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Union Busting in the Tri-State; The Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri Metal Workers' Strike of ...

Union Busting in the Tri-State; The Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri Metal Workers' Strike of 1935

George G. Suggs, Jr.

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ISBN 10: 0806120126 / ISBN 13: 9780806120126
Published by University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 1986
New Condition: New Hardcover
From Books by White (Winfield, KS, U.S.A.)

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University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK. 1986. Hardcover. First Edition in original shrink wrap covering. Book is tight, square, and unmarked. Book Condition: New. DJ: New. Red boards and spine with bright black lettering on spine. 282 pp. The National Industry Recovery Act (1933) and National Labor Relations Act (1935) substantially improved the lot of most American workers by assuring their federally-mandated right to organize and engage in collective bargaining. Union Busting reveals a worker community-the Tri-State District (Southwest Missouri centering on Joplin, Southeast Kansas centering on Galena/Baxter Springs, and Northeast Oklahoma centering on Picher/ Commerce/Miami}-that was denied the benefits of that reform legislation. The Tri-State District had a history of intense, sustained anti-unionism understandably supported by mine owners, but, ironically, also supported by workers. When professional labor organizers entered the T ri-State District under the aegis of the New Deal labor legislation, mine owners were confused and uncertain. Worker plight was exacerbated by the suffocating effect of the Great Depression and drastically reduced employment opportunities in the district. Union Busting poignantly presents the strife that followed. Operators countered by forming a "company union," the Tri-State Metal Mine and Smelter Workers Union. They served as union officers, formed their worker-members into "pick-handle brigades," and mounted a successful back-to-work movement. The resultant violence led the governors of Kansas and Oklahoma to break the strike by ordering national guard companies to protect returning workers.This saga of labor-management strife is cast in readable prose and comprises a useful account of successful thwarting of the federal will in an isolated segment of the nation's industrial establishment. A clean new copy. Bookseller Inventory # 003456

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Union Busting in the Tri-State; The Oklahoma...

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK

Publication Date: 1986

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


Throughout the 1920s and 30s, the Tri-State Mining District of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri was the world's leading producer of lead and zinc concentrates. Traditionally, the Tri-State had been a nonunion district, but in the early 1930s the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers organized seven locals there. Unable to gain recognition from the mining and milling companies as the exclusive bargaining agent for the district workers, union officials called a strike in May 1935, a strike that completely shut down operations and left thousands of men unemployed in the midst of the Great Depression. In this book Suggs examines the Tri-State metal workers' strike as a microcosm of the many currents of change affecting labor in the watershed years of the thirties. The walkout of the metal workers failed to generate a great deal of national interest, although their strike was as tempestuous as the more publicized walkouts elsewhere. Like the others, it provoked mass demonstrations, a back-to-work movement, military intervention by the national guards of two states, the emergence of a strongly supported company union, subtle and overt intimidation of the striking workers, destruction of property, a bloody shoot-out and brawls, charges of communist leadership, and federal intervention under the prolabor laws of the new Deal. The strike involved thousands of workers and dramatic episodes of violence, but it was largely ignored by the news media because of the physical remoteness of the district and the labor unrest then occurring in more populous industrial centers. Based on extensive research in the records of the National Labor Relations Board, state historical societies, selected manuscript collections, state and federal documents, newspapers, interviews, correspondence, and secondary sources, the author has written a book important for what it tells about labor and management nationwide during the 30s and 40s.

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