The failures of the Hormel plant strike in 1985-86 captured the U.S. public imagination, setting a defeatist tone for the labor movement. But what might the labor movement still learn from the successes of the 1984-85 Yale strike of mostly-women clerical and technical workers?
We write this essay as strike supporters to encourage others in nominally secure positions, and especially those in tenured and other protected positions, to utilize their positions in the fight against racism and fascism at the university.
Lange’s photographs can be considered “care work,” the devalued labor, integral to maintaining human life. By identifying the distress of migrant laborers’ lives, Lange indicated where care had lapsed.
In our current moment, as the Trump administration daily wields federal power to attack immigrant communities and workers’ rights, these kinds of community-driven struggles and organizations serve as a bulwark protecting families and empowering workers to make change where they live and work.