Tuesday, May 29, 2007

remembering The Little Steel Strike of 1937

On Wednesday, may 30th at 10am will be a ceremony at the Steel Museum downtown where a marker commemorating the Little Steel Strike of 1937 will be reinstalled. This week marked the 70th anniversary of the event.

The marker was orginally installed in 1985 in the pedestrian section of Federal Plaza, but when the area was reopened to traffic a few years ago, the marker disappeared. It will now be placed in front of the Segal sculpture, "The Steelworkers", just across the street from the Cathedral downtown.

When the Steelworkers Organizing Committee formed in 1936, U.S. Steel agreed to negotiate a union contract, but Republic and Youngstown Sheet & Tube refused. Workers went on strike against these “little” steel companies, here in Youngstown and in South Chicago. That Memorial Day, when hundreds of striking workers and their wives and children marched from a rally to the plant gates at the Republic Steel plant in South Chicago, guards shot into the crowd. 10 striking workers were killed and many others, including women and children, were injured that day.

A month later, more violence broke out here in Youngstown, and two workers were killed.

Speaking at the event will be:

  • Sherry Linkon & John Russo, YSU Center for Working Class Studies
  • Gary Steinback, Steelworkers Union
  • Jay Williams, Mayor of Youngstown

Here is a piece by William Gropper, which hangs in the Butler Art Museum, named "Youngstown Strike" (1937):

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