Wayne Flynt


Historians have generally ignored labor organization in the South. Even the few pioneer studies dealing with southern labor have been confined to the more spectacular strikes in a handful of states. Florida’s unions, radicalism, and labor politics have been damned to the historical limbo surrounding so much of her twentieth-century history. The records reveal that Florida’s labor organizations, beginning with the Knights of Labor in the 1880’s, experienced the same cycles of growth, power, decline, and frustration as in the more highly industrialized northeast. Before examining a specific phase in the long and often sanguinary struggle to organize Florida’s workingmen, the subject must be viewed in a national context.