By Lisa Phillips
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Extra info for A Renegade Union: Interracial Organizing and Labor Radicalism
Economy from the 1930s through the 1960s. So why did Osman go with the CIO? S. Steel, worked well when people, all working for one employer, were located in one enormous plant. Using this approach, CIO unions like the UAW were able to bring unskilled assembly-line workers, janitors, and skilled plumbers into the union. S. Steel). The AFL-style craft and occupational approach enabled waitresses working for hundreds of different restaurant owners in the 1890s and janitors working for several different employers in the 1990s to find common ground and pressure their respective employers to improve their working conditions.
This book looks at these developments in detail. Beginning with the union’s origins in the 1930s and ending with its brief involvement in the ALA in the late 1960s, it follows the union and its organizers through thirty years of economic depression, wars both hot and cold, and the civil rights movement, paying close attention to how some of the country’s most poorly paid service and distributive workers fared over those years. . ”1 —Arthur Osman, 1968 By 1933, during the darkest years of the Depression, Arthur Osman and his co-workers found themselves working sixteen or more hours a day stocking and selling merchandise, manipulating customers, and trying to turn a profit for their boss.
Chapter 1 The union was at this point still very small, under one thousand members, most of them Jewish men working in wholesale shops and some warehouses. When it launched major organizing drives over the period 1937–41, the racial and ethnic composition of the union changed to reflect its commitment to organizing black workers who would constitute about one-third of the union’s membership (see the following chapter). As A. Philip Randolph and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) found, advocating racial equality proved just as threatening to the AFL Executive Council as did supporting industrial unionism.
A Renegade Union: Interracial Organizing and Labor Radicalism by Lisa Phillips