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(Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL)

WPA strikers outside Astor low cost housing project, 1935

When the Roosevelt administration tried to impose a wage of half the prevailing rate on building tradesmen employed on WPA projects, George Meany and the Central Labor Council called a strike. Though only a small percentage, they were the skilled workers--without them unskilled workers could not work, and within a month the WPA conceded. This New York victory set the pattern for union scale on WPA wages throughout the country.


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