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Season 5, Episode 116

Remembering 1936’s Little Steel Strike and Republic Steel Massacre

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Guest Name:


Fred Redmond

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Fred Redmond, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about the Little Steel Strike that eventually led to the Republic Steel Massacre and how these events would lead to the formation of the United Steelworkers. Redmond also discussed a meeting to help modernize the AFL-CIO’s services to their member organizations, and a new web tool focused on further improving voter education.

Redmond discussed the Little Steel Strike and the Republic Steel Massacre in 1936 in Chicago and his visit to the memorial event each year. He explained that the strike occurred after U.S. Steel signed a historic contract with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee that established a 40-hour work week and eliminated forced overtime and child labor. Little Steel references the group of smaller steel companies. These groups actively worked against the workers and fought against signing an agreement similar to the contract that U.S. Steel signed. This led to the event known as the Republic Steel Massacre, and Redmond explained how the event would eventually lead to the formation of the USW. The memorial service is held at what is now the United Auto Workers Local 551 Union Hall across the street from the location of the Massacre.

Last week, several leaders from AFL-CIO Central Labor Councils met in Washington, D.C. The meeting is part of a plan to modernize services offered by the AFL-CIO to it’s nearly 60 member organizations. There are 14 state federation leaders, and Local Central Labor Council leaders on the advisory committee. They are tasked with critically examining the modernization efforts. Redmond talked about the planning that occurred during the meetings and what the next steps would be.

Finally, Redmond talked about a new web tool, the Legislative Scorecard, released by the AFL-CIO that helps voters learn about their elected official’s record of supporting labor. He said that this tool is being used to ensure that workers can make an educated vote based on the interests of working families. Redmond said that the information has been revealing for himself and several others involved and hopes it will be similarly enlightening to voters across the nation.

Listen to the show above to hear more from Redmond.

 


America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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