Today in labor history: Organizing drive that led to formation of USW

On this day in 1936, unionists gathered in Pittsburgh, organized by the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC).

The meeting planned the organizing drive that led to the formation of the United Steelworkers of America. Many of the unions involved were affiliated by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) and were expelled by the American Federation of Labor. Still the SWOC grew rapidly and boasted of over 100,000 members by year’s end. A big breakthrough occured when U.S. Steel was organized in March 1937. A major struggle then occurred with the Little Steel Strike (Republic Steel, Bethlehem Steel, Youngstown Sheet and Tube, National Steel, Inland Steel and American Rolling Mills). Little Steel was organized in 1941.

Photo: Wikimedia