Archive ID: 2020-029-126

Wisconsin Steelworkers Save Our Jobs Committee button

Date Created: undated

Donor: Jeff Leib

Media Type: Object

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. This button was donated by Jeff Leib, a worker at Wisconsin Steel when it closed.

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Deindustrialization   Mills   Save Our Jobs Committee   Steel Industry   Wisconsin   Worker Activism   1980 - Present (Deindustrialization)   South Deering   Other/Unknown   Object   2020-029   Activism   Buttons   International Harvester   Labor   Mills   South Deering   Steel   Steel industry   Steelworkers   Wisconsin   Wisconsin Steel   Workers