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Illinois Labor History Society

Haymarket Square

The Illinois Labor History Society (ILHS) was formed on August 5, 1969, in the office of the late Joseph M. Jacobs, attorney for the Chicago Teachers Union, Meatcutters, and other labor organizations.

The mission of the ILHS was set forth: "It shall be the Purpose of the Illinois Labor History Society to encourage the preservation and study of labor history materials of the Illinois Region, and to arouse public interest in the profound significance of the past to the present."

From the end of the Civil War until the present, Chicago has been at the heart of the working-class struggle for economic and social justice in America.  That struggle impacted Studs Terkel early on and he served as an ally and voice for the workers' cause his entire life.  Representing the Illinois Labor History Society, Bucky Halker and Matthew Camp join forces for a conversation on the history of the labor movement, its current struggles, and Studs Terkel's lifelong commitment to the cause.

Bucky Halker is a regular on the Chicago music scene and has a dozen recordings to his credit, including his new double-CD, The Ghost of Woody Guthrie, an original music tribute to Woody Guthrie. Bucky, a PhD in history, is the author of For Democracy, Workers, and God: Labor Song-Poems and Labor Protest, 1865-1895. He also produced the acclaimed, five-CD set, Folksongs of Illinois and serves on the board of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. He received the Archie Green Fellowship from the Library of Congress-American Folklife Center in 2011-12 for his work on Chicago ironworkers.

Matthew Camp is a cashier at Whole Foods Market, North Halsted, Chicago. He has been organizing with the Fight for 15 campaign since January of 2013. Matthew holds bachelor of arts degrees from Texas State University in History and Political Science. An experienced organizer, Matthew has been a social justice and labor activist for over a decade. Beginning his activism with the Free Mumia campaign in 1999, Matthew has worked on numerous projects ranging from labor solidarity to anti-war organizing. His commitment to the Fight for 15 campaign is rooted in his fervent belief that organized labor can change the world for the better and that this is a world worth fighting for.

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