Labor Strikes — An Obermann Conversation

Nov 28, 2023

04:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Iowa City Public Library, A

123 South Linn Street, Iowa City, IA 52240

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labor union strike outdoors; people holding signs

This summer, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) both went on strike, something that hadn’t happened since 1960. These strikes brought Hollywood to a standstill for months and ultimately forced the studios to make major concessions. In September, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) union went on strike against the major automakers GM, Ford, and Stellantis. For the first time ever, a sitting president visited a picket line in support of the autoworkers. 75,000 workers from the Kaiser Permanente health care system went on strike in October, the largest health care worker strike in U.S. history. With all these strikes happening, are we in the middle of a labor union renaissance?

Join us for this Obermann Conversation with University of Iowa faculty and local labor leaders to discuss the history of labor in the U.S. and in Iowa, and to imagine what the future of organized labor could be.


  • Jesse Case, Secretary-Treasurer, Teamsters Local 238
  • Paul Iverson, Labor Educator, University of Iowa Labor Center
  • Abigail Scheppmann, Leader, Iowa City Starbucks Union
  • Shelton Stromquist, UI Professor Emeritus, History

Free and open to all. This event will also be livestreamed on the Iowa City Public Library's YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/thelibrarychannel

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact in advance at