Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Invitation to Republic Steel Memorial Day Massacre commemoration

April, 2013

RE: Invitation to attend the May 18th annual commemoration AND Request for donations

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

The United Steelworkers District 7 and our retiree organization, SOAR, are sponsoring the annual commemoration of the Memorial Day Massacre of 1937, on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at 2:00 pm at the George Washington High School, 3535 E. 114th St. in Chicago, just across the street from the scene of the 1937 events.

On Memorial Day 1937, 76 years ago, workers from the “Little Steel” mills of Chicago and Northwest Indiana were peacefully demonstrating at Republic Steel in South Chicago in an effort to gain recognition for their Union - the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, SWOC. Ten SWOC members and supporters were shot and killed, and numerous others, including women and children were wounded and injured for the right to form a Union. This tragic event has become known as the “Republic Steel Memorial Day Massacre.”

The sacrifices of those who came before should not, and cannot, be forgotten; it is upon their suffering and sacrifice - and the suffering and sacrifice of so many others - that our rights and improved wages and benefits were built. Those of us in the USW have a special interest and cause for remembrance. There fighters not only contributed so much to the whole labor movement but to the formation of our Union, the USW.

We have formed a committee of USW Local Union Officers and SOAR officers that are committed to make sure that their sacrifices are not forgotten. We are working hard to continue the annual commemoration of the Republic Steel Memorial Day Massacre.

We need your help! We have a great opportunity to educate young high school students  in labor history and about the Republic Steel Memorial Massacre. George Washington High School in South Chicago (across the street from where the massacre occurred and the location of our annual event honoring this historic milestone in our history) has agreed to hold an annual student essay contest. The winners will be awarded a USW/SOAR scholarship. We need your help and contributions to make these scholarships a reality.

Your Local Union and individuals can contribute by sending the contribution to: SOAR Chapter 31-9, 11731 So. Avenue “O”, Chicago, IL 60617. We thank you in advance for your contribution and hope to see you on My 18th - please mark your calendar!

In Solidarity,

Jim Robinson, Director USW District 7
Scott Marshall, District 7 SOAR Board Member

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