The 1978 Converse Strike and the Transformation of the U.S. Sneaker Industry
In July 1978, workers at a Converse sneaker factory in New Hampshire went on strike at a time when their employer was beginning to be overwhelmed by import competition. Converse had already closed two plants, starting a process of restructuring to concentrate production in North Carolina. This strike is thus the intersection of several historical threads: this factory and its workers, the Converse company and its legendary All Star sneaker, and the global restructuring of the athletic shoe industry. The examination of this intersection highlights important questions about worker consciousness within the context of globalization and industrial reorganization.
About the Labor History Seminar
The Newberry Labor History Seminar provides a forum for works in progress that explore the history of working class people, communities, and culture; class and state policy; unions and popular political movements; and other related topics. Co-coordinators are Peter Cole (Western Illinois University), Colleen Doody (DePaul University), Liesl Orenic (Dominican University), and Elizabeth Tandy Shermer (Loyola University Chicago).