by Lindsay Beyerstein
How our blog got its name
Sidney Hillman was a powerful national figure during the Great Depression, a key supporter of the New Deal, and a close ally of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
When the rumor spread that President Roosevelt ordered his party leaders to “clear it with Sidney” before announcing Harry S. Truman as his 1944 running mate, conservative critics turned on the phrase, trumpeting it as proof that the president was under the thumb of “Big Labor.”
Over the years, the phrase lost its sting and became a testament to Hillman's influence.
It's hard to imagine a labor leader wielding that kind clout today, but we like the idea—and we hope Sidney would give thumbs up to our blog.
#Sidney's Picks: Anti-Union Liberals; Bangladeshi Murder Mystery; and the Wal-March
- Sarah Jaffe of AlterNet calls out five supposedly liberal pundits for bashing the striking Chicago teachers.
- Bangladeshi labor organizer Aminul Islam disappeared on April 4, after an extended campaign of police harassment. His tortured body was found a few days later. Many believe Islam was murdered for trying to organize workers at local Tommy Hilfiger and American Eagle factories. Four months later a lead surfaced: On the day he disappeared, a man with suspected intelligence ties showed up and asked Islam to officiate his wedding. Islam left with him in a rickshaw and was never seen again.
- President Asif Ali Zardari has ordered an investigation into a fire that killed 258 garment workers in the Pakistani capital of Karachi, Businessweek reports. Labor activists have been pushing for an investigation and compensation for the families of the victims.
- About 100 warehouse workers from the Inland Empire set out on a 50-mile "Wal-March" to protest wages and working conditions at Wal-Mart warehouses, Thursday.
[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons.]