Truth to Tell: Monday, July 5, 2014 — 9 a.m.

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On-air date: 
Sat, 07/05/2014
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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A Turning Point for Labor: The Strike that Transformed Minneapolis

Eighty years ago, business interests had made Minneapolis one of the most anti-union towns in the country.  Teamsters Local 574 changed that with a strike that galvanized working people throughout the city and set the stage for the great labor victories of the 1930s.

More than a strike as we usually think of it today, the events of the spring and summer of ’34 represented a genuine working-class rebellion.  Pitched battles between workers and police in the downtown market district resulted in casualties on both sides. The union headquarters on 18th and Chicago was an organizing hub, emergency medical center and commissary all rolled into one.  Most families in Minneapolis were touched in some way by the struggle. 

In honor of the 80th anniversary commemoration of the strike on July 20th, Truth to Tell explores the dynamics of this history-changing struggle.  What was life like for workers in Depression-era Minneapolis?  Why was Local 547 successful in defeating the all-powerful employers group, the Citizen’s Alliance, when other efforts had failed?  What were some of the struggle’s defining moments?  And what was the impact of the ’34 strike on the city of Minneapolis, the state of Minnesota, and the nation as a whole?

On-air guests: 

  Bryan Palmer is author of Revolutionary Teamsters: The Minneapolis Teamsters    Strike of 1934



 Mary Wingerd is an associate professor of history at St. Cloud State University, with  a focus on working class and community history and is the author of North Country:  The Making of Minnesota



 Dave Riehle, is the retired chair of Local 650, the United Transportation Workers,  labor historian and active member Remember 34.