Side A: The Committee for Industrial Organization, later called the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), formed the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) under the leadership of CIO president John L. Lewis in April 1936. Following successful CIO strikes in the rubber and automobile industries, SWOC won contracts in early 1937 with the United States Steel Corporation and Jones and Laughlin Steel, the largest steel makers in the United States, also known as “Big Steel.” On May 26, 1937, SWOC struck three “Little Steel” companies whose operations were concentrated in the Mahoning Valley: Inland Steel, Republic Steel, and Youngstown Sheet and Tube. By early June, the first major steel strike since 1919 idled more than 28,000 Canton, Warren, and Youngstown steelworkers. (continued on other side)
Side B: [continued from other side] No negotiated settlement emerged, despite the intervention of Governor William Davey and the federal Steel Mediation Board. In Youngstown, rioting on June 9th and 19th killed two strikers and wounded 23 other participants. The Little Steel companies reopened their local mills in late June, and the strike ended in this region by early July. Despite this setback, SWOC charged Little Steel with unfair labor practices before the new National Labor Relations Board and won signed contracts in the Mahoning Valley mills by 1942. As one of the most violent strikes of the 1930s, the Little Steel Strike led to a division between organized labor and the New Deal-era Democratic Party.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, Greater Youngstown AFL-CIO Labor Council, and The Ohio Historical Society