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: Labor Day Edition
- Most of the jobs created during the economic recovery are low-wage positions, whereas most of the jobs lost during the recession paid middle class wages, Catherine Rampell reports for the New York Times. This "hollowing out" of the workforce is linked to government layoffs.
- A Fair Labor Association audit of Apple's Chinese manufacturing facilities reveals that the company has pushed its leading manufacturer, Foxconn, to clean up some of the worst abuses without altering its exploitative labor model, Michelle Chen reports for In These Times.
- 200 members of the AFL-CIO braved the heat in Tampa on Wednesday to protest the Republican Party's anti-union agenda outside the Republican National Convention.
- New York City is poised to overhaul its housing authority based on the recommendations contained in a damning report that paints the New York City Housing Authority as inefficient and top-heavy with highly paid appointees. Two of the five members of the restructured board will be residents of NYCHA housing, up from one member out of four today. (via Sidney's Picks reader Elizabeth W.)
[Photo credit: Wander Mule, Creative Commons]