Witness the Rise & Fall of Organized Labor in the Charlotte Labor Journal

A cartoon depicting a group of workers rising into one man

“The Big Idea,” 1953

Issues of the Charlotte Labor Journal and Dixie Farm News from 1935-1953 are now available in our North Carolina Newspapers collection thanks to our partner the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. According to the Library of Congress, the paper was published weekly as the “organ of the Charlotte Central Labor Union.”

The first issue we have online, from January 24, 1935, was published less than a year after the General Strike of 1934, when between 300,000 and 500,000 textile workers along the East Coast (most from North and South Carolina) protested working conditions. Despite the large turnout and national recognition, though, workers in the Southern states did not see their demands met, which made many members lose faith in their unions.

Portraits of 18 men on the National Council for the American Federation of Labor

Portraits of the AFL Council from January 24, 1935

The issues that we have online roughly follow the trajectory of organized labor in the state overall; the last issue we have is from 1953, when Operation Dixie officially ended, ultimately failing to unite textile workers into a single large union. Part of that failure stemmed from opposition by the AFL, the union behind the Charlotte Labor Journal.

To see more materials from UNC Charlotte, visit their partner page or their library website. To see more digital content about labor unions in North Carolina, click here.

Discuss this Post

DigitalNC Blog Header Image


This blog is maintained by the staff of the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center and features the latest news and highlights from the collections at DigitalNC, an online library of primary sources from organizations across North Carolina.

Social Media Policy

Search the Blog



Email subscribers can choose to receive a daily, weekly, or monthly email digest of news and features from the blog.

Newsletter Frequency
RSS Feed