LABOR IN CRISIS by David Brody


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The Steel Strike of 1919 was a colossal failure for American unionism. The reasons for that failure are many; among the more important was the unfortunate fact that the strike coincided with the first of our great red scares, making it all too easy for the employers to equate the AFL with ""foreign radicalism."" But even though the cause of organized labor was forced to wait almost another twenty years before it gained access to ""the core of American industry,"" it did achieve some benefits in its defeat: the nation was made aware that a whole vital industry could be struck despite all the might of the owners' combines, and the issue of the eight-hour day received enough incidental attention to be resolved in the workers' favor within a few more years. Nevertheless the unionization of steel had to wait for the kind of unionism embodied in the CIO, and for the protections extended by the Wagner Act of 1935. This volume is far from being merely a condensation of the author's Steel-workers in America: The Non-union Era 1960); quite a different focus and set of postulates have been applied to the events involved, and considerable new material is referred to. The story as told here is concise and less dramatic than Leon Wolff's account of the fore-runner- the Homestead Steel Strike- in Lookout (Harper & Row- p. 356).

Publisher: Lippincott