From dramatic strikes, to the formation of the AFL, the CIO, and the AFL-CIO, Pittsburgh’s labor movement has a rich and deep history. Fight Back Pittsburgh has released a new online, interactive map of Pittsburgh’s labor history.
The map points out the sites of some key moments in working class history including the 1892 Battle of Homestead, the McKees Rocks Strike, and railroad strike of 1877. The map also includes historically significant locations like the offices of the Abolitionist Newspaper, The Mystery; the homes of August Wilson, Thomas Bell, Jane Grey Swisshelm; as well as monuments to Philip Murry, Fanny Selliins, and Thomas Armstrong and Roberto Clemente.
Since both the American Federation of Labor (1881) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (1937) were founded in Pittsburgh, the region is seen as the cradle of the American labor movement. However, the story of workers’ aspirations and struggles are not only about the unions and other organizations that represent them. From their formation, social and political forces have shaped Pittsburgh labor unions.
This map is based on the pamphlet “Labor History Sites in the Pittsburgh Region”, which was published by the Battle of Homestead Foundation and written by Charlie McCollester and Howard Scott.