1930s Steel Workers CIO Union Organizer pinback

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  • Item Category: -
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jun 11,2007
  • Channel: Online Auction

This is a 1.25" black and white celluloid pinback for a Steel Workers C.I.O. Union Organizer. The union bug indicates a Baltimore manufacturer, while the original backpaper is from Colonial Press / McMahon Bros. / Pittsburgh, PA. According to Wikipedia:

Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO) formed within the AFL on November 8, 1935. The CIO wanted to start a steel organizing campaign. But John L. Lewis and the CIO did not wish to leave the AFL, however, so the CIO resolved to work through the AA [Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers] instead. The CIO attempted to push a steelworker industrial organizing plan for the AA through the January 1936 AFL executive council meeting, but the plan was rejected.

The CIO subverted the AA from within. John Brophy, the newly-hired organizing director of the CIO, was able to infiltrate the AA convention and proposed that the delegates accept the CIO's offer. The delegates agreed to appoint a committee to study the proposal.

Tighe sent AA international secretary Louis Leonard to consult with Green, but Green could not match the CIO's offer. Lewis made it clear that the CIO would move ahead with an organizing drive in the steel industry with or without the AA. Confronted with a choice between irrelvance or collusion, AA officials accepted the CIO proposal, affiliated with the CIO on June 4, and agreed to make the AA an administrative unit of CIO's Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC). SWOC was formally announced in Pittsburgh on June 7, 1936. Green was outraged, the AFL suspended the 10 unions which belonged to the CIO in November 1936. Philip Murray was appointed director of SWOC, and ran the organization (and union) until his death in 1952.

This pinback appears to be from the 1930s, and is in overall very good to excellent condition.

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