Today in labor history: Steel Workers Organizing Committee dissolved

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On this day in 1942, the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC)  was disbanded and replaced by the United Steel Workers of America (USWA).

The SWOC was founded by the CIO in 1936. The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 helped open the door for organizing industrial unions. John L Lewis then heading the United Mine Workers actively pushed for organizing workers in the steel industry.  In 1937 the SWOC successfully organized US. Steel.

The Little Steel Strike involving Republic Steel, Bethlehem Steel, Youngstown Sheet and Tube, National Steel, Inland Steel and American Rolling Mills. met stiff resistance resulting in 10 worker murders in Chicago's Memorial Day Massacre. Little Steel caved in a few years later in 1941.  Communists, socialists and other left activists played a big role in activities of the SWOC.

Photo: Strikers of Republic Steel leaving Cleveland City Hall. Cuyahoga County, after being addressed by Al Balant, leader of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC), 1937. Ohio History Central.

 

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