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Publications available from the Theobald Legislative Library
Labor Day: Past and Present
Compiled by Arden Rice, September 2004
The Labor Day holiday celebrates the achievements of workers by providing a day of rest and recreation. The day is often observed with ceremonies and events extolling labor. The following resources are recommended to assist legislators participating in Labor Day festivities around the state. All of the print resources are available in the Legislative Reference Bureau Library.
Commemorated for over a century, Labor Day has been an official state holiday in Wisconsin since 1893 (Congress passed legislation making Labor Day a national holiday in 1894). Wisconsin has a proud tradition of accomplishments in support of workers rights and protections. In 1911, Wisconsin became the first state to enact an unemployment compensation program. It was also the first state to implement a worker’s compensation program in 1931 to assist employees injured at work. Wisconsin was one of the earliest states in the nation to pass a minimum wage law in 1913. More recently, in 1965, Wisconsin was the first state to prohibit discrimination in employment based on disability. The Wisconsin Family Medical Leave Act (1987 Wisconsin Act 287) granting employees leave to care for newborn or ill family members was passed six years prior to the federal 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act
Development of the Labor Movement in Milwaukee. Thomas W. Gavett, University of Wisconsin Press, 1965. (331.88/G24)
The Labor Movement in Wisconsin: a History. Robert W. Ozanne, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1984. (331.88/Oz7) A history of the labor movement in Wisconsin from early statehood through the 1930s. Contains the appendix “Union Leaders at the National Level Who Began Their Leadership Careers in Wisconsin.”
Like Our Sisters Before Us: Women of Wisconsin Labor. By Jamakaya, Wisconsin Labor History Society, 1998. (331.88/W752) Based on an oral history project, this book contains biographies of 10 women labor leaders from the 1920s to the 1990s.
“The Rise of Labor and Wisconsin’s ‘Little New Deal,’ 1919–1940”. Joseph A. Ranney, Wisconsin Lawyer (v. 68 no. 5, May 1995). (341/R17a/pt. 12) Describes significant labor legislation passed in the early half of the 20th century.
Our “U.C.” Story: 1930–1967. Paul A. Raushenbush and Elizabeth Brandeis Raushenbush, 1979. (369.64/R19) The history of unemployment compensation in Wisconsin.
Workers and Unions in Wisconsin: a Labor History Anthology. Darryl Holter, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1999. (HistS/w) (noncirculating) Most of the articles focus on significant events in local labor history from around the state.
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/today/sep05.html Today in History: The First Labor Day from the Library of Congress’ American Memory project.
http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/dwd/DWDHistory/default.htm Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Timeline History: 1883–2002
Minimum Wage/Living Wage
The Economic Effects of Mandated Wage Floors. David Neumark, California Public Policy Institute, 2004 (Occasional Papers) (331.22/P96) Analyzes the effect of raising the minimum wage or establishing living wage minimums on the rate of poverty for working families. http://www.ppic.org/content/pubs/OP_204DNOP.pdf
“Living–Wage Movement: Do Laws Requiring Higher Wages Cause Unemployment?” Congressional Quarterly, Inc., CQ Researcher, Sept. 27, 2002, v.12, no. 33. (331.22/C761) Examines the impact of living wage laws on working families, taxpayers and businesses. Discusses several cities that have passed living wage laws, as well as cities and states that have banned such local ordinances.
“Minimum Wage: the Debate Over Raising the Hourly Rate”. Congressional Digest Corporation, Congressional Digest, v. 79, no. 3, p. 65–96, Mar. 2000. (331.223/C761b) Contains excerpts of a report from the Congressional Research Service, analysis from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, and statements for and against the proposed legislation from eight Congressmen.
The Policy Shift to Good Jobs: Cities, States and Counties Attaching Job Quality Standards to Development Subsidies. Anna Purinton [et al.], Good Jobs First, 2003. (338.2/G59) Reviews the results of a survey documenting over 150 instances where wage and benefit standards are attached to government subsidies. http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/pdf/jobquality.pdf
Report and Recommendations of the Minimum Wage Advisory Council. Wisconsin Labor Standards Bureau, 2004. (331.222/W7) Information about the Council and its recommendations at http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/er/equal_rights_division/%20initiative_to_raise_the_minimum_wage.htm
Wage Growth Among Minimum Wage Workers. William E. Even and David A. MacPherson, Employment Policies Institute, 2004. (331.22/Em7) Maintains that minimum wage employees rapidly receive wage increases through job experience. http://www.epionline.org/study_detail.cfm?sid=70
Offshoring/Outsourcing of Jobs“Exporting Jobs: Do Low–Paid Foreign Workers Hurt or Help the Economy?” Congressional Quarterly, Inc., CQ Researcher, Feb. 20, 2004, v. 14, no. 7 (331.86/C761b) Considers whether the outsourcing of jobs overseas poses a serious threat to American jobs and wages. The article also examines how work–visa rules for foreign workers have contributed to the current problems.
Jobs, Trade, Sourcing, and the Future of the American Workforce. U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2004. Examines employment and wage trends and suggests that economic factors other than globalization are responsible for the current economic problems facing the country. http://www.uschamber.com/government/issues/labor/sourcing.htm
The New Wave of Outsourcing. Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban
Economics, University of California, Berkeley, 2003. (331.86/B231)
Investigates the significance of overseas outsourcing and makes predictions
about the effect this trend will have on future wages and real estate values.
Legislation in Other States to Restrict Outsourcing. (OLR Research Report) Connecticut General Assembly, 2004. http://www.cga.state.ct.us/2004/rpt/2004-R-0241.htm
Pre–Empting Protectionism in Services: the WTO and Outsourcing.
World Bank, 2004.
Working Conditions“Overtime Pay: Redefining Exempt Workers”, Congressional Digest Corporation. Congressional Digest, v. 83, no. 3, p. 65–96, Mar. 2004. (331.81/C762) Analysis of proposed federal changes to the Fair Labors Standards Act by the General Accounting Office and the U.S. Dept. of Labor, as well as pro and con statements by the President and numerous Congressmen.
State of Working Wisconsin. Center on Wisconsin Strategy, 2003.
Annual assessment of employment, income equality, and poverty among Wisconsin
Wisconsin Economic Outlook [quarterly]. Wisconsin Department of Revenue,
2004. (Rev/Res/w) (noncirculating) Economic updates on productivity,
employment, income, and other key economic indicators.
Wisconsin Projections 2000–2010: Employment in Industries and Occupations.
Department of Workforce Development, 2003. (331.86/W7p)
Worker Protection Laws in Wisconsin. Daniel F. Ritsche, Wisconsin Legislative
Reference Bureau, 1998 (Wisconsin Brief 98–6). (331.14/W7b) Summarizes
employment law in the areas of workers compensation, unemployment insurance,
job security, wages, and working conditions.
“Worker Safety: Are Government Regulations Tough Enough?” Congressional Quarterly, Inc., CQ Researcher, May 21, 2004, v. 14, no. 19 (331.825/C762b) Reviews opposing allegations from labor and industry that OSHA is understaffed and does not impose fines frequently enough, and that OSHA regulations are time–consuming and inflexible. The report also discusses newer health hazards in technology industries and continued concerns about ergonomic hazards.
http://www.aflcio.org/yourjobeconomy/ AFL–CIO: jobs, wages and the economy
http://www.cows.org/index.asp Center on Wisconsin Strategy
http://www.epinet.org/ Economic Policy Institute (Issue guides to Living Wage, Minimum Wage & Offshoring)
http://www.ncsl.org/programs/employ/topmenu.htm National Conference of State Legislatures: Labor and Employment Issues
http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2004/01/art1abs.htm State Labor Legislation Enacted in 2003 (Monthly Labor Review online, January 2004, v. 127, no. 1)
http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/lmi/data.htm Wisconsin Labor Market Information Data, Department of Workforce Development
http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/wc/research_statistics/default.htm Wisconsin Workers Compensation Division Research and Statistics on Occupational Illness and Injuries
Bartleby’s quotations includes Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations
(10th ed.), Columbia World of Quotations, Simpson’s Contemporary Quotations, and
Respectfully Quoted compiled by the Congressional Research Service. See for
example the categories: “labor,” “solidarity”, and “work”
Labor Day Speech File - Collection of newspaper clippings about Labor Day maintained by the LRB Research section.
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