Working Class USA: The Power and the Movement

By Gus Hall | Go to book overview

chapter 3 fresh winds The Class Struggle Today

Beat the Steel Crisis Save Every Job

[ From: "Beat The Steel Crisis! Save Every Job!" speech made in Youngstown, Ohio, 1977 -- slightly abridged.]

COMING TO YOUNGSTOWN IS COMING BACK HOME. BUT THIS TIME, because of the closing of steel plants and the laying off of steelworkers, it feels like coming back to visit and help an old friend that is ailing.

But let me say: Mahoning Valley,1 like Buffalo, Bethlehem and other steel centers, is not terminally ill. There are effective remedies. The ailments can be cured.

For the 60,000 permanently laid off steelworkers and the quarter million members of their families, for the construction workers, service sector workers and for small-business people in these steel communities life has turned into a disaster, a nightmare. For those who are able to collect unemployment benefits or still have some savings, the full impact of this disaster is like waiting for a flood to crest before relief arrives. Like all crises, these tragic developments in the steel industry are a moment of truth for all institutions and organizations.

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