Archive ID: MC-3.4-14

Save Our Jobs Committee, Justice For Wisconsin Steelworkers panel discussion

Date Created: 1988-02-07

Donor: Bea Lumpkin

Media Type: Film/Video

Language: English


The Save Our Jobs Committee (SOJ) was formed in 1980 to protest illegalities during the shutdown of Wisconsin Steel. Wisconsin was the first of many steel mills to close in the Calumet region. Workers lost backpay, pensions, and other benefits legally owed to them. The independent union that formally represented Wisconsin Steel workers was mired in controversy and had failed to help their members. Frank Lumpkin and other leaders stepped into the vacuum with the Save Our Jobs Committee and fought for the rights of former workers. After 17 years of struggle alongside labor lawyer Thomas Geoghegan, SOJ successfully won two class action lawsuits relating to the closure. In addition to organizing picketing and protests, the Save Our Jobs Committee’s dinners and social gatherings also proved to be a lifeline for the unemployed who suffered from high rates of ill health, suicides, alcoholism, depression, and divorce. Materials related to SOJ were donated by Bea Lumpkin, Frank’s wife as well as fellow activist and teacher.

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Deindustrialization   Save Our Jobs Committee   Worker Activism   1980 - Present (Deindustrialization)   African-American   Mexican-American   Film/Video  

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