With this issue, Labor bids a fond farewell to longtime poetry editor Jim Daniels, whose vast network of contacts and wise selection of new, previously unpublished work have graced our pages for nineteen years. With typical wit and economy of expression, Jim favors us with a valedictory poem, “Retirement's Sting.” We are delighted that Susan Eisenberg—poet, oral historian, resident scholar at Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Center as well as retired IBEW member—has graciously agreed to become the new doyenne of the Common Verse.

As we learn from historian Janet Weaver, Pearl McGill emerged from the militant ranks of the pearl-button industry in Muscatine, Iowa, where women, working piece-rate, struggled to grind, drill, and face the blank disks from clamshells into finished buttons. A mere teenager when she first joined the ranks of one of many AFL “federal unions”—that is, local unions that swept up women as well as men...

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