Category Archives: Illinois World Labor Hour Show

Tune in to Illinois World Labor Hour

Just a reminder to please tune in to the Illinois World Labor Hour every Saturday morning at 11 a.m. central time, on WEFT 90.1 FM Champaign, IL. It is also available online at We will cover and discuss prescient labor news and politics of the day, interview guests, have working-class culture with the poetry of Tom, Thomas, and cover some labor history.

We look forward to your audience this Saturday morning at 11 a.m. CT.

–Jason Kozlowski


Recent Labor Hour Shows Available

Thanks for reading, everyone. Various things that have kept me quite busy have also, unfortunately, kept me away from actively blogging in the last couple weeks. That will change, however, with a spate of posts on myriad labor, economic, and political items to come today.

This one includes links for a couple recent shows. The March 19 show features an interview with Leighton Christiansen, a GEO activist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who has twice visited Madison during the height of the protests, and whose excellent, stirring observations of life in the capitol rotunda I posted here on March 1. The March 26 show featured a discussion of and materials related to the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, which occurred 100 years ago on March 25, 1911. I read a stirring, first-hand account by William Shepard. Thanks to WEFT factotum, blues mavne, and all-around good guy Bob Paleczny, Illinois World Labor Hour shows are archived at

Be sure to tune in to the Illinois World Labor Hour every Saturday at 11 a.m. CT to WEFT 90.1 FM Champaign, IL, also available online at

–Jason Kozlowski


March 12 Labor Hour Available

Thanks to Illinois World Labor Hour co-host, WEFT factotum, technical guru, blues maven, and all-around good guy Bob Paleczny, the latest edition of the Illinois World Labor Hour is now up and available at It was a good show with Gloria Hays, who has been heavily active in the Wisconsin protests, calling in with a live report from the massive rally Saturday. Also, Tom Thomas read his latest poem, Bill Gorrell expressed his typically good thoughts on the possibilities of a general strike, and yours truly offered some commentary as well as a bit of labor history on the 99th anniversary of the successful conclusion of the IWW’s Lawrence, MA “Bread and Roses” strike of 1912, and the labor activist and feminist Leonora O’Reilly.

Be sure to tune in every Saturday morning at 11 a.m. CT to the Illinois World Labor Hour on WEFT 90.1 FM, Champaign, IL, also streamed online at, for the latest news and analysis on the labor movement, in the US and around the world.

–Jason Kozlowski


Illinois World Labor Hour Saturday, March 5 2011

Thanks to WEFT factotum, technical guru, and all-around good guy Bob Paleczny, the latest Illinois World Labor Hour show from Saturday, March 5 is available here at In it, we discuss labor films, the political fallout from the ongoing Wisconsin protests, local efforts through GEO #6300 and other organizations showing strong solidarity to workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana, we played music including the great Anne Feeney, and Tom Thomas read his poem “March By the Millions.”

Be sure to tune in next week, when we will update the latest from Wisconsin and elsewhere, and also discuss women in labor as part of Women’s History Month in March. Among others, we will discuss the activist for women’s and workers’ rights, Leonora O’Reilly.

–Jason Kozlowski


24/7 Solidarity Vigil, Champaign IL, Day Six Update–February 27, 2011

Via Kerry Pimblott of GEO #6300

Day six of the GEO 24/7 Solidarity Vigil witnessed two amazing victories for workers in Wisconsin and across the country!

Today several GEO members traveled to Madison to participate in an occupation intended to keep the Capitol open. Police had indicated that at 4pm they would be closing the building and forcibly removing protesters. As 4pm drew close many of us watched on an online live stream as protesters were asked to leave the building. While many left voluntarily, several hundred remained on the first floor determined to continue the occupation and risking arrest.

As the tension increased, the remaining occupiers linked arms and began to sing “Solidarity Forever” and “We Shall Overcome” to keep their spirits up. And then… as the occupation looked like it was entering its final moments… police refused to remove protesters and the Police Chief announced that no arrests would be made! The occupation was successful and protesters were able to secure access to the building for a thirteenth consecutive night!

If that wasn’t enough… reports quickly emerged that Republican Sen. Dale Schultz had switched sides and would now be voting against the bill! This announcement was received with deafening cheers from protesters within the Capitol complex. Now only two more Republicans are required to ensure that the bill will not pass!

Amy Livingston, staff organizer for GEO and an occupier of the Capitol, stated in a text message: “Our Solidarity moves mountains. We kept the Capitol open for the people when the Governor tried to close it. We forced one Republican to do the right thing and we’re on our way to forcing 2 more. We’ll stand with our brothers and sisters in WI until we win. Keep fighting! GEO!” I sent this update to a union rep who is holed up with Indiana lawmakers at the Urbana Comfort Inn. In response I received the following message: “We just announced this to the IN Dems. It helped their resolve considerably.”

Together we are fighting a winning battle! Keep up your spirits and participate in the Work-In at the Illini Union tomorrow from 9-2pm or join the GEO for a lobbying surge from 2-5pm at the YMCA! For those that want to support the occupation, I am also receiving word that people are needed in the building tomorrow evening to prevent it from being closed at 6pm.

The news that a Republican state senator, Dale Schultz, has switched sides in the struggle is a major victory for opponents of the draconian anti-union, anti-worker proposals of Governor Walker. Pressure campaigns have begun on two other Republican state senators, Randy Hopper [telephone (608) 266-5300 and fax (608) 266-5300] and Luther Olson [telephone (608) 266-0751 and fax (608) 266-0751], who appear to be wavering in their support of Governor Walker’s proposals. Meanwhile, two other senators Michael Ellis and Dan Kapanke had supported a 2008 bill (SB 353) granting collective-bargaining rights to the University of Wisconsin-system faculty, and pressure on them is increasing as well.

Michael Ellis: 19th Senate District, Telephone: 608 266-0718,  Fax: 608 267 6798

Dan Kapanke: 32nd Senate District, Telephone: 608 266 5490 or 800 385 3385, Fax: 608 267 5173 E-mail:

It has been a day filled with drama and, for protesters in Madison and elsewhere, victory. Stay close to things here at IWLH as events unfold in Madison and around the country. We will do our best to keep you posted.

–Jason Kozlowski


News Coverage of Massive Protests Nationwide

70,000 in Madison, which apparently included a speech by actor Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman of “The West Wing”), while John Nichols of The Nation says it was closer to 125,000.

Several hundred in Springfield, IL

Scenes with links from around the nation at The Raw Story

–Jason Kozlowski


Illinois World Labor Hour Saturday, February 26 Show Available

Thanks to fellow host, all-around good guy, WEFT factotum, technical guru AND big blues fan Bob Paleczny, the latest edition of the Illinois World Labor Hour that aired yesterday on WEFT Champaign, 90.1 FM is now available for download and listening at Devoting most of the show to the amazing events in Wisconsin, and the solidarity protests spreading around the nation,we took two live calls. One was from IWW General Executive Board member John Reimann, who is in Oakland, CA, whose blog is linked to the right in our list of links, and who spoke at length about workers’ activism, the protests, and their implications for the labor movement. Germaine Light, an IEA member, also phoned in with reports from yesterday’s solidarity protest in Springfield, IL. Tom Thomas read an outstanding poem entitled “Stop Being Victims!” as part of his weekly “Cultural Corner” segment, and we covered news items, including the GEO’s initiation of a 24/7 Solidarity Vigil that has included myriad local protests, trips to Wisconsin, union events, speakers including history professor Jim Barrett on labor and working-class history and labor relations expert Monica Bielski Boris on public-sector workers, and a film series that yours truly is hosting at the campus Y at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

–Jason Kozlowski