The history of U.S.W.A. Local 1010, AFL-CIO-CLC can be traced to the early 1900’s with Lodge 56 of the A.F.L.’s Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers. The association never had more than a minority of Inland’s employees, mostly skilled, native white workers. It became all but defunct after the “Great Steel Strike” of 1919. The association remained insignificant at Inland Steel until June 1936 when it joined the newly formed Steelworkers Organizing Committee C.I.O. (SWOC).
During the interim period Inland employees were represented by the Employee Representation Plan, an industry wide ploy for the steel companies to retain control of the employees and the “Union.”
Initially, in 1936, A.A. Lodge 56 was split by SWOC. Lodge 1101 represented the employees of Plt. #1 and Lodge 1010 representing the employees of Plt. #2.
Although the vast majority of Inland employees were members of SWOC, Inland never officially recognized them as their bargaining agent. Instead they decided, in May of 1937, to create their own “Union” using employees that were involved in the Company controlled Employee Representation Plan. Thus was born the Steelworkers Independent Union Inc. The SWIU Inc. was an independent Union, belonging to neither the A.F. of L. nor the C.I.O. Inland’s, and three other independent Steel Companies’, adamant refusal to accept SWOC and to sign a contract resulted in the Little Strike of 1937.
On the evening of May 21, 1937 the Inland Steel employees went on strike. The strike at East Chicago remained peaceful, but, unfortunately, this was not to be at Republic Steel’s South Chicago plant, where the Memorial Day massacre occurred. Ten men were killed and many more injured when the demonstrators, including women and children were fired upon by the Chicago Police.
SWOC, Lodge 1010 lost three members at the Memorial Day Massacre:
The ’37 strike resulted in two actions which legally strengthened Lodge 1010’s position. In the first instance the National Labor Board “filed a complaint against Inland Steel for refusing to sign a contract.”… “The Board also complained that the company prompted a labor organization among employees known as Steel Workers Independent Union and interfered with employees self-organization.”
“The latter charge said the Company warned its workers against joining outside Unions.”
“The complaint contends these company acts resulted in strikes at Inland plants at Indiana Harbor, IN and Chicago Heights, IL. The strikes were called May 25 and are still in effect.” (1)
Thus began the long battle between SWOC (along with the National Labor Board) and Inland Steel. This confrontation, to make Inland Steel sign a contract with SWOC, would last for six years ending with the signing of the first contract in August 1942.
The second event, which ended the ’37 strike at Inland Steel, was the signing of a “Memorandus of Agreement” with Governor M. Clifford Townsend. Although not a contract as such, the memorandus laid out the guidelines for a labor policy at Inland and, even more importantly, called for the recognition of SWOC as the bargaining agency. (See Appendix A for complete details of the memorandus of Agreement.)
Notwithstanding the NLB complaint and the memorandus of Agreement, Inland remained reluctant to deal with SWOC or to sign a contract until events led to the dissolution of the SWIU.
SWOC GAINS CONTROL AS SOLE BARGAINING AGENT
The lack of steel orders, which plagued the steel industry during the late ‘30’s, resulted in mass layoffs which severely hampered the ability of SWOC to actively fight Inland Steel for a signed contract and recognition as the sole bargaining agent. However, this set back did not stop SWOC from strengthening itself.
The SWOC convention held in Pittsburgh from December 14th to the 16th, 1937, saw the two SWOC Lodges at Inland Steel joined into one formidable unit. Lodges 1101 (Plt. #1) and 1010 (Plt. #2) were merged into one, Lodge 1010. Inland now faced a united and determined SWOC.
In January 1938, the “new” Lodge 1010 elected its first officers:
William Maihofer President
William Young Vice-President
Manual Trovish Recording Secretary
Cecil Miller Treasurer
Max Luna Inner Guard
J.R. Camado Outer Guard
P. Valdez Guide
Juan Davila Trustee
Charles E. Dewald Trustee
I.R. Daniel Trustee
The new leadership immediately began its push to remove the SWIU from Inland Steel. SWOC members began infiltrating the SWIU and at the April 1938 meeting of the SWIU were able to pass a motion to dissolve the SWIU.
The death of the SWIU was made official in the same month, April 1938, when the National Labor Relations Board ordered Inland Steel to sign a contract with SWOC and eliminate the Company Union (2). (See Appendix B for details of Board decision)
Inland’s response to the NLRB order was, as could be expected, to refuse to sign a contract with SWOC-CIO. The NLRB again ordered Inland in November 1938, to sign a contract.
The deadlock between Inland Steel and SWOC continued until Governor Townsend again intervened. The Governor, through the Indiana Commissioner of Labor, appealed for joint conferences after Lodge 1010, backed by civic groups, demanded that Inland sign a contract as ordered by the National Labor Relations Board on two separate occasions. Inland finally agreed in March of 1939, to meet with SWOC representatives. It seemed, at last, that Inland would finally negotiate and sign a contract with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee – CIO.
No contract had been signed by September 1939. Inland had filed an appeal, through the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, of the NLRB’s decision mandating Inland to sign a contract. At the same time Inland’s position became weaker as SWOC mounted a campaign to increase its membership. In a three week period, Lodge 1010 signed an additional 1500 employees bringing its total to 8,000 members.
From the end of 1939 the beginning of 1942 Inland Steel continued its battle against signing a contract with Lodge 1010. It did agree, orally, to establish a grievance procedure of sorts to deal with the everyday problems in the mill. This procedure itself slow and ineffectual and as a result the members of Lodge 1010 were forced to find more effective and expedient ways to resolve the issues.
Inland was under heavy pressure to maintain a steady flow of steel to the government which was supplying arms to the Europeans in their was against Germany. As a result of this need, the members of Lodge 1010 found departmental strikes and slowdowns to be a very effective way to get the company to resolve the major issues.
At a SWOC conference of the four “Little Steel” Companies (Bethlehem Steel, Republic Steel, Youngstown Sheet and Tube and Inland Steel) in Pittsburgh on August 14, 1941 it was agreed to send letters to those companies to open negotiations. All of the “Little Steel” companies had signed stipulations with the Labor Board to sign contracts with SWOC. The Labor Board had determined, through a card check, that SWOC had 8,700 members out of the 11,800 employees at Inland Steel. Thus giving SWOC the right to bargain and negotiate a contract.
Negotiations with SWOC finally began, after a six year struggle, in September of 1941 at the Inland offices in Indiana Harbor. Representing Local 1010 at these negotiations were John Doherty, assistant SWOC director in Chicago; Joseph Germano, SWOC sub-regional director of the Calumet Region; Jack Scruggs, president Local 64; James Johnsen, president Local 1010; O.H. McKinsey, V.B. Smith, William Young, James Gray, E.C. Johnson, Cecil Miller, John Sargent, John Easters, William Maihoffer and Frank James, all of Local 1010.
While negotiations continued SWOC at its May 1942 convention officially changed its name to the United Steelworkers of America.
As negotiations became dead locked, the National War Labor Board (NWLB), created to insure continuous steel production for the war effort, stepped in and forced a resolution of the issues. On July 16, 1942, recommendations of an NLRB panel became directives and on August 3, 1942, Inland Steel became the first of the “Little Steel” companies to sign a contract with the United Steelworkers of America. This contract provided, among other items, union security and check-off, the daily minimum wage guarantee and a 5 ½ cent an hour wage increase. This retroactive increase brought more than a half million dollars in back pay to the employees of Inland Steel.
During the war years from the signing of the contract to the end of the war things remained relatively calm at Inland Steel. The main concern of the steelworkers and the company was the continued production of steel for the war. Things stayed peaceful until January 21st, 1946.
The steelworkers having not received any raises since 1942 asked for a 25 cent an hour raise to make up the losses due to inflation and loss of pay due to declining work. Inland refused this increase, the steelworkers then struck on January 21st and the government again stepped in to settle the matter. After deliberation of the issue the Labor Board recommended an 18 ½ cent an hour raise. Inland, and the other steel companies rejected this proposal as well. It wasn’t until the government agreed to a $5.00 per ton increase on steel that the steel industry agreed to the 18 ½ cent an hour raise.
Again on May 1st, 1947, Local 1010 members were compelled to strike when Inland refused to fall in line with other “Big Steel” companies and grant the 15 ½ cent and hour raise and other provisions. This strike lasted for only one week ending May 7th, 1947 when Inland agreed to the same terms that all the other steel companies had agreed to. The terms that were negotiated included the 15 ½ cent an hour raise, three weeks vacation for employees with 25 or more years, and reduction of the work week to 32 hours before laying off.
In April of 1949, the Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Inland Steel on the decision rendered by the United States Circuit Court In Chicago on pensions. This court had earlier ruled that pensions were a proper matter for collective bargaining. Inland refused to obey this court order which led to a strike beginning October 1, 1949 and lasted until November 1st. The strike ended when Inland finally agreed to a pension plan and a wage increase.
On November 27th and 29th, an election was held to determine whether Inland should become a Union Shop or not. It was approved by a 91% majority to make Inland Steel a Union Shop. This meant that non-members would be required to pay a monthly “service” fee equal to the monthly dues.
As contract time approached in 1952 the steel industries again refused to bargain on 16 major issues. The wage stabilization board stepped in and after a review of the issues, came up with recommendations to resolve the issues. The steel companies refused to accept their proposal. This lead to a four week strike after which the Company relented and accepted the Board’s proposal. Things went smoothly with the Company and in 1956 major gains were finally seen.
1956 saw the signing of the first 3 year contract with wage increases occurring over those three years totaling 45.6 cents. The USWA also was able to gain premium pay of 10 percent for Sunday work, double time pay for holiday work, eight hours pay if scheduled off on the holiday and an increase in pensions and, unfortunately, a no-strike clause.
Relations remained fairly smooth with Inland Steel from ’56 until early ’59 when Inland and other steel companies started their campaign to keep wages from increasing as the ’56 contract neared its end. Inland predicted that a long and bitter strike would be the result of a request for a pay raise. In April of ’59 the wage policy committee met in New York and formulated its demands for the upcoming negotiations, these demands included higher wages, cost of living adjustments, shorter hours of work, extended vacations, weekend premium pay (for Saturdays and Sundays), improving sub benefits (gained in ’56 contract), better insurance and pension benefits and more holidays.
As June 30, 1959 approached, the last day of the ’56 contract, the steelworkers sent two letters: one to President Eisenhower asking that a committee be set up to assist in the deadlock between the Union and the Company, which was refused, and one to steel companies requesting a two week extension of the contract to July 15, 1958, which the companies agreed to do.
As of July 15, 1959, no agreement had been reached. The steelworkers voted to strike thus beginning the longest and last strike at Inland Steel. The strike continued until November 7, 1959, lasting 116 days, when it was brought to an end by am injunction under the Taft-Hartly Act. A settlement was not obtained until the 58th day of the Taft-Hartly injunction. Steelworkers had not given up a thing. They were able to outlast the steel companies and make them give up their hopes of not giving steelworkers their deserved wage increase. The contract, lasting for 30 moths, provided for a 40 cent per hour wage increase, better pensions and insurance.
The 1959 steel strike signaled the end of any major confrontations between steel companies and the Union for many years.
The preceding history of the United Steelworkers of America, Local 1010, would not be complete without mentioning something about the people, to whom this history is dedicated, who have been and are Local 1010.
The 1010 membership since its conception has had a reputation of being militant, progressive, and unyielding. We have willingly led the fight for unionism across the country and have taken our lumps in so doing.
Local 1010 also has had the reputation of being a leader in human and civil rights long before it became a matter of national interest. Discrimination of race, sex, national origins or any other topic have been viciously fought both on the job and in the community. If we look back at the union representatives that have been elected we can see that they are representative of the “great melting pot” of which the Calumet Region is made. We can also see that foremost in their minds and actions was the advancement of the Union, its members and the condition of the working people.
We have a heritage of which to be proud. One that allows us to stand tall and feel secure in what we do. It is a heritage that no other group will ever know.
It is for this heritage that the history of the Local 1010 is proudly dedicated; not only to the people who have fought in the past but also the present membership that is still fighting.
(1) “Inland Steel cited by National Labor Board”
(2) “Inland Steel ordered to sign contract with SWOC by U.S. Labor Board”
(3) “Conferences to write agreements with four “Little Steel” Companies get under way; SWOC asks Union Shop.” Steel Labor, Vol. VI, September 25, 1941, pp. 1,3.
1937 William Thomas
1938 William Maihofer
1941 James Johnsen
1942 John Sargent
1943 John Sargent
1944 John Sargent / Powell
1945 Nick Migas / Maihofer
1946 John Sargent
1947 John Sargent
1948 John Sargent / Harry Powell
1949 Harry Powell
1950 Harry Powell / William Maihofer
1951 William Maihofer
1952 William Maihofer / Don Lutes
1953 Don Lutes
1954 Don Lutes
1955 Don Lutes
1956 Pete Calacci
1957 Pete Calacci
1958 Pete Calacci
1959 Pete Calacci
1960 Pete Calacci
1961 Pete Calacci
1962 Pete Calacci / James O’Connor / Joe Wolanin
1963 Joe Wolanin
1964 Joe Wolanin / John Sargent
1965 John Sargent
1966 John Sargent
1967 John Sargent / William E. Bennett
1968 William E. Bennett
1969 William E. Bennett
1970 William E. Bennett / Jesse Arredondo
1971 Jesse Arredondo
1972 Jesse Arredondo
1973 Jesse Arredondo / Hank Lopez
1974 Hank Lopez
1975 Hank Lopez
1976 Jim Balanoff
1977 Jim Balanoff / Bill Andrews
1978 Bill Andrews
1979 Bill Andrews
1980 Bill Andrews
1981 Bill Andrews
1982 Bill Andrews
1983 Bill Andrews
1984 Bill Andrews
1985 Bill Andrews
1986 Bill Andrews
1987 Bill Andrews / Mike Olzanski
1988 Mike Olzanski / Mike Mezo
1989 Mike Mezo
1990 Mike Mezo
1991 Mike Mezo
1992 Mike Mezo
1993 Mike Mezo
1994 Mike Mezo
1995 Mike Mezo
1996 Mike Mezo
1997 Mike Mezo
1998 Mike Mezo / Tom Hargrove
1999 Tom Hargrove
2000 Tom Hargrove
2001 Tom Hargrove
2002 Tom Hargrove
2003 Tom Hargrove
2004 Tom Hargrove
2005 Tom Hargrove
2006 Tom Hargrove
2007 Tom Hargrove
2008 Tom Hargrove
2009 Tom Hargrove
2010 Tom Hargrove
2011 Tom Hargrove
2012 Tom Hargrove
2013 Tom Hargrove
Inland Steel Company and the Steel Worker’s
SECTION 1 – The men to be returned to work without discrimination between strikers and non-strikers.
SECTION 2 – The Labor policy as set forth by the Inland Steel Company in their letter sent to the Governor June 26th, 1937, and the statement attached hereto will be carried out.
SECTION 3 – All grievances on labor matters within the scope of the statements as to labor policy dated May 29th, 1937, will be settled in the manner outlined in that statement. Id any such settlement so arrived at is unsatisfactory, the Company will refer the matter to the commissioner of labor of the state of Indiana and will accept his decision as final.
STATEMENT AS TO LABOR POLICY:
RECOGNITION – The company will recognize the Steel Workers Organizing Committee as the collective bargaining agency chosen by those employees who are members of the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers and will not interfere with the right of its employees to join the Association.
There will be no discrimination by any one in the employ of the company against any employee because of membership or nonmembership in any organization of its workers.
The company will insist that there shall be no intimidation of employees to compel them to join any organization. It will not permit solicitation of organization membership on the company’s premises.
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING – The company recognizes and will abide by the principle of collective bargaining relating to wages, hours and working conditions as provided by law.
WAGES – The company has consistently maintained the policy that its wage rates and working conditions will be at least as good as those of its competitors in this district. This policy will be continued in the future.
HOURS OF WORK – The plants of this company will continue to work a basic eight-hour day and a forty-hour work week. Time and one-half will be paid for all overtime in excess of eight hours in any one day or forty-hours in any work week.
VACATIONS – The company will continue its policy of granting at least one week’s vacation with pay to those of its employees who have a continuous service record of five years or more.
GRIEVANCES – It is the policy of the company to settle promptly all grievances in an amicable manner. Employees may deal individually or through a representative with their foreman or superintendent. Members of the Amalgamated may deal through a grievance committee if they so choose. The detailed procedure for handling grievances will be the individual concerned or his representative to discuss the issue first with the foreman. In case the mater is not thus settled, then in order with the departmental superintendent of in industrial relations. If no agreement is reached by the procedure the issue will be settled by the commissioner of labor and his decision will be final.
SENIORITY – In all cases of promotion or increase or decrease of forces the company will give due regard to such factors as length of service, knowledge, training, ability, skill and efficiency, physical fitness, family status, number of dependents and place of residence. If other factors are equal, length of service will govern.
DISCHARGES – The company shall have the right to lay off or discharge employees for cause or lack of work. An employee discharged shall have the right to be advised of the reason for his discharge. In case the employee feels that he has been unjustly discharged the matter will be taken up immediately for prompt settlement by the superintendent of industrial relations. Employees will not be discharged or discriminated against because of membership or nonmembership in a union. In any case of alleged discrimination the company will arbitrate the matter if satisfactory settlement is not arrives otherwise.
SAFETY AND HEALTH – As in the past the company will earnestly endeavor to promote safety in every way. It will continue to maintain adequate facilities for the treatment of accidents and to protect the health of its employees.
MANAGEMENT – The management of the works and the direction of the working forces, including the right to hire, suspend or discharge for proper cause or transfer and the right to relieve employees from duty because of lack of work or for other legitimate reasons is vested exclusively in the company. This authority will not be used for purposes of discrimination against any member of a union.
CONTINUITY OF PRACTICES – All established practices will continue as at present but will be subject to review as in the past by the works management in case of complaint from employees.
Assistant to President
Inland Steel Company
VAN A. BITTNER,
Steel Workers Organizing Committee
INLAND STEEL ORDERED TO SIGN
CONTRACT WITH SWOC BY
U.S. LABOR BOARD
COMPANY UNION MUST BE KILLED
SWOC Is Also Given Sole Bargaining Rights by Labor Board
Washington D.C., April 15, 1938, - The National Labor Relations Board has issued an order compelling employees to SIGN union contracts.
The order was directed at the Inland Steel Company, of Chicago, and requires that company to sign with the SWOC and kill a company union it had started. The SWOC is also given sole bargaining rights.
The decision established a new and far-reaching precedent under the Warner Act and upheld the contention of the SWOC in the “Little Steel” strike last summer.
Written Contract Necessary
The Labor Board held that a WRITTEN AGREEMENT between employer and employee is an “Integral element” of the collective bargaining process. The Inland Steel is ordered to bargain with the SWOC and, if agreement is reached on wages, hours, and other conditions of employment, to sign a contract with the union.
The ruling was confined to the Inland Steel Company, but was believed to be the forerunner of similar decisions against other independent steel companies which have refused to sign contracts with the SWOC steel union.
Other independent steel companies which have refused to sign contracts with the SWOC include Republic Steel Corporation, Bethlehem Steel Company, National Steel Company, Youngstown Sheet and Tube Company and Weirton Steel Company.
Must Follow Procedure
The Labor Board’s decision emphasized that employers are not compelled to agree upon any particular terms with the union, but that they are required to accept the procedure of collective bargaining, which it was held, calls for a written agreement or understandings.
Required to Bargain
“We can reach but one conclusion,” the Board said. “Under Section 8 (5) of the act (requiring employers to bargain collectively with employee representatives) the employer is required to accept the procedure of “collective bargaining” and the spirit and purpose of the act.
“As we have seen, the reduction of collective agreements to writing has become an integral element of the collective bargaining process. In addition, from the viewpoint of harmonious and co-operative labor relations, as well as of business practice, the importance of reducing collective agreements to writing is obvious. The respondent (Inland) can advance no reasons for refusing to confirm to such practice except those solely anti-union in character.
It follows that the respondent (Inland Steel) must comply with this requirement to the same extent that it must meet, negotiate in good faith, and accept the other conditions of collective bargaining procedure. We think it plain that any other interpretation of Section 8 (5) would be contrary to the whole spirit and purpose of the act.”
All three members of the Board – Chairman, J. Warren Madden, Donald Wakefied Smith and Edwin S. Smith – signed the decision which declared that “employees, in insisting upon a written agreement are merely asking that any prudent businessman would expect as a matter of course from those with whom he deals.”
“The respondent (Inland) in dealing with a large automotive concern, for example, would be expected to refrain from the obvious impropriety of rebuffing an attempt to enter into a contract, and insisting on mere negotiation without reduction of the terms to a written agreement,” the Board said. “Such conduct is simply not engaged in between concerns dealing as equals.
“Obviously, the respondent regards dealing with unions as another matter.”
Not Conductive to Peace
“It seeks to yield as little as possible to the SWOC demand for recognition, and that grudgingly. We see in the respondent’s conduct nothing calculated to encourage in unions a sense of responsibility, no wholehearted acceptance of the SWOC as a party with equal dignity at the conference table. The respondent’s attitude is not conductive to industrial peace. It must be corrected if the purposes of the act are to be effectuated.”
The NLRB held that the Inland Steel Company had “unlawfully sponsored” the Steel Worker’s Independent Union, Inc., and ordered its disestablishment. During the month-long strike at the Inland plants, it said the independent union was “the spearhead of a back-to-work movement.”
See I Owe
C.I.O. it to my country
C.I.O. it to my home
C.I.O. it to my fellow workers
To be a union man.
A union for the masses
To include every craft.
Better wages for each worker,
In C.I.O. there is no class.
Collective bargaining for all workers
In a union that is strong,
Recognition for our labors
That’s the C.I.O. plan.
If I want to help all workers
To enjoy a better life,
I C.I.O. it to my union
To be a C.I.O. man.
--- Clara Johnson Fuller