Blast From the Past: Union Art

πŸš— My dad worked at General Motors for almost 30 years.

He started out as a member of the United Autoworkers Union (“the UAW” as my dad would call it growing up) before moving into management years later.

His trade was a tool and die maker.

He loved that union (at least that’s what I always remembered growing up, but mom may have other things to say, LOL).

He respected that the union fought for him and later on, his team of professionals.

When I cut my teeth in HR as a recruiter back in 2003, my initial recruiting assignments were automotive.

While I wasn’t recruiting union members, it so reminded me of being a kid when I would walk the floors of Ford, GM, Chrysler, and some tier 1 and 2 suppliers in the Northeastern Ohio region.

I appreciated those companies and what GM did for my dad and my family.

I really enjoyed that time.

It was even more special when I got to actually recruit union HVAC mechanics for Johnson Controls back in the late 2000s. Very cool stuff.

So when I came across this neat article from Axios about old union art, I wanted to share it with y’all (I’m a southerner now, LOL).

Going back to 1948 (Statue of Liberty poster) and earlier, union art has spread labor’s message through posters, buttons, clothing and more.

  • The art shows pride in particular trades β€” or advocates for specific demands like fair wages or safety measures.

Between the lines: The artistic style has shifted throughout the movement’s history. But the message is quite consistent.

Check out the art here:

πŸ† And I also had to share one of my dad’s many awards. His 28 years of service Verti-Scale hydraulic gauge. I mean how cool is that thing?

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