Collecting area: Labor Page 5 of 8
Lipshires, Sidney

Sidney Lipshires Papers

1932-2012
7 boxes 3.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 730
Image of Sidney Lipshires
Sidney Lipshires

Born on April 15, 1919 in Baltimore, Maryland to David and Minnie Lipshires, Sidney was raised in Northampton, Massachusetts where his father owned two shoe stores, David Boot Shop and The Bootery. He attended the Massachusetts State College for one year before transferring to the University of Chicago and was awarded a BA in economics in 1940. His years at the University of Chicago were transformative, Lipshires became politically active there and joined the Communist Party in 1939. Following graduation in 1941, he married Shirley Dvorin, a student in early childhood education; together they had two sons, Ellis and Bernard. Lipshires returned to western Massachusetts with his young family in the early 1940s, working as a labor organizer. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946 working as a clerk and interpreter with a medical battalion in France for over a year. Returning home, he ran for city alderman in Springfield on the Communist Party ticket in 1947. Lipshires married his second wife, Joann Breen Klein, in 1951 and on May 29, 1956, the same day his daughter Lisa was born, he was arrested under the Smith Act for his Communist Party activities. Before his case was brought to trial, the Smith Act was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. Disillusioned with the Communist Party, he severed his ties with it in 1957, but continued to remain active in organized labor for the rest of his life. Earning his masters in 1965 and Ph.D. in 1971, Lipshires taught history at Manchester Community College in Connecticut for thirty years. During that time he worked with other campus leaders to establish a statewide union for teachers and other community college professionals, an experience he wrote about in his book, Giving Them Hell: How a College Professor Organized and Led a Successful Statewide Union. Sidney Lipshires died on January 6, 2011 at the age of 91.

Ranging from an autobiographical account that outlines his development as an activist (prepared in anticipation of a trial for conspiracy charges under the Smith Act) to drafts and notes relating to his book Giving Them Hell, the Sidney Lipshires Papers offers an overview of his role in the Communist Party and as a labor organizer. The collection also contains his testimony in a 1955 public hearing before the Special Commission to Study and Investigate Communism and Subversive Activities, photographs, and biographical materials.

Subjects

  • Communism--United States--History
  • Communists--Massachusetts
  • Jews--Massachusetts--Northampton--History
  • Jews--Political activity--United States--History--20th century
  • Labor movement--United States--History--20th century
  • Labor unions--United States--Officials and employees--Biography

Contributors

  • Lipshires, David M
  • Lipshires, Joann B
  • Lipshires, Sidney

Types of material

  • Autobiographies
  • Photographs
  • Testimonies
Mainstream Media Project

Mainstream Media Project Records

1995-2012
11 boxes 16 linear feet
Call no.: MS 976

A World of Possibilities logo, ca. 1998

Founded in 1995, by founder and former executive director Mark Sommer, the Mainstream Media Project (MMP) was a nonprofit public education organization focused on print and broadcast media about creative approaches in achieving peace, security, and sustainability in an interdependent global community. Until its closing in early 2014, it was particularly involved with placing top policy analysts, social innovators, and on-the-ground organizers on radio and television stations across the country and globe. One such project, A World of Possibilities radio show, founded in 2001, was an award-winning one hour weekly show hosted by Sommer. A program “of spirited global conversations,” featuring interviews searching for understanding of, and solutions to, longstanding global public affairs challenges, A World of Possibilities was nationally and internationally syndicated until it ceased broadcasting in 2011.

The MMP Records contain over ten linear feet of CD and DVD masters of uncut interviews and produced radio shows. Shows, including Heart of the Matter and A World of Possibilities, explore promising new thinking and experimentation in fields ranging from energy, food, water, and wilderness to human rights, global security, and public health, and include interviews with leading experts and innovators, such as Studs Terkel, Pete Seeger, Laurie Garrett, Wangari Maathai, Frances Moore Lappe, Howard Gardner, Lily Yeh, Robert Reich, Majora Carter, Van Jones and many more. The collection also contains MMP business files, consisting of correspondence, reports, articles, grant information, and organizational materials.

Gift of Mark Sommer, May 2017

Subjects

  • Activists
  • Environmentalism
  • Globalization
  • Green movement
  • Peaceful change
  • Politics and culture
  • Reconciliation
  • Science--Social aspects
  • Sustainable living
  • Technology--Social aspects

Types of material

  • Interviews
  • Radio programs
Mann, Eric

Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann Papers

1967-2007
22 boxes 11 linear feet
Call no.: MS 657
Image of Eric Mann, Dec. 1969<br />Photo by Jeff Albertson
Eric Mann, Dec. 1969
Photo by Jeff Albertson

Revolutionary organizers, writers, and theorists, Eric Mann and Lian Hurst Mann have been active in the struggle for civil rights for decades. The son of Jewish Socialist and labor organizer from New York, Mann came of age during the early phases of the Civil Rights movement and after graduating from Cornell (1964), he became field secretary for the Congress of Racial Equality. Increasingly radicalized through exposure to Black revolutionary nationalists, Mann took part in the Newark Community Union Project and became a leader in anti-imperialist opposition to the war in Vietnam as a New England regional coordinator for the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and later with the Revolutionary Youth Movement I — the Weatherman above-ground tendency of SDS. Following a militant demonstration at the Harvard Center for International Affairs late in 1969, Mann was convicted of assault on the basis of perjured testimony and sentenced to two years in prison. An organizer of his fellow prisoners even behind bars, he was “shipped out” often in the middle of the night, from prison to prison, spending the last year at Concord State Prison. After being released early in July 1971, he continued his prison activism through the Red Prison Movement. At the same time, as a writer, he earned a national audience for his book Comrade George: an account of the life, politics, and assassination of Soledad Brother George Jackson. Feeling himself at a low point in his radical career, Mann met Lian Hurst while vacationing in Mexico during the summer 1974. Hurst, a leader in the Berkeley Oakland Women’s Union, architect, and a strong Socialist Feminist, soon became his partner in life and politics, and Mann left Massachusetts to join with her in Berkeley. Hurst lead a group of women from BOWU who formed a “Thursday night group” and left the organization with the polemic, “socialist feminism is bourgeois feminism” all of whom moved towards integrating women’s liberation and Marxism-Leninism. At her urging, the two took part in Marxist Leninist party building, becoming union organizers with the United Auto Workers, and eventually moving to Los Angeles. Hurst was elected shop steward by her fellow workers as a known revolutionary. There, Mann led a campaign to keep the Van Nuys assembly plant open (1982-1992) — captured in his book, Taking on General Motors. They joined the August 29th Movement and its successor, the League of Revolutionary Struggle. They left LRS in 1984. In 1989, Mann and veterans of the GM Van Nuys Campaign formed the Labor/Community Strategy Center, which has been a primary focal points for their work ever since, helping to build consciousness, leadership, and organization within communities of color. Hurst became editor of AhoraNow, an innovative bilingual left publication that featured articles by Black and Latino working class leaders and helped initiate the center’s National School for Strategic Organizing. In 2003 Hurst wrote, “Socialist Feminism: Thoughts After 30 Years” for AhoraNow, a critical re-engagement of those important debates from an historical perspective after a 30 year reunion of BOWU’s key leaders. Mann’s latest book is Playbook For Progressives: 16 Qualities of the Successful Organizer. Hurst and Mann continue to write and agitate in the cause of revolutionary change, particularly for oppressed communities of color.

The Mann-Hurst collection contains the records of two lives intertwined with one another with the cause of liberation of Black and Latino communities, women, and an internationalist pro-socialist anti-imperialism. Containing a nearly complete set of publications, the collection also contains early materials on Lian Hurst’s work with BOWU and the both Eric and Lian’s time as organizers for the UAW and their participation in the August 29th Movement and League of Revolutionary Struggle. Of particular interest are a series of letters home written by Eric during his imprisonment. The collection contains comparatively little on Hurst and Manns’ more recent work with the Labor/Strategy Strategy Center or Bus Riders Union

Subjects

  • August 29th Movement
  • Berkeley Oakland Women's Union
  • Communists--California
  • Feminism
  • International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America
  • Labor unions--California
  • League of Revolutionary Struggle (M-L)
  • Prisoners--Massachusetts
  • Red Prison Movements
  • Students for a Democratic Society (U.S.)

Contributors

  • Mann, Lian Hurst
Massachusetts AFL-CIO

Massachusetts AFL-CIO Records

1902-1995
72 boxes 64 linear feet
Call no.: MS 369

Formed in 1887 as the Massachusetts branch of the American Federation of Labor, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO currently represents the interests of over 400,000 working people in the Commonwealth. Like its parent organization, the national AFL-CIO, the Mass. AFL-CIO is an umbrella organization, a union of unions, and engages in political education, legislative action, organizing, and education and training.

The official records of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO provide insight into the aims and administrative workings of the organization. These includes a nearly complete run of proceedings and reports from its conventions since 1902, except for a five year gap 1919-1923, minutes and agendas for the meetings of the Executive Council, and the President’s files (1982- ). The collection is particularly strong in the period since about 1980.

Subjects

  • Labor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • AFL-CIO
  • Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Massachusetts AFL-CIO. Directly Affiliated Local Unions

Massachusetts AFL-CIO Directly Affiliated Local Unions Records

1930-1980
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 044

This small collection provides background on labor unions in Massachusetts that, lacking a national scope, join the AFL-CIO as Directly Affiliated Local Unions (DALUs). Taken together, these records provide some basic information on the names and descriptions of companies that have agreements with DALUs, the numbers of union members involved, the occupations represented, and jurisdiction.

Subjects

  • Labor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Massachusetts AFL-CIO
Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining

Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining Records

1969-1973
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 023

In 1969, Governor Francis W. Sargeant established a bi-partisan council to review municipal and state collective bargaining practices more than decade after all public employees were extended the right to join unions. Over the next three years, the council heard from both sides, interviewing representatives from management and labor, and holding regional hearings throughout the state. The work of the group culminated in the enactment of the Massachusetts Public Employee Collective Bargaining Law (M.G.L. c.150E) in 1973, which granted full bargaining rights to most state and municipal employees.

The collection includes detailed minutes of meetings, transcripts of testimony, drafts of legislature, reports, and recommendations of the council.

Subjects

  • Collective bargaining
  • Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-

Contributors

  • Massachusetts Commission on Collective Bargaining
Massachusetts State Building & Construction Trades Council

Massachusetts State Building and Construction Trades Council Collection

1959-1972
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 327

An advocate for unionized construction workers in the state, the Massachusetts State Building and Construction Trades Council collection consists chiefly of conference proceedings.

Subjects

  • Construction workers--Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Massachusetts State Building and Construction Trades Council
Massachusetts State Employees Association. University of Massachusetts Chapter

MSEA University of Massachusetts Chapter Records

1955-1978
10 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 049

The Massachusetts State Employees’ Association (MSEA) was founded in 1943 to protest proposed changes in the state employees’ retirement system. By 1969, the group had become the exclusive bargaining agent for the University’s administrative, clerical, and technical employees.

This small collection includes the constitution and by-laws of the MSEA along with Executive Board and general body minutes, correspondence, contracts, legislative materials, grievance records, hearing transcripts and decisions pertaining to job reallocations, subject files, newsletters, and press releases that document the UMass chapter of the Massachusetts State Employees’ Association from 1955 to 1978.

Subjects

  • Collective labor agreements--Education, Higher--Massachusetts--Amherst
  • Labor unions--Massachusetts
  • University of Massachusetts Amherst
Nashua (N.H.) Labor Council

New England Labor New and Commentary Collection

1989-1990
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 286

Established as the newspaper of organized labor in New England in 1989, the New England Labor News and Commentary was the official newspaper of the Nashua, N.H. Labor Council.

Subjects

  • Labor unions--New England
  • Labor--New England--Periodicals

Contributors

  • Nashua (N.H.) Labor Council
New England Labor and Community Network

New England Labor and Community Newsletters

1979-1984
1 envelope 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 202 bd

Includes eleven of the thirteen newsletters published by the Labor and Community Network, a group of academics and trade unionists interested in labor issues in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Subjects

  • Labor--New England--Periodicals
  • New England--Social conditions--Periodicals
  • Working class--New England--Periodicals

Types of material

  • Newsletters