Summary Information
Title: United Steelworkers of America Dues Protest Committee Scrapbook
Collection Number: AIS.1997.43
Creator: United Steelworkers of America. Dues Protest Committee.

Collection Dates: 1956-1957
Extent: 0.21 linear feet (1 box)

Language: English

Abstract:
At the 1956 convention of the United Steelworkers of America, a two dollar per month increase in dues was proposed and met with revolt by some of the delegates from Pittsburgh area locals. The issue spilled over into the 1957 international union election which saw opposition candidates from a Dues Protest Committee, many of which came from the union’s rank and file membership, attempt to oust the current officers. This collection consists of a scrapbook documenting the fallout of the United Steelworkers of America 1956 convention and its 1957 international union election.
Publisher:

ULS Archives Service Center
University of Pittsburgh Library System
7500 Thomas Boulevard
Pittsburgh, PA, 15260
412-648-3232
archives-ref@mail.pitt.edu
Date Published:

May 2011
Author:

Finding aid prepared by Zachary Brodt.
History

At the 1956 convention of the United Steelworkers of America, a two dollar per month increase in dues was proposed and met with revolt by some of the delegates from Pittsburgh area locals. In response to the increase, a Dues Protest Committee was established making McKeesport, Pennsylvania, its national headquarters. USW International President David McDonald initially attempted to end the revolt by claiming that it was unconstitutional on the grounds of creating duel unionism within the USW; however, the revolt leaders refused to back down. The issue spilled over into the 1957 international union election which saw opposition candidates from the Dues Protest Committee, many of which came from the union’s rank and file membership, attempt to oust the current officers. This marked the first time in the union’s history that there was an opponent to the incumbent president, McDonald having been named president by the USW executive board after the death of founding president, Philip Murray, in 1952. Although all but one of the candidates from the Dues Protest Committee lost in the election, the surprising number of votes received by presidential candidate and committee leader Donald Rarick sent a strong message to USW leaders that an enraged rank and file faction could lead to change and uprising within the international union.


Collection Scope and Content Notes

This collection consists of a scrapbook documenting the fallout of the United Steelworkers of America 1956 convention and its 1957 international union election. Included are open letters to steelworkers from the dues protest slate, which ran in opposition of the incumbent union officers. Also present are sample ballots and campaign materials for some candidates, with particular emphasis on District 15, which included Homestead, McKeesport and Duquesne, Pennsylvania. Clippings from Pittsburgh area newspapers detail the uprising with reports from the 1956 convention through the 1957 election results, as well as Senate investigations into labor union corruption. A copy of the scrapbook is also present.


Subject Terms

Topics
  • Iron and steel workers -- Labor unions -- Elections
  • Labor unions -- United States -- Elections

Corporate Names
  • United Steelworkers of America. Constitutional Convention. (8th : 1956 : Los Angeles, Calif.)
  • United Steelworkers of America. Dues Protest Committee.
  • United Steelworkers of America.
  • United Steelworkers of America. -- Elections

Personal Names
  • McDonald, David J. (David John), 1902-1979
  • Rarick, Donald

Genres/Forms
  • Clippings (Information artifacts)
  • Scrapbooks

Category
  • Labor

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Ed White on January 25, 1997.

Preferred Citation:

United Steelworkers of America Dues Protest Committee Scrapbook, 1956-1957, AIS.1997.43, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Zachary Brodt in April 2011.

Copyright:

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Related Material:

United Steelworkers of America Local 1397 (Homestead, Pa.) Records, 1937-1972, AIS.1993.17, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

United Steelworkers of America Local 1272 Minute Books, 1937-1988, AIS.2000.09, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

United Steelworkers of America Local 1843 Records, 1937-1999, AIS.2000.05, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh


Collection Inventory

Box 1
Volume 1 Dues Protest Committee Scrapbook, 1956-1957
Volume 2 Copy of Dues Protest Committee Scrapbook, 1956-1957