Committee for Industrial Organization Effigy Photograph   Save
Republic Steel, Warren Plant 1937 Strike Scrapbook
Description: This photograph depicts a dummy representing a Committee for Industrial Organization (C.I.O.) member hanged in effigy on June 17, 1937 at the Republic Steel Corporation's Warren Plant during the 1937 ""Little Steel"" Strike. This 4.5"" by 6.5"" (11.43 by 16.5 cm) photograph is part of a scrapbook maintained by the Republic Steel Corporation documenting events at its Warren Plant during the strike. The scrapbook is labeled Miscellaneous Communications, Posters and Pictures Relating to the C.I.O. Strike of the Warren Plant of the Republic Steel Corporation, Summer 1937, Vol. III. In June 1936 the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers and the Committee for Industrial Organization (C.I.O.) agreed to a joint effort to organize the steel industry. This led to the formation of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (S.W.O.C.). Soon after the first representatives from the S.W.O.C. arrived in the Mahoning Valley to begin their organizing efforts. On March 26, 1937 the organizing committee signed a contract with U.S. Steel, the nation's largest steel producer. Six weeks later the second largest steel company in the country, Jones & Laughlin, followed the example of U.S. Steel. Following these victories the S.W.O.C. increased its efforts at reaching agreements with the smaller companies known as the ""Little Steel"" companies: Republic Steel, Inland Steel, and Youngstown Sheet and Tube. Talks between the organizing committee and the steel companies broke down and on May 26, 1937 approximately 25,000 Mahoning Valley steelworkers walked off their jobs from Republic Steel and Youngstown Sheet and Tube. Most of the mills shut down with the start of the strike. However, Republic Steel kept their Warren and Niles plants open using non-striking steelworkers. This led to a number of violent confrontations outside the mills. With no end to the strike in sight, Youngstown Sheet and Tube and Republic Steel announced on June 21 that the mills will be re-opened for those workers wanted to return to work. Fearing the violence that would follow attempts to re-open the plants, Ohio Governor Martin Davey ordered National Guard troops to the Mahoning Valley and on June 22 nearly 2,000 National Guardsmen arrived in Youngstown and Warren. The arrival of the National Guard signaled the beginning of the end of the strike. On June 25 striking steelworkers began returning to work under the protection of the National Guard. The steel companies also began hiring new workers to replace those who remained on strike. Soon the mills were running at near full capacity and most of the striking steelworkers had returned to their jobs. On July 6 the National Guard reduced its presence in the Mahoning Valley and the strike was effectively over. The C.I.O. and S.W.O.C. had suffered their first defeat in their efforts to organize the steelworkers; not until 1941 did Republic Steel and Youngstown Sheet and Tube sign agreements recognizing the union. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: RepublicSteel,WarrenPlant1937StrikeScrapbook
Subjects: Business and Labor; Strikes; Steel industry; Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.); Labor unions; Executions in effigy
Places: Warren (Ohio); Trumbull County (Ohio)