Working Class USA: The Power and the Movement

By Gus Hall | Go to book overview

chapter 1 takes a fight to win
The Rise of Industrial Trade Unionism

Building the Union in Steel: Thirty Years of Struggle

[From: "Thirty Years of Struggle for a Steelworkers' Union and a Workingclass Ideology," Political Affairs, September, 1949 -- slightly abridged; written in prison while serving a sentence for protesting Judge Harold Medina's gag rules.]

PRISONS AND JAILS ARE SO MUCH A PART OF THE HISTORY OF THE class struggle in the United States that my surroundings here at the Federal Detention Prison are truly appropriate for the writing of this article on the struggles of the steelworkers.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of two major landmarks in American labor history. It is 30 years since the founding of the Communist Party, USA, and 30 years since the first successful organizing campaign of the steelworkers and the Great Steel Strike of 1919.

It is not an accident that these two anniversaries coincide. For it was the same working class that had attained a new ma-

-65-

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