Archive ID: 1981-094-28

U.S. Steel workers on street corner

Date Created: undated

Donor: Edward Sadlowski

Media Type: Photograph

Language: English


This image is of steelworkers from Local 65 (US Steel – South Works) standing on a corner in South Chicago. Local 65 had a storied history. It was the first Local to be affiliated with the CIO’s drive to organize the steel industry in 1936 through the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC). SWOC in the Calumet region included prominent African-American organizers Hank Johnson and Leonides McDonald, as well as Local 65 leader Lucious Armstrong and others. Local 65 had a number of presidents who were outspoken advocates for rank and file democracy. The latter included Ed Sadlowski who donated this photograph. Ed was the upstart candidate for the national presidency of the USWA in 1977 on the “Steelworkers Fight Back” platform, a multi-racial progressive coalition that sought to counter the bureacraticized and hierarchical nature of the post-war USWA and return to the early grassroots activism of the CIO years.

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