Steel Strike Of 1919


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Steel Strike Of 1919

 

in the United States, a strike that lasted from Sept. 22,1919, to Jan. 8,1920. It began after the steel companies refused to negotiate with the workers, who were demanding, among other things, an eight-hour workday in place of the current 12-hour day, higher wages, and the reinstatement of workers fired for participating in the labor union movement.

More than 370,000 people took part in the strike, which involved 95 percent of the country’s steelworks. The workers’ struggle was headed by the Committee for Organizing the Steel Industry, established in August 1918; the committee’s secretary was W. Foster. The authorities sent in police and troops to suppress the strike. Several workers were killed and hundreds were injured; several thousand people, including Foster, were arrested. The struggle was hampered in that there were no links with workers in other industries; it also suffered from sabotage by right-wing labor union leaders. The strike was an important stage in the development of the labor movement in the United States, and it forced company owners to increase wages by a slight amount and improve working conditions.

References in periodicals archive ?
Questions about labor, loyalty, Americanism, and foreignness became pronounced during the massive steel strike of 1919, and the terms used to describe the strike foreshadowed those used during the investigation into the 1919 Black Sox scandal.
He played key roles in both the wartime Chicago stockyards organizing campaign and the steel strike of 1919.
In this context, the play scripts alluded to earlier industrial conflicts such as the Haymarket affair and the steel strike of 1919, taking advantage of the audience's familiarity with earlier labor conflicts to foster identification and sympathy.
The Haymarket Riot, Homestead Strike, Pullman Strike, Coeur d'Alene, Telluride, Wheatlands Hops, Ludlow Massacre, Steel Strike of 1919, and the sit down strikes of the 1930s plus many more testify to the obvious existence of profound social discontent.
Thus, in sharp contrast to the 1892 strike, "almost no ministers in Homestead and the other steel towns supported the workers" during the great steel strike of 1919.
With the Great Steel Strike of 1919, Foster became the bete noire of America's working class organizers, a man feared and despised precisely because he galvanized proletarian loyalties at the same time that he could not be dismissed by the bourgeois order as alien and other.