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Today in Labor History

July 25, 1937: Fifteen “living dead women” testify before the Illinois Industrial Commission. They were “Radium Girls,” women who died prematurely after working at clock and watch factories, where they were told to wet small paintbrushes in their mouths so they could dip them in radium to paint dials. A Geiger counter passed over graves in a cemetery near Ottawa, Illinois still registers the presence of radium.

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Who Will Replace Hilda Solis?
Updated On: Jan 17, 2013

Jan. 17, 2013 | When Hilda Solis surprised many insiders by announcing last week that she was stepping down as Labor Secretary, she received rave reviews from labor leaders for her work over the past four years. Whomever President Obama appoints to replace Solis will need to seek support from a sometimes-wavering White House that blocked some of Solis' efforts…Solis' successor will also face battles with increasingly extreme and intransigent Republicans who repudiate the very notion of labor unions, in contrast to past GOP leaders such as Ronald Reagan who, while president of the Screen Actors Guild, actually campaigned against the notoriously antiunion Taft-Hartley Act. The next Labor Secretary must be a fierce advocate–and as importantly, must be given free rein. Read more at In These Times.


 
 
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