1935-2017) was an American labor activist and social worker.[1] Hamlin was born in Mississippi and moved to Ecorse, Michigan just outside of Detroit in 1947[2] Hamlin is featured in the documentary, Finally Got The News, which documents the formation, movement practices, and analyses of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers (LRBW)[3]. Hamlin was a co-founder of the LRBW, a Marxist-Leninist organization of Black workers in Detroit[4] Early Life Hamlin was born to a sharecropping family on a rural plantation near Canton, Mississippi. In August 1947 he moved to the industrial town of Ecorse. Hamlin attended the University of Michigan before being forced to end his studies as a result of limited financial means. In 1956 he joined the Army and began his basic training in 1957 at a military base in Missouri. Activism Upon return in 1960, Hamlin landed a job at the Detroit News assisting drivers. His involvement post the 1967 Detroit rebellion led him to join in the creation of Inner City Voic

Activists from Detroit

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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Labor unionists from Michigan

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Maurice Hutcheson

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Maurice Hutcheson

Maurice Albert Hutcheson (May 7, 1897 – January 9, 1983) was a carpenter and an American labor leader. He was president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America from 1952 to 1972. He was nicknamed "Maurice the Silent" for his taciturn nature and ability to sit silently through long meetings or heated debates. He was born in Saginaw County, Michigan, to William Hutcheson and his wife Bessie Mae (King). He was educated in public schools. The Hutcheson family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1913 when William Hutcheson was elected president of the Carpenters' union. The younger Hutcheson apprenticed as a carpenter in 1914 and served in the United States Navy in World War I. After the war, he returned to carpentry. He was appointed a financial auditor for the international union in 1928, and was elected an international vice president in 1938. After the death of his father, who was president of the Carpenters' union, he was elected president. Hutcheson immediately withdrew the Carpent

Leaders of American trade unions

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People from Saginaw County, Michigan

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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Olga Madar

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Olga Madar

Olga M. Madar (May 17, 1915 – May 16, 1996) was the first woman to serve on the United Auto Workers (UAW) International Executive Board. Early life Born in Sykesville, Pennsylvania, Madar moved to Detroit, Michigan during the Great Depression. After graduating from Northeastern High School in 1933, Madar started her career in the auto industry in 1933 on the Chrysler assembly line. In 1938, she graduated from Eastern Michigan University (formerly Michigan Norman School) with a degree in physical education. In 1941, she joined the UAW Local 50 while working at Ford’s Willow Run bomber plant.[1] Union work According to Doug Fraser, former UAW president, Madar “was a trailblazer in the struggle for equal rights,” fighting to end racial discrimination and a champion of women’s rights.[2] In 1947, Madar led a crusade to end racial discrimination in the men and women’s bowling association. Victory came in 1952 when the white-only membership policy was removed. She was also active in organizing community recreat

Trade unionists from Michigan

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American women trade unionists

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Labor unionists from Michigan

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Walter Reuther

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Walter Reuther

Walter Philip Reuther (September 1, 1907 – May 9, 1970) was an American leader of organized labor and civil rights activist who built the United Automobile Workers (UAW) into one of the most progressive labor unions in American history.[1] He saw labor movements not as narrow special interest groups but as instruments to advance social justice and human rights in democratic societies.[1] He leveraged the UAW's resources and influence to advocate for workers' rights, civil rights, women's rights, universal health care, public education, affordable housing, environmental stewardship, nuclear nonproliferation, and democratic trade unionism around the world.[1] He survived two attempted assassinations, including one at home where he was struck by a 12-gauge shotgun blast fired through his kitchen window.[2] He was the fourth and longest serving president of the UAW, serving from 1946 until his untimely death in 1970.[3] A powerful ally of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement,[4] Reuther marched

Activists from Detroit

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Leaders of American trade unions

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Trade unionists from West Virginia

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Maurice Sugar

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Maurice Sugar

Maurice Sugar (August 8, 1891 - February 15, 1974) was an American political activist and labor attorney. He is best remembered as the General Counsel of the United Auto Workers Union from 1937 to 1946. Early years Maurice Sugar was born August 12, 1891 in Brimley, Michigan (now Superior Township), the son of ethnic Jewish parents who had emigrated to America from Lithuania, which was then part of the Russian empire.[1] Maurice's father, Kalman Sugar, worked as a storekeeper, selling general provisions.[2] Maurice's parents were not politically radical, with his father a staunch supporter of populist Democrat William Jennings Bryan in the 1890s.[3] Kalman Sugar eventually joined the Socialist Party of America in 1918, but it was under the influence of his son, not vice versa, as in the more typical case of so-called "red diaper babies."[3] Growing up in Brimley, Sugar was exposed to the culture of a variety of nationalities, as a large number of immigrants from French Canada, Sweden, Finland, and Germany

Leaders of American trade unions

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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Labor unionists from Michigan

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James P. Hoffa

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James P. Hoffa

James Phillip Hoffa (born May 19, 1941) is an American attorney and labor leader who currently serves as the General President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. Hoffa was first elected during December 1998 and took office on March 19, 1999. He was subsequently re-elected in 2001, 2006, 2011, and 2016 to five-year terms. In October 2018, Hoffa was elected chair of the Road Transport Section of the International Transport Workers' Federation at its quadrennial Congress in Singapore. Hoffa is the second-longest serving General President of the Teamsters Union. Only Dan Tobin, who served from 1907 to 1952, has served longer. Personal life Hoffa (right) with his father in 1965 Hoffa is the only son of Jimmy Hoffa, who was also a president of the Teamsters, and his wife Josephine (née Poszywak). He is the brother of Judge Barbara Ann Crancer. Hoffa has a wife, Virginia, two sons, David and Geoffrey, and six grandchildren. Born in Detroit, Michigan on May 19, 1941, Hoffa attended Cooley High Schoo

Leaders of American trade unions

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American trade unionists of Polish descent

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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Jimmy Hoffa

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Jimmy Hoffa

James Riddle Hoffa (born February 14, 1913; disappeared July 30, 1975, later declared dead July 30, 1982) was an American labor union leader who served as the President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union from 1957 until 1971. From an early age, Hoffa was a union activist and became an important regional figure with the IBT by his mid-20s. By 1952, he was national vice-president of the IBT and was its general president between 1957 and 1971. He secured the first national agreement for teamsters' rates in 1964 with the National Master Freight Agreement. He played a major role in the growth and development of the union, which eventually became the largest (by membership) in the United States with over 2.3 million members at its peak, during his terms as its leader. Hoffa became involved with organized crime from the early years of his Teamsters work, and this connection continued until his disappearance in 1975. He was convicted of jury tampering, attempted bribery, and fraud in 1964 in

Recipients of American presidential clemency

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American trade union officials convicted of crimes

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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Mary Kay Henry

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Mary Kay Henry

Mary Kay Henry (born 1958) is an American labor union activist who was elected International President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) on May 8, 2010.[1] She is the first woman to lead the union.[1][2] While serving with the union in California, she helped pioneer SEIU's use of card check agreements, non-traditional collective bargaining agreements, comprehensive campaigns, and system-wide health care organizing strategies.[3][4] Early life and union career Henry was born in 1958 in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan.[1][3][5][6] Her father was a salesman and her mother was a teacher, and both were devout Catholics.[1][3][4] Henry credits her faith with giving her an interest in social justice issues.[4] The oldest girl in a family of 10 children,[1][3] she attended Marian High School in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She gained a favorable impression of labor unions from hearing and reading about the work of the United Auto Workers (UAW) in the heavily unionized automotive industry. She worked

American women trade unionists

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Leaders of American trade unions

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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Janeé Ayers

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Janeé Ayers

Janeé L. Ayers (born October 10, 1981) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party. In 2015, Ayers was appointed to Detroit City Council as an at large member after the resignation of Saunteel Jenkins, and elected for the remainder of the term on November 8, 2016.[1] She was reelected to City Council for a full four-year term on November 7, 2017.[2] Background Janeé Ayers was born in Detroit, Michigan on October 10, 1981. Her mother Shirlene, is a retired Detroit Public Schools teacher and Detroit American Federation of Teachers (DFT) member. She has four siblings, three of whom are school teachers in the Greater Metro Detroit area. Ayers grew up in North Rosedale Park on the city's Northwest side and graduated from Renaissance High School. She went on to attend Bowling Green State University and earned her degree in Political Science and Public Policy in 2003.[3] Before being appointed to city council, Ayers worked for the Detroit Recreation Department and was a high school teacher for D

Trade unionists from Michigan

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African-American trade unionists

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Leaders of American trade unions

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Leon Bates (American labor leader)

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Leon Bates (American labor leader)

Leon Bates photographed after his retirement from the UAW in 1964 Leon E. Bates Sr. (December 3, 1899 – July 25, 1972) was an American labor union leader with the United Auto Workers union (UAW) from 1937 to 1964 when he retired as an "International Representative" of the UAW. He was one of the first African-American union organizers to work for the "UAW-CIO" (Congress of Industrial Organizations). Biography Leon Bates was born in Carrollton, Missouri, to Werner Bates and Matilda (White) Bates. He attended the "Lincoln Institute" now Lincoln University of Missouri at Jefferson City, Missouri, for one year before moving to Detroit with relatives to seek work opportunities in the manufacturing plants during the boom years around the First World War. At the end of the war he remained in Detroit while his relatives returned to Carrollton. In Detroit he met and married Anna L. Perry; they had two children. In his own words he had many different jobs in the years between the World Wars, including cab driver, com

Lincoln University (Missouri) alumni

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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African-American trade unionists

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Dennis E. Batt

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Dennis E. Batt

Caricature of Dennis Batt at the founding convention of the Workers Party of America (Dec. 1921) by William Gropper. Dennis E. Batt (1886 - 19xx) was an American political journalist and trade union activist. Best remembered as the first editor of The Communist, the official organ of the Communist Party of America and leading member of the Proletarian Party of America, in later years Batt's political views became increasingly conservative and he ended his life as a mainstream functionary in the union movement. Biography Early years Dennis Elihu Batt was born May 2, 1886 in Tekonsha, Michigan, the son of a street car conductor.[1] Batt attended high school in Detroit for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Cavalry, in which he served from 1907 to 1910.[1] Following the end of his military service, Batt became a machinist, working as a tool and die maker for the next decade.[1] Political career During his time as a machinist, Batt joined the Socialist Party of Michigan, the state affiliate of the Socia

Activists from Detroit

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Trade unionists from Michigan

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Leaders of American trade unions

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A.M. Stirton

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A.M. Stirton

A. M. Stirton (1872–1939) was an American politician who participated in political activity as a member of the Socialist Party of America and the Industrial Workers of the World. Stirton eventually shifted his views away from electoral politics and advocated "direct action" in the industrial sector.[1] Socialist Party Stirton was a delegate to the 1908 convention of the Socialist Party of America held in Chicago, Illinois where he was one of two delegates representing the state of Michigan.[2] That same year, he was a Socialist candidate for governor in Michigan, gaining 1.74% of the vote.[3] Along with his campaign in Michigan, he toured the Midwest with Socialist Party presidential candidate Eugene Debs.[4] He also was a candidate for the Michigan State Board of Education in 1909.[5] During this period, Stirton was based in Hancock, Michigan and edited a socialist newspaper titled The Wage Slave.[6] The Wage Slave was described in an advertisement as "revolutionary to the core" and "the enemy of everythi

Trade unionists from Michigan

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People from Grand Rapids, Michigan

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Activists from Michigan

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