© 2024 KOSU
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Scabby the Rat — an icon of the labor movement — could be endangered

A giant inflatable rat makes its way down the street in midtown New York City  November 26, 2019 where it will sit outside a company's office in New York. - American unions have been using ballooned rodents to highlight unfair labor practises since the 1990s. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)
A giant inflatable rat makes its way down the street in midtown New York City November 26, 2019 where it will sit outside a company's office in New York. - American unions have been using ballooned rodents to highlight unfair labor practises since the 1990s. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images)

If you live in a city you will probably recognize him. He sticks out at roughly 10 feet tall, with whiskers, a pimply, inflatable belly. And he’s also a rodent. His name? Scabby the Rat. And he is a labor icon.

For more on Scabby’s storied past, where he’s from and why he has become such an important rallying symbol for union action, Scott Tong speaks to journalist Tarpley Hitt, who has been writing about the rat recently.

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

KOSU is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.