Although the Memorial Day massacre was a horrifying event, the struggle of the steelworkers has left an indelible mark on our society today. May 30, 1937 SWOC held a meeting at Sam’s place (Which was the headquarters; now the union hall of the Steel Workers Association) to have a meeting discussing their issues. This was during the little steel riots—a time when rebellion and corruption were companions with business. Ironically however, U.S steel did in fact sign the union contract while the smaller companies did not. It was this inaction of recognition that spurred the anger of the workers. According to a document by Howard Fast’s, Tom Girdler (head of Republic steel) claimed “he would go back to hoeing potatoes before he met the striker’s demands”. The workers put together their signs and began their march toward Republic steel to picket the company. A few blocks down a small army of police, with trigger-happy hands, stopped them. The worker argued their rights to the police, while the police replied back with harsh words. They yelled things like “you got no rights” and “disperse you rebel bastards”. For some indistinct reason a shot was fired from a debatable side followed by multiple shots from cops. As the people fled they were pursued and brutally attacked with clubs, and batons. The captives were taken and put inside patrol wagons where they were taken to hospitals—some dying once arrived.
After this event Roosevelt or any other form of authority punished the police officers for their actions. Instead Roosevelt put the blame on both parties with his “plague on both your houses” comment. Despite this, due to World War Two, riots had ceased for the next decade or so; this was because the CIO authorized a wartime no-strike pledge. In the aftermath of the massacre, SWOC would later become the United Steel Workers of America (USW) in 1942. The CIO would also reunify with the American Federation of Workers (AFL) in 1955. For that time until the 1970’s to 1980’s, they supported American capitalism and imperialism to abide by their social contract. After the U.S industry stopped dominating world markets, the AFL-CIO was used for mass layoffs and wage cuts. According to the document, this anti-working class policy is used to destroy capitalism globally and. This can be seen in the wall street crash of 2008, in which the stock market and capitalism took a big hit. Also the author claims trade unions are “collaborating in a social counterrevolution aimed at eradicating all of the gains won by the working class.” Ultimately, the Memorial Day massacre was an example of how those who are suppose to be supporting the workers instead turns on them and relentlessly attacks them. Eugene Debs said, “I would not be a Moses to lead the Promised Land, because if I could lead you into it, someone else could lead out of it.” The Memorial Day massacre was a message to the working class to be independent and politically active, because no one else is going to do it for them.