Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers
Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (commonly known as the AA) was an American labor union
Trade union
A trade union, trades union or labor union is an organization of workers that have banded together to achieve common goals such as better working conditions. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with...

 formed in 1876 and which represented iron and steel workers. It partnered with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee
Steel Workers Organizing Committee
The Steel Workers Organizing Committee was one of two precursor labor organizations to the United Steelworkers. It was formed by the CIO in 1936. It disbanded in 1942 to become the United Steel Workers of America....

Congress of Industrial Organizations
The Congress of Industrial Organizations, or CIO, proposed by John L. Lewis in 1932, was a federation of unions that organized workers in industrial unions in the United States and Canada from 1935 to 1955. The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 required union leaders to swear that they were not...

, in November, 1935. Both organizations disbanded May 22, 1942, to form new organization, the United Steelworkers
United Steelworkers
The United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union is the largest industrial labor union in North America, with 705,000 members. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, U.S., the United Steelworkers represents workers in the United...


The Homestead strike

The Homestead strike
Homestead Strike
The Homestead Strike was an industrial lockout and strike which began on June 30, 1892, culminating in a battle between strikers and private security agents on July 6, 1892. It was one of the most serious disputes in U.S. labor history...

 was a major turning point for the union.

Carnegie placed strong anti-unionist Henry Clay Frick
Henry Clay Frick
Henry Clay Frick was an American industrialist, financier, and art patron. He founded the H. C. Frick & Company coke manufacturing company, was chairman of the Carnegie Steel Company, and played a major role in the formation of the giant U.S. Steel steel manufacturing concern...

 in charge of his company's operations in 1881. With the union's contract due to expire on June 30, 1892, Frick demanded a 22 percent wage decrease, then unilaterally announced that if an agreement was not reached he would no longer recognize the union.

Frick locked the workers out on June 29. The striking workers ringed the plant and patrolled the Monongahela River
Monongahela River
The Monongahela River is a river on the Allegheny Plateau in north-central West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania in the United States...

 (which ran alongside the mill) to prevent anyone from entering. Local sheriff's deputies failed to retake the plant on July 5.

Frick then sent 300 Pinkerton National Detective Agency
Pinkerton National Detective Agency
The Pinkerton National Detective Agency, usually shortened to the Pinkertons, is a private U.S. security guard and detective agency established by Allan Pinkerton in 1850. Pinkerton became famous when he claimed to have foiled a plot to assassinate president-elect Abraham Lincoln, who later hired...

 guards to seize the plant and re-open it on the night of July 5. The Pinkerton men were ordered to approach the plant from the river. But the strikers learned of the Pinkertons' arrival. The Pinkertons attempted to land about 4 a.m., and the crowd surged onto the Homestead plant grounds. A shot was fired, then both sides opened fire. Two workers and two Pinkertons died and dozens were wounded. The Pinkerton tug departed with the wounded agents, leaving the remaining agents stranded.

The strikers continued to sporadically fire on the stranded barges, and an attempt was made to sink the barges with a cannon. When the Pinkertons tried to disembark again at 8:00 a.m., a firefight broke out and four more strikers were killed. The strikers attempted to burn the barges several times during the day, but failed. At 5:00 p.m., the Pinkertons surrendered and were handed over to the sheriff.

On July 9, despite union claims that law and order had been restored, Governor Robert E. Pattison
Robert E. Pattison
Robert Emory Pattison was the 19th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1883 to 1887 and 1891 to 1895. Born at Quantico in Somerset County, Maryland, Pattison's family moved to Philadelphia when he was five. He practiced law from 1872 to 1877 and was elected Controller of the city of Philadelphia in 1880...

 ordered the state militia to seize the town. More than 8,000 militia arrived on July 12, and within 90 minutes company officials were back in their offices. Strike leaders were charged with conspiracy, riot, murder and treason.

The strike collapsed after an anarchist gained entrance to Frick's office and shot and stabbed him (although not mortally). Public support for the strike evaporated, and large numbers of strikers began crossing the picket line.

The AA was nearly bankrupted by the job action, and voted to return to work on November 20, 1892. In February 1893, the company and the union agreed to drop the charges filed against one another.

1901 organizing drive at U.S. Steel

The Homestead strike affected the AA nationwide. The Joliet Iron and Steel Company
Joliet Iron and Steel Company
Joliet Iron and Steel Company was a steel manufacturer located in Joliet, Illinois.The Union Coal, Iron and Transportation Company was founded in 1869. In 1873, it was reorganized into the Joliet Iron and Steel Company. In 1889 the company became part of Illinois Steel Company.The Joliet Works of...

, the Jones and Laughlin Steel Company
Jones and Laughlin Steel Company
The earliest foundations of Jones and Laughlin Steel Company were the American Iron Company, founded in 1851 by Bernard Lauth, and B. F. Jones founded in 1852a few miles south of Pittsburgh along the Monongahela River. Lauth's interest was bought in 1854 by James H. Laughlin...

, the St. Louis Wire Mill Company, the Edgar Thomson works and the Duquesne works all refused to sign contracts with the AA while the Homestead labor action lingered. A deepening in 1889 of the Long Depression led most steel companies to seek wage decreases similar to those imposed at Homestead.

In 1893, Carnegie defeated an AA union drive at the Duquesne steelworks. In 1885, Carnegie ousted the AA at the Edgar Thomson works.

An organizing drive at the Homestead plant in 1896 was crushed by Frick. In May 1899, 300 Homestead workers actually formed a lodge, but Frick ordered the Homestead works shut down and the unionization effort collapsed. Carnegie Steel remained nonunion.

De-unionization efforts throughout the Midwest began in 1897 when Jones and Laughlin Steel refused to sign a contract. By 1900, not a single steel plant in Pennsylvania remained union. The AA presence in Ohio and Illinois continued for a few more years, but the union continued to collapse. Many lodges disbanded, their members disillusioned. Others were easily broken in short, desultory battles. Carnegie Steel's Mingo Junction, Ohio
Mingo Junction, Ohio
Mingo Junction is a village in Jefferson County, Ohio, United States, along the Ohio River. The population was 3,631 at the 2000 census. In 1900, its only manufacturing plant was a steel mill owned by Carnegie Steel Company...

 plant was the last major unionized steel mill, in the north and east, but it, too, broke the AA and withdrew recognition in 1903. There was however a medium sized mill in Granite City, IL (Granite City Steel) that continued to have active AA lodges from the late 1890's until SWOC was founded. This plant became part of National Steel Corp. until its assets were sold to US Steel in bankruptcy. The Granite City plant remains the oldest operating integrated mill in North America (an probably in the Western Hemisphere).

Search for growth

AA membership sagged to 10,000 in 1894 from its high of over 24,000 in 1891. A year later, it was down to 8,000. By 1909, it had sunk to 6,300.

The collapse of the AA in the steel industry was due not only to the shock of the loss at Homestead, but by changing conditions in the steel industry. So long as steel, like iron smelting, remained a craft-like endeavor, the AA—with the allegiance of each plant's skilled worker
Skilled worker
A skilled worker is any worker who has some special skill, knowledge, or ability in their work. A skilled worker may have attended a college, university or technical school. Or, a skilled worker may have learned their skills on the job...

s—could control the industry. But as the steel industry mechanized, the skills needed to manufacture steel shrank. Inexperienced workers could learn the unskilled work quickly. Steel manufacturers also realized that having multi-plant operations meant that production could continue if the union struck a particular facility.

Although the AA lost nearly all its members in the steel industry, the union continued to maintain its presence in the iron industry.

The AA looked for growth, however, in the tin industry, which still required skilled workers. By 1900, the union had organized 75 percent of the sheet metal mills and all but one of the tin mills in the country. That year, the union changed its named to the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers.

Crisis of the trusts

But the AA seriously misjudged both the economics of the tin industry. A sheet metal trust formed in 1900 which brought nonunion plants into competition with the AA's unionized facilities at the American Sheet Steel Company. The company refused to recognize the AA and idled union plants while keeping nonunion works running at full speed.

The formation of the U.S. Steel
U.S. Steel
The United States Steel Corporation , more commonly known as U.S. Steel, is an integrated steel producer with major production operations in the United States, Canada, and Central Europe. The company is the world's tenth largest steel producer ranked by sales...

 trust in 1901 threatened the AA with ruin. The trust incorporated plants of the American Tin Plate Co. into U.S Steel. If the AA was to save its existing locals at American Tin Plate and American Sheet Steel, it had to organize all the plants of U.S. Steel. But before an organizing drive could get under way, U.S. Steel's tin plate subsidiary withdrew recognition from the AA and refused to bargain at unionized plants. The independent American Sheet Steel did the same.

Recognition strike at U.S. Steel

The AA tried to organize U.S. Steel by staging a recognition strike
U.S. Steel Recognition Strike of 1901
The U.S. Steel Recognition Strike of 1901 was an attempt by the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers to reverse its declining fortunes and organize large numbers of new members. The strike failed....

. U.S. Steel executives pressured American Sheet Steel executives into recognizing the AA at most Sheet Steel plants on July 13, 1901. But AA president T.J. Shaffer rejected the deal because it did not cover all American Sheet Steel plants.

U.S. Steel president J.P. Morgan then backed out of the deal.

The strike failed. U.S. Steel and American Sheet Steel workers refused to leave work, both companies hired thousands of strikebreakers, and the AFL refused to support the AA financially or organizationally. The strike against U.S. Steel ended on September 14.

Aftermath of the U.S. Steel strike

The AA never recovered from the U.S. Steel strike. It turned strongly conservative, hoping through submissiveness and cooperation to maintain its few remaining contracts. U.S. Steel slowly dismantled AA unions in its plants.

The puddlers in the union's ironworker locals attempted to secede in 1907. Angered at the union's decline and the way national leaders ignored their interests, the puddlers had retained membership throughout the battles with Carnegie and U.S. Steel. Adopting their old Sons of Vulcan name, about 1,250 of the AA's 2,250 puddlers left the union. But the secession did not last. The Sons of Vulcan won recognition from the Lockhart Iron and Steel Company of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania
McKees Rocks, also known as "The Rocks", is a borough in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, along the south bank of the Ohio River. The borough population was 6,104 at the 2010 census.In the past, it was known for its extensive iron and steel interests...

. But when the new union demanded a massive wage hike in 1910, the union was forced to strike. After the successful strike, fights broke out between returning union members and strikebreakers who had stayed in the plant. The company slowly replaced all the strikers. Weakened, the Sons of Vulcan soon lost recognition at Youngstown Sheet and Tube, and at the A.M. Byers ironworks. The secessionists slowly drifted back into the AA.

On June 1, 1909, U.S. Steel finally withdrew recognition of the AA at the 12 remaining unionized mills. While the union's larger locals, such as those at Youngstown Sheet and Tube
Youngstown Sheet and Tube
The Youngstown Iron Sheet and Tube Company, based in Youngstown, Ohio, was one of the largest steel manufacturers in the world. Officially, the company was created on November 23, 1900, when Articles of Incorporation of the Youngstown Iron Sheet and Tube Company were filed with the Ohio Secretary...

 and the LaBelle Iron Works, disbanded without a fight, most of the union's smaller affiliates fought back. A strike was called. The AFL began a national campaign to publicize dangerous working conditions in the company's plants and the monopolistic nature of the trust. U.S. Steel aggressively countered, breaking up union meetings with hired thugs, driving organizers out of town, bringing in strikebreakers and shifting production to other plants. Although the AA flirted with bankruptcy, donations from other unions kept it afloat. The strike dragged on for 14 months, and was broken in December 1910.

In 1911, the AA was unable to win wage increases among independent steel employers to match those unilaterally bestowed by U.S. Steel.

The depression of 1915 forced sizeable wage decreases on the union. The union, which had once organized nearly every tin and sheet metal plant in the country, now could count less than one-fifth under contract. Once the largest affiliate of the AFL, now the AA numbered a mere 6,500 members.

Blacklisting of union members and supporters and the common use of yellow-dog contract
Yellow-dog contract
A yellow-dog contract is an agreement between an employer and an employee in which the employee agrees, as a condition of employment, not to be a member of a labor union...

s became widespread, hindering the union.

Post-war activism

Faced with declining membership, the AA amended its constitution in 1910 and offered membership to all iron and steel workers. Few took the union up on its offer.

In 1909, AA president P.J. McArdle won approval for an AFL organizing drive at U.S. Steel, but the drive never got off the ground.

During World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, the AA saw some limited growth. The AFL formed a National Committee for Organizing the Iron and Steel Workers to take advantage of worker restiveness. More than 15 AFL unions participated in the committee, while 24 claimed jurisdiction over portions of the steel industry. John Fitzpatrick
John Fitzpatrick (unionist)
John Fitzpatrick was an Irish-born American trade union leader. He is best remembered as the longtime head of the powerful Chicago Federation of Labor from 1906 until his death in 1946.-Early years:...

 and William Z. Foster
William Z. Foster
William Foster was a radical American labor organizer and Marxist politician, whose career included a lengthy stint as General Secretary of the Communist Party USA...

 of the Chicago Federation of Labor
Chicago Federation of Labor
The Chicago Federation of Labor is an umbrella organization for unions in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It is a subordinate body of the AFL-CIO, and as of 2011 has about 320 affiliated member unions representing half a million union members in Cook County....

 became the committee leaders. But the organizing drive was hampered by the refusal of many of the participating unions to provide resources and support, and by the committee's lack of a mechanism to enforce jurisdictional agreements and requisition funds.

A shoving match between the AFL and the steel companies led to the next major push to organize the steel industry.

1919 steel strike

Shortly after Armistice Day
Armistice Day
Armistice Day is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day...

, AFL organizers in and around Pittsburgh began to be harassed. The anti-union pressure quickly spread to the Midwest and West.

The AFL pushed back with a national strike
Steel strike of 1919
The Steel Strike of 1919 was an attempt by the weakened Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers to organize the United States steel industry in the wake of World War I. The strike began on September 22, 1919, and collapsed on January 8, 1920.The AA had formed in 1876. It was a...

. On April 1, 1919, miners in Pennsylvania struck to demand that local officials allow union meetings, and frightened town mayors soon issued meeting permits. The success of the miners' strike led the AA to hold a strike referendum in August in which 98 percent of its members favored a general steelworker strike to begin September 22.

The September strike shut down half the steel industry.

But the owners quickly turned public opinion against the AFL. A Red Scare
First Red Scare
In American history, the First Red Scare of 1919–1920 was marked by a widespread fear of Bolshevism and anarchism. Concerns over the effects of radical political agitation in American society and alleged spread in the American labor movement fueled the paranoia that defined the period.The First Red...

 had swept the United States in the wake of the Russian revolution of October 1917. The steel companies took advantange of the change in the political climate, publishing articles exposing Foster's past as a Wobblie and syndicalist
Syndicalism is a type of economic system proposed as a replacement for capitalism and an alternative to state socialism, which uses federations of collectivised trade unions or industrial unions...

. The steel companies also played heavily on nativist
Nativism (politics)
Nativism favors the interests of certain established inhabitants of an area or nation as compared to claims of newcomers or immigrants. It may also include the re-establishment or perpetuation of such individuals or their culture....

 hatreds and implied that immigrant steelworkers were communists
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...


The use of state-sponsored violence against the union was widespread. President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

's stroke, however, prevented federal officials from meeting steelmakers' demands to use federal troops to put down the strike. State and local authorities did intervene, and encouraged the use of widespread violence against the union. State militia violence was so bad that the U.S. Army was forced to occupy Gary, Indiana
Gary, Indiana
Gary is a city in Lake County, Indiana, United States. The city is in the southeastern portion of the Chicago metropolitan area and is 25 miles from downtown Chicago. The population is 80,294 at the 2010 census, making it the seventh-largest city in the state. It borders Lake Michigan and is known...


Steel companies turned toward strikebreaking and rumor-mongering to break the strike. Tens of thousands of African American and Mexican workers were brought in as strikebreakers, and many racist white steelworkers returned to work to stop minorities from taking their jobs.

The AFL refused to contribute funds or staff to support the strike. By November, most AA local affiliates had collapsed.

The Steel strike of 1919 collapsed on January 8, 1920. AA officials begged the National Committee to approve a unilateral return to work, but National Committee members voted to keep the strike going. The AA withdrew from the National Committee, and the organizing effort and strike ended.

New Deal organizing

By mid-1933, the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 and conservative leadership had left the AA with only 5,000 members and less than $30,000 in the bank. Union president Michael F. Tighe, 76, was referred to as 'Grandmother' due to his advanced age and timidity.

Passage of the National Industrial Recovery Act
National Industrial Recovery Act
The National Industrial Recovery Act , officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 The National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), officially known as the Act of June 16, 1933 (Ch. 90, 48 Stat. 195, formerly...

 on June 16, 1933 sparked widespread union organizing throughout the country. Even the AA attempted to organize workers. An organizing drive at Jones and Laughlin Steel saw more than 6,000 workers sign membership cards. A similar drive at the U.S. Steel works in nearby Duquesne in late 1933 enrolled one-quarter of the mill's unskilled workforce, mostly immigrants and blacks.

The AA's membership rose to more than 150,000 by February 1934. Nearly one in two steelworkers had signed a union authorization card (although they had not become dues-paying members).

Strike activity, too, soared. Steel strikes affected the same proportion of the industry as strikes did strikes in the rubber and auto industries. The number of striking steel workers jumped from none in 1932 to 34,000 in 1933. Roughly 75 percent of the workers were fighting for recognition of their union.

Tighe denounced the strikes and resented the way new members seized control of the lodges.

Rank and File Movement

In 1934, an opposition group known as the Rank and File Movement formed within the AA. A number of militant local affiliates had sprung up across the nation or had joined existing lodges in large enough numbers to elect their own, militant leaders. The locals coalesced into the Rank and File Movement and challenged the conservative leadership to act, demanding that the AA reorganize along industrial union lines. At the AA national convention in late April, the Rank and File Movement forced through a resolution which committed the international to a nationwide strike on June 16, 1934, if the major steel employers did not recognize the union in every plant.

Meanwhile, the federal regulatory scheme under which the AA had been organizing began to collapse. The National Labor Board
National Labor Board
The National Labor Board was an independent agency of the United States Government established on August 5, 1933 to handle labor disputes arising under the National Industrial Recovery Act .-Establishment, structure and procedures:...

 (NLB), which attempted to enforce Section 7(a) of the NIRA, lacked the powers necessary to enforce the act, and employers had begun to ignore the Board and violate the law. Senator Robert F. Wagner
Robert F. Wagner
Robert Ferdinand Wagner I was an American politician. He was a Democratic U.S. Senator from New York from 1927 to 1949.-Origin and early life:...

, co-author of the NIRA, had begun to write new legislation in the fall of 1933 to more fully lay out the rights of workers in the U.S. and establish a new agency to enforce these rights. Wagner introduced his legislation on March 1, 1934.

Simultaneously, a fight was brewing between the United Auto Workers
United Auto Workers
The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, better known as the United Auto Workers , is a labor union which represents workers in the United States and Puerto Rico, and formerly in Canada. Founded as part of the Congress of Industrial...

 (UAW) and the auto industry. The UAW had organized nearly 50,000 auto workers in 1933, but the auto manufacturers had refused to recognize the union, established company unions and rejected the NLB's call for mediation. Roosevelt had personally intervened in the dispute. In an agreement applauded by the AFL, Roosevelt stripped the NLB of its jurisdiction over the auto industry and established a separate Automobile Labor Board.

The March 1934 auto industry agreement paved the way for new legislation which did away with the toothless NLB, but which only worsened the problems of the labor movement. With the steel strike deadline approaching, the steel industry was gearing up for war with the AA. But the Wagner bill, which might have averted a strike by establishing stronger protections for workers, had little chance of passing. Again Roosevelt intervened. He called a conference at the White House on June 12 at which AFL president William Green was one of the attendees. A compromise bill was hammered out which authorized the president to create one or more new labor boards to enforce Section 7(a) by conducting investigations, subpoenaing evidence and witnesses, holding elections and issuing enforcement orders.

At a special convention of the AA on June 13, Green convinced the AA to call the strike off. The Rank and File Movement's inadequate organization, the obstructionist policies of the Amalgamated's national leadership, strong opposition from the steel industry and the promise of enhanced governmental protection cut the legs out from the nascent organizing drive. Tighe exacted his revenge: Throughout the rest of the year, he suspended locals that called for aggressive action.

AFL attempts to organize

At its annual convention in San Francisco in October 1934, Green called for an organizing campaign in the steel industry. But no organizing drive in steel emerged. Only Green and two other AFL vice presidents supported the plan, the AFL executive council voted to initiate a joint organizing drive similar to the failed 1919 campaign.

By early 1935, what little organizing the AA had exhibited in the steel industry melted away. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the NIRA on constitutional ground on May 27, 1935, the AFL's organizing drive collapsed.

Merger with SWOC

Other events swiftly overtook the AA. The National Labor Relations Act
National Labor Relations Act
The National Labor Relations Act or Wagner Act , is a 1935 United States federal law that limits the means with which employers may react to workers in the private sector who create labor unions , engage in collective bargaining, and take part in strikes and other forms of concerted activity in...

 was signed into law by President Roosevelt on July 5, 1935. Committee for Industrial Organization
Congress of Industrial Organizations
The Congress of Industrial Organizations, or CIO, proposed by John L. Lewis in 1932, was a federation of unions that organized workers in industrial unions in the United States and Canada from 1935 to 1955. The Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 required union leaders to swear that they were not...

 (CIO) formed within the AFL on November 8, 1935.

The CIO wanted to start a steel organizing campaign. But John L. Lewis
John L. Lewis
John Llewellyn Lewis was an American leader of organized labor who served as president of the United Mine Workers of America from 1920 to 1960...

 and the CIO did not wish to leave the AFL, however, so the CIO resolved to work through the AA instead. The CIO attempted to push a steelworker industrial organizing plan for the AA through the January 1936 AFL executive council meeting, but the plan was rejected.

The CIO subverted the AA from within. John Brophy
John Brophy (labor)
John Brophy was an important figure in the United Mine Workers of America in the 1920s and the Congress of Industrial Organizations in the 1930s and 1940s. He was the last major challenger to John L...

, the newly-hired organizing director of the CIO, was able to infiltrate the AA convention and proposed that the delegates accept the CIO's offer. The delegates agreed to appoint a committee to study the proposal.

Tighe sent AA international secretary Louis Leonard
Louis Leonard
Louis Leonard is an American football defensive tackle who is currently a free agent. He was signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He played college football at Fresno State....

 to consult with Green, but Green could not match the CIO's offer. Lewis made it clear that the CIO would move ahead with an organizing drive in the steel industry with or without the AA. Confronted with a choice between irrelvance or collusion, AA officials accepted the CIO proposal, affiliated with the CIO on June 4, and agreed to make the AA an administrative unit of CIO's Steel Workers Organizing Committee
Steel Workers Organizing Committee
The Steel Workers Organizing Committee was one of two precursor labor organizations to the United Steelworkers. It was formed by the CIO in 1936. It disbanded in 1942 to become the United Steel Workers of America....

 (SWOC). SWOC was formally announced in Pittsburgh on June 7, 1936. Green was outraged, the AFL suspended the 10 unions which belonged to the CIO in November 1936. Philip Murray
Philip Murray
Philip Murray was a Scottish born steelworker and an American labor leader. He was the first president of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee , the first president of the United Steelworkers of America , and the longest-serving president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations .-Early...

 was appointed director of SWOC, and ran the organization (and union) until his death in 1952.

The AA under SWOC

For the next six years, the AA remained inactive within SWOC. It issued charters and approved contracts for existing lodges, but let SWOC handle all matters regarding organizing and to negotiate contracts on behalf of new locals.

SWOC and the AA were disbanded at a convention held in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland is a city in the U.S. state of Ohio and is the county seat of Cuyahoga County, the most populous county in the state. The city is located in northeastern Ohio on the southern shore of Lake Erie, approximately west of the Pennsylvania border...

 on May 22, 1942. A new organization, the United Steel Workers of America
United Steelworkers
The United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union is the largest industrial labor union in North America, with 705,000 members. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, U.S., the United Steelworkers represents workers in the United...

 (USWA), was founded. Philip Murray was named president. David J. McDonald
David J. McDonald
David John McDonald was an American labor leader and president of the United Steelworkers of America from 1952 to 1965.-Early life:...

, Murray's long-time aide at SWOC, was appointed the first secretary-treasurer of the USWA.

For further reading

  • Wright, Carroll D. "The National Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers, 1892-1901," Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Nov., 1901), pp. 37-68 in JSTOR
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