- Cavanaugh, James A. “From the Bottom Up: Oral History and the United Packinghouse Workers of America”. International Journal of Oral History. 1988; 9(1):27-39.
- 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.
- Schneider, John D. and Theatre X. “The Line: The 1987-1989 Strike at the Patrick Cudahy Meat Packing Company”. Milwaukee, Wis.: Theatre X; 1996. 103 leaves .
Notes: A play; a copy of the play is available from the Milwaukee County Federated Library System (see OCLC #35817513).