Labor

A Labor of Love
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A Labor of Love

By Steve Thornton For some Bridgeport workers in the early 20th century, union organizing was both a family affair and a love affair.  Matilda Rabinowitz and Benjamin J. Legere were such a couple.  (Think of the film stars Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton, who played John ...

June 22, 2016
Labor  Women  
Between the Hills and the Sea
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Between the Hills and the Sea

by Andy Piascik   Between the Hills and the Sea Bert Gilden was born in Los Angeles in 1915 and moved to Bridgeport with his family when he was a young boy. He graduated from Central High School in 1932 and then from Brown University in 1936. Katya ...

June 29, 2016
Authors  Labor  
Bridgeport Sparks a “March to Rebuild America”
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Bridgeport Sparks a “March to Rebuild America”

By Steve Thornton Bridgeport has long been known as the third poorest city in the country, but there is another statistic that completes the poverty picture.  Only 28 miles away, Greenwich, Connecticut is one of the wealthiest towns in America, and, not coincidently, the home turf ...

February 24, 2016
Congressional Red-Hunters Set Their Sights on Bridgeport
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Congressional Red-Hunters Set Their Sights on Bridgeport

By Andy Piascik In September 1956, the House Committee on Un-American Activities, commonly known as HUAC, came to Connecticut. The purpose was to hold hearings about activities of the Communist Party in New Haven and Bridgeport. HUAC had been formed in 1938 and was in its ...

May 16, 2016
Labor  Politics  Women  
Everyday Heroes Fight for Patient Care
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Everyday Heroes Fight for Patient Care

If it is true that the test of a society is how well it cares for its most vulnerable people, then Bridgeport’s health care workers can be proud of the high standard they have set. For decades they have fought for improved patient care, increased ...

June 01, 2016
Marge Schneider:  Bridgeport’s Own Rosie the Riveter
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Marge Schneider: Bridgeport’s Own Rosie the Riveter

This young lady was amazing. In 1942, Marge Schneider lived with her family on Barnum Avenue near Central Avenue. With the flurry of war around her, Marge took a job at the Bridgeport Brass Company on Grand Street. Marge walked to work. With the men all ...

February 18, 2014
Labor  Women  

Solidarity Bridgeport Style

by Andy Piascik On July1, 1979, 400 members of United Steelworkers Local 7201 employed at the Handy and Harman precious metals factory in Fairfield went on strike. There was nothing particularly unusual or exceptional about that; workers at factories in Bridgeport and the surrounding area regularly ...

March 10, 2016
Strikes for the Eight-Hour Day in Summer 1915 Bridgeport
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Strikes for the Eight-Hour Day in Summer 1915 Bridgeport

by Cecelia Bucki, Professor of History, Fairfield University On Monday, August 16, 1915, one thousand women corset workers struck the Warner Corset Company, demanding the eight-hour day, elimination of fines and other work rules, and recognition of their union shop committee. “Chaos reigned in manufacturing circles,” declared ...

August 18, 2015

The Bridgeport Sunday Herald and a Free Speech Fight

By Andy Piascik Rarely has an American play met with the kind of government opposition that Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty faced in 1935. Mayors and police departments forbade the staging of the play in a number of cities and stopped performances mid-play in others. Audience ...

March 21, 2017
The Day Casco’s Workers Sat Down on the Job
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The Day Casco’s Workers Sat Down on the Job

by Andy Piascik It was an event that lasted less than a day and involved only 50 people directly. It was organized, led and carried out by everyday workers and thus contradicted the mainstream narrative that only big people make history. Many of the participants were ...

February 01, 2016
Industry  Labor  Women  
Viola Louise Smith Bridgeforth:   Making the Most From Extraordinary Times
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Viola Louise Smith Bridgeforth: Making the Most From Extraordinary Times

By Mary K. Witkowski, Editor: Ann Marie Virzi In her 99 years on earth, Viola Bridgeforth, born in 1897, lived through many if not most of the profound changes that African-Americans and women in general experienced in the 20th century. Through all the changes, Viola Bridgeforth ...