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AFL-CIO Convention Meeting in City Rich with Labor History

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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 01:47 PM
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AFL-CIO Convention Meeting in City Rich with Labor History /

by James Parks, Aug 23, 2009

The 26th AFL-CIO Convention, Sept. 13-17, will convene in a city rich with labor history. Pittsburgh is the birthplace of both the AFL and the CIO, as well as the United Steelworkers (USW), the Ironworkers and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM). It also is the site of two legendary strikesthe Homestead steel mill strike in 1892 and the U.S. Steel strike in the 1930s.

Labor historian Charlie McCollester writes in The Point of Pittsburgh:

workers and industries had produced incalculable volumes of coal, iron, steel and glass. Its inventors and laborers had been the first to refine oil, manufacture aluminum and create some of the primary mechanisms of electrical generation and distribution. In a stupendous effort, its mills and factories had been the arsenal of democracy, providing much of the muscle that made the United States of America the worlds most powerful nation.

This fresco at the St. Nicholas Croatian Church in Pittsburgh illustrates the wide diversity of mostly immigrant workers who came together to create the union movement.

Delegates and guests can view a map of labor history sites within walking distance from the David Lawrence Convention Center, where the convention is meeting. Click here to see the map.

One of the areas most famous struggles, the Homestead steel mill strike, took place after robber baron Andrew Carnegie assigned Henry Clay Frick the task of breaking the union. Seven workers and three Pinkertons were killed in a riverfront battle and the state militia crushed the strike.

FULL story at link.

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