Today in labor history: Police open fire on striking steelworkers

On this day in 1937, striking Steelworkers, along with family, friends, and supporters, were the victims of a vicious act of police brutality. In what would become known as the Memorial Day Massacre, police opened fire on the workers, who were marching to the Republic Steel plant in south Chicago to set up a picket line. The plant had refused to sign a union contract even after its larger counterpart, U.S. Steel, agreed to do so, which was what prompted the strike.

The police killed ten people in total and wounded 30 more, including those who were fleeing the attack. Meanwhile, 28 people were injured from police clubbing. Nine people were rendered permanently disabled from the injuries they suffered. No one was ever prosecuted.

Photo: Wikipedia (CC)



Special to People’s World
Special to People’s World

People’s World is a voice for progressive change and socialism in the United States. It provides news and analysis of, by, and for the labor and democratic movements to our readers across the country and around the world. People’s World traces its lineage to the Daily Worker newspaper, founded by communists, socialists, union members, and other activists in Chicago in 1924.