1. Holter, Darryl. “The Sources of CIO Success: The New Deal Years in Milwaukee”. Labor History. 1988; 29(2):199-224.
  1. “Wisconsin’s ‘Labor Disputes’ Files, 1937-1939: A Profile of State Intervention in Labor Relations”. Labor’s Heritage. 1989; 1(4):46-57.
  1. Jamieson, Stuart. Labor Unionism in American Agriculture. Washington, D.C.: United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; 1945. 457 p. (Bulletin; no. 836). Notes: A detailed report describing unionization efforts in agriculture throughout the entire United States from about 1910 to 1940; for details on the situation in Wisconsin, see Chapter 21, “Farm-Labor Unionism in the Great Lakes Region” (p. 373-395).The author reports on “the combinations of circumstances that gave rise to organized labor-employer conflicts in agriculture; the types of farming and the changes in farm structure and labor relations that tended to generate such conflict; the issues over which the labor disputes on farms occurred, and the tactics of group pressure and combat employed by the contending parties; the reactions of nominally neutral or disinterested groups in rural communities to farm labor unions and strikes, and the degree to which their reactions were influenced or governed by economic interest, social status, cultural tradition, or politico-legal considerations” (p. 1). The organizing efforts by the American Federation of Labor, the Industrial Workers of the World, and the Congress of Industrial Organization are all examined.
  2. Miller, Eugene. “Leo Krzycki–Polish American Labor Leader”. Polish American Studies. 1976 Autumn; 33(2):[52]-64. Notes: Leo Krzycki was born in 1881 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and made his home there his entire life, while rising to national prominence as a talented, effective union organizer in the garment industry and serving as a vice-president with Sidney Hillman’s Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (A.C.W.A.). This article discusses Krzycki’s entire life and career from his early recollections of the 1886 Bay View Massacre (part of the national struggle in the movement to win an eight-hour work day) through his death on January 22, 1966.Krzycki’s first union involvement began, when at age fifteen “he led a group of young press tenders out on an unsuccessful strike at a local lithography plant” (p. 53). After a period of having been blacklisted as a result of that strike, he eventually returned to lithography work in Milwaukee and from 1904 until 1908 was general vice-president of the Lithographic Press Feeders Union, an affiliate of the American Federation of Labor. His work with the A.C.W.A. began in 1910 and lasted until his retirement in 1948. His formidable oratorical skills were frequently used in the organizing campaigns of the Congress of Industrial Organizations, especially in their steel, automobile, rubber, and packing house drives. In addition, Krzycki several times served as a representative of American labor at international labor conferences.
  3. Rees, Jonathan. “Caught in the Middle: The Seizure and Occupation of the Cudahy Brothers Company, 1944-1945”. Wisconsin Magazine of History. 1995 Spring; 78(3):200-218. Notes: During World War II, the U.S. federal government played an increased role in the collective bargaining relationship between employers and employees, in order to assure that there were no breaks in production identified as necessary for the war effort. One such intervention involved the Cudahy Brothers Company meatpacking plant in Cudahy, Wisconsin (a small town just south of Milwaukee, Wisconsin) and the United Packinghouse Workers of America Local 40, a union affiliated with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). This interesting article details just one instance of many in which the U.S. government could not rely exclusively on the voluntary compliance of some individual businessowners with the nation’s wartime production policies and found that it had to seize a company in order to ensure continued production essential to the war effort.With national labor leaders having made a “no-strike” pledge when the U.S. entered the war, the federal government in return undertook for the duration of the war “a series of government concessions involving organizing and contract enforcement” (p. 205). The Cudahy Brothers Company objected to such protections and from the first resisted the government’s war labor provisions through legal manuvers. Finally, on December 8, 1944, the U.S. Army (as authorized by the U.S. Secretary of War) took possession of the entire operation of the Cudahy Brothers Company and then continued to oversee the company’s running of the plant until August 31, 1945, just two days before the official surrender of the Japanese. The immediate dispute which led to the government seizure involved two key contract proposals–one for language regarding a maintenance-of-membership agreement and the other for language providing for a dues checkoff system; although these were standard components in the government-supervised agreements during the Second World War, Michael Cudahy, president of the company, refused to sign a contract containing those provisions.
  4. Uphoff, Walter H. Kohler on Strike: Thirty Years of Conflict. Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press; 1966. 449 p. Notes: The Kohler Company, the well-known maker of plumbing fixtures, and its company town of Kohler, Wisconsin (located in Sheboygan County) were the focus of two long and bitter strikes from 1934 to 1941 and from 1954 to 1960. This history takes a carefully-documented look at the issues involved in prompting the strikes and why the dispute dragged on for such lengthy periods. Eventually, the labor conflict, perhaps the longest in U.S. history, was only resolved in 1965 when the Kohler company, after losing its appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court, agreed to a $3,000,000 back-pay settlement to the Kohler workers involved in the second strike, in return for their union dropping the unfair labor practice charges before the National Labor Relations Board which had been brought against the company.The Kohler labor conflict began soon after the passage in 1933 of the federal National Industrial Relations Act (N.I.R.A.), which was designed to make it easier for employees to win union representation; the N.I.R.A. was part of the “New Deal” legislation passed during the first one hundred days of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first administration. Although the paternalistic Kohler Company was determined to continue to maintain their workplace as an open shop, the Kohler employees soon organized and affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, receiving a charter in August 1933 as Federal Labor Union No. 18545 (F.L.U. No. 18545). The Kohler company responded by assisting in the start-up on September 7, 1933 of a company union, the Kohler Workers Association (K.W.A.), and used delaying tactics over several months of talks with F.L.U. No. 18545 to prevent the union from achieving a contract with the company. On July 16, 1934, after much fruitless bargaining, F.L.U. No. 18545 went on strike. After eleven days on strike, there was a violent confrontation on the night of July 27, 1934 between the strikers and the many ‘Kohler Special Police’ deputies, who were armed with clubs and guns. Forty-seven strikers were injured in the incident from either buckshot or bullets and two strikers were fatally shot; five women were among the injured. The strike carried on until 1941 when the Kohler company suddenly “settled” because the company wanted to participate in the government war contracts during the Second World War; the company knew that, if they wanted to put up the new facilitlies required to handle the expanded war work, they had to have labor peace at their workplace, since construction workers would not cross a union picket line to work on a construction project. Although the strike settlement included a provision to re-hire all of the striking employees, through the strategem of a secret proviso, three of the strike leaders were kept from any further company employment; the settlement agreement also explicitly withheld recognition of any union to represent the Kohler workers and F.L.U. No. 18545 became inoperative.Between the two strikes the Kohler Workers Association (the company union), continued as an organization and did win some improvements in the workplace for the employees, but Kohler company officials were deciding most matters for the K.W.A. By the early 1950s the leadership of the K.W.A. began looking to affiliate with an independent union organization. The K.W.A. membership voted in late April 1952 to affiliate with the United Auto Workers-Congress of Industrial Organization (U.A.W.-C.I.O.) and received their charter as U.A.W.-C.I.O. Kohler Workers Association Local 833 on May 5, 1952; the legitimacy of the local was confirmed with an election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board on June 10 and 11, 1952. Shortly thereafter, some members of the K.W.A. company union, who had opposed the U.A.W.-C.I.O. affiliation, formed a new company union, the Independent Union of Kohler Workers’ Association (I.U.K.W.A.), and filed a legal challenge to Local 833 having been given the treasury funds of the now defunct K.W.A., the original company union. After the I.U.K.W.A. lost its case about the membership funds before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the members of Local 833 voted on October 10, 1953 to modify its name to simply Kohler Local 833, U.A.W.-C.I.O., to reduce confusion with the I.U.K.W.A.

    By the end of February 1953, Local 833 had been able to get a first contract in place for the period covering March 1, 1953 to March 1, 1954. Negotiations for the second contract began in early February 1954, but fell apart a few weeks later over the issue of extending the old contract during the contract talks. On April 5, 1954, after working for five weeks without a contract, Local 833 went out on strike. No further summary here can possibly capture the riveting drama of the lengthy strike which ensued–find and read this book for the entire compelling story!

    Another edition: Uphoff, Walter Henry. Kohler on Strike: Thirty Years of Conflict. Boston, Mass.: Beacon Press, 1967. 450 p. (Beacon Paperback ; BP 274)