A report on the march and rally in support of striking steelworkers held in Virginia, Minnesota. Includes a sound portrait and interviews with members of rally. Among the speakers were Lloyd McBride, president of the International Steelworkers Union.
Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.
Several hundred Union supporters gathered in downtown Virginia last night to March the mile to the miners memorial building where they were to hear from their leaders the gloomy evening weather Buhl, I'd the High Spirits to be found as the group lined up behind a large Banner proclaiming United steelworkers 1916 1977 solidarity then and now 1916 refers to the last such demonstration March held on the Iron Range, but the violence which punctuated that protest was not to be found last night any violence directed at the steel companies last night was merely verbal. The solidarity Banner followed closely on the heels of an impromptu Color Guard then a pickup truck with a p a blurring protest music then a group of dignitaries international steelworkers president Lloyd McBride. Was there with District 33 director Linus Wampler United steelworkers vice president for human Affairs Leon Lynch and Iron Range state legislators, Joe baggage and Doug Johnson.With Virginians lining the streets cheering the Marchers the procession wound through the town with participants speaking mostly of solidarity. Steel companies that you're all still together steel companies that the people up here at the hell. We're more the first days of organizing. It was a very tight Water app. This is great when it's all over they'll come down start talking you willing to stay out and strike an awfully long time to make that happen work now. Got to get what we want after we can't get it. You got to stay up. Tell her it's going well. It seems you're pretty far away from getting what you want at this point still companies are being rude like that, but I don't think it really is. I think you're just playing a little game not the game that they think they're willing but really they're not as long as we stick together. They ain't gonna when there ain't no way they possibly be long enough. They've been collected The Working Man the working people right. Now it's time for us to go and we're still here and we are people it's a pretty obvious demonstration. If any of them are in town today, I don't know are they it isn't going to bother them any Because they feel like they got the power what they do is always right now we got to show him that they're not going to answer. My name but I belong to the 1938. You're just very good. Thank you very much. Are you from Michigan? 12? How long have you been on strike three months time. Is it people up there yet? How many of your fellow Michigan ours are here today? Do you know or three dozen? We all belong to the negotiating committee for their same as here is no talk no tox. Is this what they refused even meet, you know, is this an activity that you might take back to Michigan to spruce up some of the enthusiasm it's tentative. But the the president McBride said that he's going to try to make it then Upper, Michigan. So you'll have some of that enthusiasm perhaps to take back with you when you go back to well definitely. The big guy. He hasn't had his left at all. As a matter fact is getting a little stronger. So I've talked to some of the local people here and they said they're willing to stay out all winter. Is that your sentiment Michigan game thing going for Michigan all the way and you're from Michigan. Thank you. Mr. Handsome. And you're with local 5440 Republic Michigan Right was fifty-four forty and fight. Is that the word for this year the word for this Union? How long are the folks in Republic willing to hang on do you think before things get a little bit too tough? You willing to hang out all winter will hang out until we get what we're after and if it takes a year if it takes forever forever and so dick. It was a militant mood as the Marchers wound through the streets of Virginia were following the March. I was busy in the miners Memorial Building setting up to record the rally at self and event design mostly to show Union determination in hopes of getting steel firms to the bargaining table on a sustained basis to strike after all this now more than three months old. It came as a surprise to most of the crowd when an announcement of real progress was made news of a possible breakthrough in the long-stay all made but that's getting a bit ahead of our story really was held in a hockey rink in the crowd kept filing in right up until the scheduled 7 p.m. Start in jeans. Skraba Union member from Eveleth taconite set the scene. McCready that organizes rally asked me to be your MC for the program. There's an old belief that an iron range steel worker would dump her shift to go deer hunting second day of the year to see all your people here. You just shows me one thing. You've got something on the top of your mind and it's not deer hunting is the show the mining companies that you're solid and you're going to remain solid. That much we talked on the Carpenters building tonight about a mile March and I bet you there was a thousand some people in that March reminds me of back in the sixties. When used to see on TV the Civil Rights marches down south. They March for shoulder Unity. They want to be recognized as Union of people and they had to cause just like you people got a car's here tonight and I can say it again are causes the fight. The mining company is going to show him that we are to be reckoned with Back in 1916 probably some of those people's grandparents, maybe your parents or maybe even some of you is Children March down the same streets and that was for the same cause and there's an article in the newest you're doing this morning or just reflected the minute. I read it was that the start of that market organization of that came about because of mining companies and people had a contract mining companies fail to abide by that contract and this is the same situation today. We've got a contract and they're fading abide by some of the legalities of that contract. Now the purpose is rally tonight is to inform you people the rank-and-file members their wives and supporters of the steelworkers. What has happened what has transpired since August 1st issue? And try and set you straight in your mind why the steel workers are out on strike. The mining industry is what the news media on on top with misleading statements with lies, but what the strike is all about. They bring the issues to you as they see. I'm not as we a steelworker see him. They're sending so many companies that send letters to the families of the only time you should go back to work. If you do this do that. We're not going to let the mining companies tell us what we're to do. We're going to make that final decision when we're going back to work and what we want. Scrubber then turn the podium over to Union district director Linus Wampler who gave the first hint that something special was in the Wind. And my answer is that when the company? When the company is getting ready to sit down and bargain in good faith on the issues involved. Then and only then will it strike here? I do know that were 98 days closer to Summit. We were when we first went out I do know that much. Now when this rally was planned. I was given the task of inviting. top people to our organization the speaker tonight So I contacted them for first brother McBride. Brother Lynch brother Lynch agreed to speak brother McBride was invalid first quick and speaker not but he said if he had something to bring to the people. We have something to bring to the people he would like. So I just say he is here tonight is Wampler hitted McBride's very present signified. The things were beginning to happen for as you will hear a McBride told the crowd. He wouldn't have shown up just to greet them. I think really these kind of meetings on the parade and the demonstration really don't have that much effect on on the employers. I think they still way things in terms of dollars. I think that's the way it has been on for a will be for a long time. But for us, I think it's a great night. It's a beautiful night. I wonderful people and here we are together. I'm happy to be with you. I do want to relate to you that what Lana Swampert says is true. I have been as a result of the problem that are union faced here. When the question of the legality of this strike was raised by the end of screen. They adopted a policy determined not to talk about instead of coverage. They took the position that incentive coverage was not subject to local issue bargaining and localization strikes and they Contended that we were in bad faith that we were in violation of our contract. They went to court to try to stop the strike and through the efforts of Bernie kleiman and other members of our legal staff. They were not able to have the strike and join. Before the strike started the question of the legality of the issue was thoroughly researched and I have no doubt and had no doubt then that we were legally correct that we did have a right to strike over the question of incentive coverage. This is not to say that the industry. Was not equally convinced that we were wrong. We had an absolute sincere conviction on both sides the industry sincerely convinced that we were wrong and we sincerely convinced that we were right. The industry in support of their position was refusing to talk. They said they would not discuss any local issue as lost as long as we took did not take him send them coverage off of the bargaining table. We of course felt of incentive coverage was the principal and primary issue and if we're unwilling to take it off the table. On a prior visit here. I indicated that I was going to try to get the industry to change their mind and sit down and bargained locally with each Local Union the issue of incentive coverage. I tried that and the industry was adamant they were refusing to do it and they did not do it about a month ago as a result of the efforts that we're continuing the discussions between myself as the principal office or the union and Bruce Johnson. Who is they speak spokesman for the steel company coordinating committees? We started talking then in terms of well, how are we going to find an answer to this problem? If you stick by your position and we stick by ours why there's no end to the thing and I suggested that without Prejudicing interpretation that we see if we can find a way to settle the question of incentive coverage and I indicated to him that if if the industry did not realize by that time that there must be movement on their part there must be concessions on their part. That was not likely that the strike would be settled for a long long time. Well on reflection and sometime later there was a record in that respect. So then we talked started talkin about how much concession how much movement would the cam the industry be willing to make in order to get this strike settled? Other discussions were continuing my phone bike subcommittee including bunny climb on myself and Sam caimans and last week. While down at the IUD convention it develop that there may be a willingness at that point for the industry to make some effort to get the strike settled and I bought the same time director Wampler asked me if I would come to this rally and speak and I indicated to him that I really didn't feel like coming just for the sake of showing up a strike that was already firm where there was no particular problem about carrying on the strike. However, if I could at this by the time of this rally have some message to bring that would be of importance than I would come. I had a mind at that time that it would be entirely possible that we might be talkin in terms of bargaining over this weekend and into next because I gotten some bad news. The bad news was that many companies in the steel industry. We're entering into negotiations to arrange for a supply of iron ore to carry them through the winter. In the event the strike was not settle. And I indicated that and I checked double check that and found out to be accurate and I indicated both to my associates. I indicated a Bruce Johnson that before they firmed up those contracts. It seemed to me that the companies in the industry should be willing to make a proposal that would at least Indicate how far they were willing to go to settle the strike. And at that point to things entered into the into the problem. One they were reluctant to make a proposal. Unless they would make a proposal that I would recommend. I said that I would not recommend a settlement that did not reflect a measure of improvement a measure of concession. That I felt I could honorably recommend that we started from scratch. They were saying nothing and I was saying complete parody. In the process of the discussions that took place following that up until until Friday night of this week. When they finally broke on sometime Friday. When I became convinced that we were at the point that they would not budge further that they had reached the point that they said flatly. That they could not go on that they were prepared to try to find or someplace else if they couldn't settle this, right? amda They made improvements on fire proposals which in shark has now been distributed to the members of the negotiating Committee in writing the complete text of the agreement. And the only reason that they would make this concession which is really roughly two-thirds of parody. It represents substantial Improvement, and it represents the establishment of incentive coverage on the Arno arranged but it does not represent complete catch up with a basic steel industry that they indicated they would not do in this as a result in order to settle this strike indicator to me and I and I believe it that before they would do that. They let the strike go on that. They just would not give us 100% victory. I don't know what the emotional strain on that does to either side. They have come a long way towards meeting our proposal. They are short of settling of satisfying are complete the man. The proposal has been presented. Provides that upon acceptance of the incentive coverage question negotiations, then we'll then immediately start at every location to settle all of the other local issues and that as soon as the other local issues are settled by collective bargaining at the plant level, then the strike would be settled. But not until all those issues have been settled to local bargaining. The incentive question would have been settled by the Coordinating Committee coordinated Steel company. Proposal as as has been drafted on his I have not have submitted it to our negotiating committee. No. There's a certain amount of risk and Hazard and anything that we do and of course when I presented the proposal to the committee, it was picked apart pretty thoroughly. The shortcomings of it were thoroughly are done and expand Expressions. Pretty strong. Some of them were made about the shortcomings. I can only say it stands on two on its own. I will be the first to admit that it does not get asperity. I would be the first to admit that there are some inadequacies, but I think that if we are to expect complete 100% Victory on iPod and complete 100% defeat On the industry side, then we're talkin many more months so strike. All the decision has to be made here. One of the early commitments that I made is that this strike will not be settled in Pittsburgh and it will not be settled by me if I can help if I can find some way to get the industry to make proposals are to get off center. And get the issue in a pasture where possibly it can be settled them at that's a contribution that I might be able to make but since it is a local issue strike, then it must be settled locally swanberry. Critical controversial issue in which the feeling was so strong on both sides strong on our side that we are absolutely 100% right and strong on their side with equal conviction that we are absolutely one hundred percent wrong and that they are 100% right now. We are no longer passing judgment on who's right or wrong we have before us before you which I'm sure will be passed on by your committee and perhaps then referred to the local unions for its consideration. We have a for you now substantial move in the direction of concession from the industry to establish the principle of incentive. I am on the Range incentive pay the net effect will be substantial Improvement in the paychecks of our members. I mention it was about 2/3 of the way towards parody there in an actual dollars and sense or cents per hour. It will probably mean an improvement over the current contract for those covered by incentive of somewhere in the neighborhood of $0.55 an hour over and above what we now have it is somewhat short of the average of the basic steel industry in both into one Richard in terms of percent of coverage. We have an average percent of coverage in the steel industry of 85% and the proposal says coverage here would be no less than 75% We have an average incentive earnings in the industry of some 22 to 23% this provides that a guarantee of 15% I am I indicated that I was recommending it and I want you to know why. The cut in the industry would not make any proposal. Unless it was one that I was agreeable to recommending. recommended on the basis of judgement that the industry had gone as far as they would go as a matter of fact, we broke off and separated. And I waited for them to change their mind and there was no change in their mind. I became convinced that what they say that that was as much as could be obtained at this time and I on that basis in order to get this so that you can consider it. So that you might decide whether you will continue the strike over the question of incentive coverage or whether you would decide that this is sufficient progress at this time to settle this guy. I said I would recommend it and I said, I would recommended enthusiastically and I tried to do that this afternoon, so you will not have before you and in short order the question of whether or not there has been sufficient Movement by the end of story on the subject of incentive coverage to bring about a settlement for this Longstrike. I hope and I sincerely hope that the proposal will be ratified. However, the decision is yours. The strike fund is in good shape line of sight. I jokingly, said he was signing checks for $400,000 a week. I jokingly said the Lyon we better check up on this call because Frank McKee says we're sending a half a million up here every week and then we'll check up on where that hundred thousand is. I don't know whether Frank's got overlooked Linus's got it, but we'll find it. In any event. We we made special Provisions out of consideration for this drive to increase the strike assistance by 50% The info Strikers carried on it will be carried on with a complete 100% support of the international Union. You should consider this. I stand by my recommendation. I think it's as well as we can do it this time. I hope to be a part of the organization that improves on it on 1980 and I think we will and for this move this stuff as far. Baltimore in a short. Of time that we were able to do in the steel industry which took us years and years and years to get where we are on the question of incentive cover. I said enough. I'm grateful for your your attention. That's a privilege for me to come here and and and and make this report to you and the capacity of your International president. Either way, the the decision goes you have the support of of the entire Union. And I'm grateful for the opportunity to be with you tonight. Should you continue the strike. In unity? Should you settle do it with equal Unity? Thank you. International steelworkers Union president Lloyd McBride, is he addressed the rally in the city of Virginia last night? And so the first sign of a real breakthrough in more than three months of possible company agreement to compromise on incentive pay the key issue the one which the steel firms have been unwilling to negotiate they claim that incentive pay is not a local issue. That's not negotiable and that the strike therefore is illegal will dick. This is indeed a significant change as far as the past posture that the steel companies have taken and the question now is what does it all mean? Well, the incentive pay issue as explained by McBride simply means that instead of holding out for one hundred percent of parody that is demanding 100% of the wage instead of now paid to steel mill workers. The steelworkers would settle for about 65% instead of receiving about $0.85 an hour incentive pay they would settle for About 55 cents reaction to this very big concession by the steel companies was mixed it best to steel workers who spoke to me said they would be happy to settle for the two-thirds of parity wishing there by that. The negotiations would resume again, and that the other local issues would be settled soon a third seem confused and wanted to speak with his Union brother and before making up his mind one other said that the strikers should hold out for full parody, even if it takes all winter we've gone this far. He said it would be foolish to give in no way. I would hardly think I suspect that the three or four, answer necessarily reflect a widespread Union Center, but I guess only time will tell on that weather. The steelworker union members are going to demand the full though the whole loaf or whether they might settle for a part or 2/3 as has been offered in this case. What's the process now? Where do we go from here? What process does the union follow? Well from here. It's in the hands of Linus Wampler right now or early this week. He's going to be speaking with his negotiating teams and they will have a chance to review the proposal in detail. Then he said that he hoped to be able to bring the information that they've gathered back to the local unions speak to the local members and get some of their comment and input on the situation and as the week goes on the news of The Proposal will be spreading to Upper Michigan Wampler will be going to Upper Michigan later this week. So it seems it by the end of the week District 33 will have some sort of official position on this and we'll know where they're going to go from there to matter of spreading the word to the membership. Just west of the tales are and getting some Feedback and kind of putting that together and in the union leadership, I suppose ultimately deciding whether to put it to a vote of of the the actually the Fourteen thousand members it across Minnesota and 4000 Lauren in upper Michigan that perhaps could be one way that they would do it. Although Wampler indicated that the process would be more informal than that time will tell time will tell whether the the steelworkers will decide to go for this company offer and I perhaps move toward settlement of the strike or whether they're going to be in it for the long haul if this compromise does not get the union approval of the rank-and-file insist on total parody with the rest of the industry. The betting is that the more than three month walkout will scratch on a good deal longer Nation steel plants still have a large supply of raw materials stock pile. Once they begin to import or as a supplement. They'd be in a position to hold firm for probably many months. It comes to that the rain Strikers. You have the continued support of the larger union movement. For example, Jim Bellin off a union leader in the Chicago area spoke to the Sunday night rally in Virginia and fellow workers and I say federal workers because I've worked for the same boss that you work for the Inland Steel company for 27 years. I bring you greetings from my district district 31. I've been your greetings. Only by word touching you financial support. Like the chairman said we have already given you $11,000 and that's just the beginning cuz your fight is our fight. You win we win. This week. We had a plant collection in from the Inland Steel company over the Indiana Harbor in Indiana. We stood out there with Pam asking workers to give us money and we collected for you $2,327.78. And I've got the check and I'll get the better Linus Whopper for your strike fund. Brothers and sisters I go back to my district Tuesday on Tuesday. I have a meeting of my local union presidents that have companies that pick you up from you people. We're going to sit down and make plans go back in them plants and start to raise money and other things that you need to carry out this right to a successful conclusion. And like I said, when you win we win what you do here today was that the pattern of what we do in 1980 when we go back to the steel negotiations. It was a real honor and I'll go back and tell the people in my district the March that parade it's been a long long time since I've done that it's about time that we got the rolly steelworkers to your cause. As long as you're on the pickle, I'm walking that line. You got my pledge that District 31 walks beside you and whatever help you need you call upon us. Like brother McBride says call upon this International it behind you will help you all the way with that. I want to wish you the very best. I'm with you 100% the members in other districts are with you. God bless you. Thank you. Jim Bellin off the union leader in the Chicago, Illinois area. He was followed to the podium as I recall Ellen by several Local Union presidents from Northeastern Minnesota Bill Larson of the local up at Babbitt was especially interesting eustachy paste his remarks on the very special relationship that the Babbitt and Silver Bay locals had with Reserve Mining Company during the reserve mining controversy, which is now dragged on for about 7 years. Playing around with our insurance denying us the $150 bonus. Threatening to cut off the attendance bonus plan payment which we have coming prior to Christmas. And all they expect our people to go in and winterize the plants for them just like nothing ever happened. My personal feeling is that none of us should go back to work until we all go back together. The hell with their plants and Equipment till I get back to the bargaining table and start bargaining in good faith. Pastor Bruce Johnston of United States Steel Corporation, God bless his soul call this a war and has directed A merciless attack upon our employees and their families and the union will represent them in an effort to break the strike. None of this has worked as far in fact, all that's been accomplished to help the union ranks grow stronger each day the court action taken by these profit-making bigots. Was no more than a delay tactic to allow them the opportunity to increase their profits while hiding behind their Cutthroat attorneys and so-called legal interpretations. These are the employees at local unions are preserved Mining Company provide a standout example of what these corporate monsters think of the workers are people put forth one of their finest effort ever to help a company that was being chastised by the government in general public for their pollution of one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world in return this same company decided to show their appreciation by over exercising their management rights section of the agreement to ruin employees vacation the discharge more employees than ever before. Hello their supervisors and Industrial relations goons to run rapid with disciplinary action for even the most minor infraction. You continue that he probably remembers up legitimate cop and SSA benefits, and they also refused to cooperate with our Safety Committee on critical safety and health problems. And finally, they decided to put their face and trust and United States Steel Corporation rather than the employees that they will need. Again. My question is where the hell was u.s. Steel in reserve mining company was in court battling this pollution. The lesson to be learned here. And I think it should be quite obvious and I hope you'll remember it is that all we are is a number on the payroll a convenient tax write-off and a minus sign in the profit column. How can we know Stand By and allow such people to destroy the true intent of our Ena agreement and also our great Union we must win this battle or right the strike will never again be an effective weapon. Bill Larson president of the Babbitt local the next speaker Willard Anderson president of Local 26 16. He has to question. Where do the local issues come from? Some of the people believe that it is your union leaders that are coming coming up with these issues every issue from our local and every other local on the Iron Range came from the rank-and-file people to Safety Committee compile error issues through the people on the job for the Safety Committee and the other issues came to our grievance procedure and grievance committee and also has really many meetings that we've had and preparation for the local issues that we presented to the company. All of these issues had to be presented by March 1st, which was the last day that we could prevent issue. So the issues that remain on the table are those that are left unresolved and a good deal of them. As I said her safety and ours alone there over 29 issues and I Loco on dust and fumes and ventilation now some of these issues on Dust fumes in ventilation refer to a lot of the desk collecting equipment. That should be put in in a pellet plant in a concentrator in the shop and The Crusher and independent some of these fumes that the people breathe out. There are very detrimental diesel fumes are very very bad in the medical profession or finding out now really how bad the fumes from a diesel smoke it. It won't kill you as quick as carbon monoxide. It just takes a little longer and it's very difficult to get a doctor to see that you are ill because the fumes that your breath or breathe out their we're asking for some ventilation in the shops were our truck Mechanics Work. Detective diesel fumes out. So they don't have to breathe it a company says the ceiling ventilation is good enough, but you've already breathed it by the time it gets to the ceiling. So what good is it? Ane in the pressure where the trucks dump it is very dusty and this particular. There's nothing been taken out of it. So the silica content is very high and the underground mine. Is it at work for years know what silicosis has and I'm afraid when we get done with taconite that everybody else is going to know what it is. If we don't do something to protect it. They say air conditioning is just something that we want for the comfort. Well, I'm going to tell you if you ever work on the drills or talk to the guys at work on the drills where the temperature gets up over a hundred and twenty and we've even had some ometer milk when we put it down there besides a dust on this type of a drill. We have a lot of people I didn't live very long after retired that worked on the drill like a damn a very good friend of mine that had that happen to a man who lived about six months after he retired. Actually clean sanitary lunchrooms. There's some areas in our shop where they're not in clothes. They have to eat right where the diesel fumes is. I don't think this is expecting too much after all what are the supervisors eat their lunch date an air-conditioned rooms. Are they go downtown and we don't expect to go downtown and eat but we do expect to have an air condition decent clean lunchroom need in After all really what good are some of the fringe benefits that we enjoy if we if we don't live to enjoy them and I'm talking about vacations extended vacations pensions. These type of benefits are great. But when the time comes that you're either too sick or unhealthy or you're not living to enjoy them then really what good was the time and money spent on him for these people. We've got to help protect and preserve their safety and their house while they were on the job and I don't think I know this iron are companies who I understand by reading several articles are very well-to-do and we don't want to break them. But neither do we want our people to be on healthy and sick at the time they enjoy their pensions. We want them to live a long fruitful life after that and do the things that they waited many years to do. Where do we look to for help? There's subsidies all over this country. If you're in a foreign country to get some today, if you're a small-business, man, you get subsidized if your airline you get subs today, if you're a Transport company you get subsidized Child Care subsidies for everybody the farmer get subsidized and thank God there is subsidies. But where is the subsidy for the working people? There aren't any who pays the biggest percentage of the of the cost of this government weather is local or national or state the working people pay over 80% of that right out of their pocket when it comes time to get some help back. Where do we look for hell don't look for subsidy cuz there isn't any for working people the only help that we have and you look at each other just turn and look at everywhere around here. This is your help. The rank-and-file people of our organization are the people that help. And because of this and a half of my local union and a half of the rest of the local union presidents, I want to thank you people for their support all of you with the wife and the rank-and-file the men and women who work in the plant and all of the union members and I pray for your continued support and your solidarity and I have never seen so much solidarity and supported people show today coming out on the first weekend of deer season, which I'm an avid Deer Hunter myself, and I know what that means and I appreciate it, but we have to stick together and if we do stick together and show this type of solidarity, there's no doubt in my mind. We're going to win this strike, and I'm not going to call it a war. It's just write. Thank you. Local Union president Willard Anderson giving you some idea about those other local issues, which must be resolved at the end of visual plant level if they strike is to be resolved. Even if the incentive pay compromise is acceptable to the union. Lea Minnesota, sometimes forget then in addition to the 14,000 + steel workers on strike on Minnesota's Mesabi Range another 4,000 or Manning picket lines at taconite processing facilities in upper Michigan the third Local Union president to address the Virginia rally was Harry Myron who's president of an upper peninsula local of the steelworkers Union which works for a Cleveland Cliffs mining company Plant our strike in yours is one in the same. We share the same hopes and goals. We have the same bills and worries. the same strengths and weaknesses We are in this together to the end. One question. I was told to ask of you. Is it true a baby bun is expected on the Mesabi next year. If you are afraid of this I can tell you the solution. Izaak Walton is known for his Fisherman's. Caption that went the hours men spend fishing ardit not deducted from their lifespan where I can tell you they coined the same similar to this on the market range the hours spent on a picket line are not deducted from man's life span. So send your husband said a picket line. Tonight brings to a close the 90th day of the strike. During this entire. Very few negotiating meetings took place of the ones held I cannot recall any at which the company appear to put on a good faith bargaining effort. Prior to the strike. Remember we negotiated for 6 months. And there to nothing could be construed as a good faith bargaining by the company. Their game plan has been one of stalling acting dumb and getting us to giving us the run-around the union stands ready to negotiate in good faith day or night weekday or weekdays or weekends. The companies are well aware of this they are to hold up. They are the key to ending this Drake. They must get through it. It's through there fat corporate heads. We Miners and our families will not bulb that are black male. I say to them stop your bellyaching stop you're bullshiting and we can reach an agreement. There is no other way. We will never give in we may have been what we will never break. We are the iron ore miners of, Minnesota and Michigan. Speech by Harry Myron, who is a local president in upper, Michigan? The most blistering attack on the steel companies came from local 1938 President Joe Samardzija over the last 98 days. everyone in the United States has got a way to settle a strike. the politicians newspapers just about everybody. But the one thing I haven't heard yet until the other day. Was the Republican Party? And I would like to relate. the message and their concerns to us a member of the Republican caucus in Saint Paul called me Wednesday afternoon and said We would like to end a strike because of the economic problems at the state has and everything else. And we've been knocking around and idea and we like to knock it and see how it what you think of it. Well, his idea was. That the state would lower the taxes on the Mining Company. And then they would be able to pay us the incentive. Well, first of all, I did just what you did I laughed. And then I got kind of mad. Because I really started to think about it. And what we would be doing would be. Agreeing to pay for a tattoo Lord a company's tax to give us a raise so that next winter they can raise our taxes so we can pay for it. So I brought out the sheet that we've put in the newspaper about what these companies have been making. from the mines in from the people from these people for a hundred years ussteel lowered their corporate tax last year from 48% to 21% for a savings of 88 million dollars. They've raised the price of taconite from $19.50 a ton to $36 a ton. And by doing that they can lower their taxes through the or depletion allowance. So I started rattling all this off to this guy and he said well, wait a while. Maybe we're going to have to come up here and talk to you guys about raising a company's tax. I said now you're starting to think like you should and it wasn't too long after that when I hung up the phone and I said what the hell is a Republicans and I don't know that that's you got expect that from him. Rolling behold. We have a senator or a congressman in Washington that sitting on a committee. That's looking at Laura increasing the amount of tax that the companies can get by with or lower their taxes through Dior depletion allowance. These companies have raped us and raped us and Rita's. I think it's goddamn time. They stop. We have been the brunt of a lot of criticism since the strike began. And I guess when we we decided to have this March. We look back and we tried to reach out and grasp a little history tonight. the think of our forefathers the men and women that we're all just waiting for the right. To get their demands across to the companies back in 1916. You know, that's why I took 26 years just to get a union in 1942 the steelworkers. But it's taken 61 years to get the kind of unity. We got here now. someplace Our four fathers are smiling tonight. They had their heads busted. They were shot. They were jailed. in their determination to get a union And I can say this I am proud to be able to stand in front of you people because you are truly Union brothers and sisters. when I travel to Chicago in the last couple weeks the steelworkers in these areas are doing everything in it in their power to try to get support for the strike and continuing and to continue this battle as District director belanoff stated. These people are brothers and sisters in these meals can't believe the solidarity that we have. And at times I can but it's wonderful to be able to stand in front of you people tonight because there is true solidarity here. In the next couple days. negotiating committees will be looking at Some of these things that companies want to come to an agreement on. And I stand before you that we're going to look at them, honestly. And come back to the people that decide. What we're going to do next to the rank-and-file. But I want to leave you. with a statement that was once read off by Eugene Debs one of the greatest union leaders of all time. he said 10000 * the labor movement has stumbled and Fallen. and bruised itself and risen again been seized by the throat and choked into instability. She's enjoying by the courts. assaulted by thugs charge by the militia shot down by the regulars frowned on by public opinion deceived by politicians threatened by priests repudiated by Renegade preyed on by cowards. betrayed by Traders Infested by spies and sold out by leaders but notwithstanding all of this and all of these The labor movement is the most vital and potential power on this planet. Thank you. An outspoken young Union Leader Jose Samardzija, but an outspoken veteran Union spokesman was safe for last to wrap up the rally State AFL-CIO president David Rowe. What a great spirit. We had two opportunities to witness in Virginia tonight, and there's any similarity with respect to that. Enthusiasm and solidarity. I think it's exactly the same as when I visited the pickets on the line in the early days of the Strait of the other strike and I see no difference now between those days and what you're experiencing here tonight, and I am proud to be a part of it. I listened to your general president. -1 player and the presidents of your local unions And if I ever had a problem. Anytime as a for teens to the organized labor movement. I want those guys on my side and I'm sure I'm sure when they're ready to come back and bring to you if and when they're ready. Your recommendation is going to be in the best interests of the people that they represent and I think the thing that's important thing that's important is that this is a rank-and-file movement. It was the rank-and-file who made the decision to go on strike and by golly. I'm sure on the Iron Range it's going to be the rank-and-file steelworkers who make the decision to go back to work. the solidarity that I have seen It's kind of a new spirit. I wish we could spread it throughout the state of Minnesota. I wish we could spread it throughout the the entire land the labor movement. Today is under attack. You're experiencing that the present time with respect for the disputes you're having with the steel companies on the Iron Range. One of the issues at stake. Are the issues that has been expressed by your Presidents of your local unions, but also a basic right? And that is the right to strike and I don't believe at any time no matter what the issue is. Are we going to allow anybody to take away that right to strike and by golly that's one of the issues that we've got. But I guess I'm just here to say. Hey, the AFL-CIO is as solidly behind you the solitary that's been shown here today. I'm sure we'll be expressed. Hopefully by our political friends in the halls of Congress and I'll tell you the right nobody going to defeat this great the labor movement and its expressed here tonight, and I'm just telling you is president of Minnesota AFL-CIO. I was proud to March. Let me tell you something Wampler you mentioned. Those are the long mile the only thing that deterred these people from going from here to Duluth. The Babbitt and back is the fact that they had to be here tonight at 7 p.m. Guys are ready to go and I am proud to be with you. This was my best was my son and they in the parade and they Mike's the solidary prayed this evening. It signifies not just 6115. I've talked to John Perko and I told him John I'm taking this back to the office. Where a block from the Capitol Hill be put in the front window. It'll be a barometer. We have a lot of traffic legislators go by there every day a lot of other people go by there every day we get calls how they coming on the steel strike. Well tell you that's goes up in the window. And if somebody wants to find out what progress we're making watch it as long as it's there the strike is going on when it's found. The strike is coming to a successful conclusion. Thank you very very much. Minnesota AFL-CIO president David Rowe. So Alan there we have it lots of rhetoric but some substances. Well a possible compromise agreement in a crippling strike. That's now more than 3 months old you write dick and I think the key word there is possible. We won't know until late this week. What exactly will come out of this possible compromise, but something is happening anyway, which is important both for Morale on the Iron Range is well as for all the residents of Northeastern Minnesota where these strike effects are felt. Thanks very much for your help in preparing this report. So very quickly on a union rally which concluded in Virginia Minnesota just about 16 hours ago. This is Dick daily.