Archive ID: 1994-022-1

Progressive Steel Workers Union membership card

Date Created: 1967-05

Donor: Orlando "Muscles" Miraldi

Media Type: Document

Language: English


A membership card from the Progressive Steel Workers Union at Wisconsin Steel. In the 1920s, many steel companies began organizing company-backed unions to counter the interest in independent unions. These were known as ERP’s or Employee Representation Plans. However, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the limits of company unions and their support of employer interests over workers made this increasingly contentious. This led many steelworkers to support the CIO-backed Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) independent unionization drive. ERP’s were, in fact, outlawed by the Roosevelt administration for not supporting the rights of workers. Wisconsin Steel, however, was a relatively small mill that had maintained good relationships to employees and the community. Consequently, Wisconsin Steel employees were some of the few that continued to support their plant’s ERP and rejected affiliation with SWOC (which later became the national United Steelworkers of American union). Although Wisconsin Steel’s ERP disbanded to meet the new law, it was reorganized into the nominally independent Progressive Steel Workers Union that lasted until the mill closed in 1980.

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Mills   Other Unions   Steel Industry   Unions   Wisconsin   1920-1939 (Depression Era)   South Deering   Other/Unknown   Document   1994-022   Identification   International Harvester   Labor   Steelworkers   Workers