Harry Van Arsdale, Jr: Labor's Champion

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M.E. Sharpe, Nov 19, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography
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Harry Van Arsdale Jr. (1905-1986) was a towering figure in the New York labor scene. After becoming business manager of Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in 1925, he fought for and won shorter work days in order to give more men a chance to work during the Great Depression. He instituted paid vactions, paid holidays, annuity plans, and educational opportunities for his workers -- all revolutionary concepts in their ime that are now largely taken for granted. He became president of the New York City Labor Council in 1957, which put him in a position of even greater influence on labor relations both locally and nationally. But more than his individual achievements, his sincere commitment to improving the lives of American workers and their families made him a truly beloved figure.

This fascinating memoir focuses on Van Arsdale's 60-plus years as a union member and powerful labor figure, and on the lasting mark he left on the labor scene.

 

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Contents

From the Revolutionary War to Hells Kitchen
3
Making His Mark Early Struggles in Local Union 3
12
A Fight to the Top
26
Dealing with the New Deal
33
Growing Pains
46
Battles on Many Fronts
66
America at War
84
The Working Man and Woman Learning and Compassion
96
Troubleshooting Here and Abroad
164
Van Arsdale at the Wheel
178
A Wider Garden to Tend
197
The Kid Goes Down Fighting
219
Afterword
248
Notes
251
Index
267
About the Author
275

Mister Labor
122
United Federation of Teachers and the Brotherhood Party
142

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