CIO

Reds riot at steel mill: 75 years later

Mark R. Wolff on the 1937 Memorial Day Massacre, in which police fired upon striking CIO workers.

Although the United Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) won a contract from the largest steel company, U.S. Steel, in 1937, the “Little Steel” corporations— including Bethlehem Steel Corp., Republic Steel Corp., Youngstown Sheet and Tube, National Steel Corp., Inland Steel Co. and American Rolling Mill Co. Republic Steel—refused to recognize the new union.

Images from 1946 Rochester general strike

Pictures from the 1946 Rochester, New York general strike, which happened in response to the mass firings of city workers attempting to organize a union. Pictures originally posted at Rochester Labor.

Vulnerable Akron: the first great sit-down

An account by anarchist and union organizer Rose Pesotta of the 1936 Akron rubberworkers strike, which utilized the sit-down tactic. From the book Bread Upon the Waters.

Akron, rubber manufacturing capital of the world. A drab Mid-Western industrial city of 255,000. A city with a hum, a throb, anodor all its own. It made the front pages in February, 1936. A strike had closed the largest tire factory on the globe, which had 14,000 employees.

A CIO organizer in Alabama, 1941

Reports from an organizer involved in efforts to organize a Goodyear plant in Alabama in 1941.

Originally appeared in Labor History Volume 18, Issue 4, 1977.

Toward a history of the CIO: a bibliographical report

An essay by Robert H. Zieger on some of the various writings on the CIO up to 1985.

Originally appeared in Labor History Volume 26, Issue 4, 1985

Left out: reds and America's industrial unions

This study discusses the legacy of the Communist Party USA in the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) from the 1930s through the 1950s.

The Flint sit-down strike, 1936-1937 - Jeremy Brecher

A strikers' orchestra in the occupied Flint plant

Jeremy Brecher's account of the great sit-down strike in the General Motors plants in Flint, 1936-1937, where workers occupied the factories and won big concessions.

Akron rubber workers' struggles, 1933-1936 - Jeremy Brecher

Strikers clash with police, Akron 1936

Jeremy Brecher's account of the struggles of rubber workers in Akron, Ohio, the centre of the American rubber industry. Growing disillusioned with the failure of the unions to improve their situation, the workers developed the sitdown strike.

Workers, employers and unions in the US sitdown strike wave, 1933-1937 - Jeremy Brecher

Sitdown strikers at Flint, 1937

Jeremy Brecher's excellent history and analysis of the wave of sitdown strikes in US from 1933-1937 from their origins amongst Akron rubber workers to the great Flint sitdown strike and to their eventual co-optation by the CIO unions and subsequently in part the employers.

Strike! - Jeremy Brecher

In possibly the best book on the American working class movement ever written, Jeremy Brecher narrates the hidden history of mass strikes from 1877 to 1970 from the point of view of the workers themselves.

Attached in PDF format is the 1972 version of this book. We heartily recommend readers buy this book - a revised version was published in 1999.