|Text on Button
|EMPLOYEES' INDEPENDENT UNION MILWAUKEE JULY-AUG-SEPT 1947
Red button with black text and two skinny black lines.
|(Illegible) Bros. Co. Rochester, N.Y.
|Year / Decade Made
Labor unions became increasingly popular in the United States during and after the Great Depression and Second World War, and the state of Wisconsin was regularly one of the most unionized states by percentage. Wisconsin employers often resisted union demands, which led to a period of prolonged strikes beginning in 1947 and lasting until 1960.
Independent unions are those not affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL) or the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). The color red is traditionally associated with socialism and Communism. Unions, by nature socialist, adopted the color; that would be used against them during the era of national panic over Communism, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy, during the Cold War.
It is possible that this button was part of a strike in summer 1947.