“Breaking-Up The Hate:” Organizing Chicago’s Meat Packers. History of Chicago Series.

Join Dr. Chris Stacey for a presentation on Chicago’s meat packing industry. The goal is to answer this historical question: "Why, in the nation's most segregated city, after decades of racial and ethnic acrimony during multiple attempts to unionize employees in the stockyards and meat packing industry were African Americans, Mexicans, and whites of many different ethnic backgrounds able to come together during the Great Depression and early 1940s in a CIO culture of unity and win union recognition?

Presentation Includes:

  • Overview of the emergence of Chicago as the dominant meat packing city in the nation.
  • 1904 AMC Strike.
  • 1917 and 1919 SLC attempt at interracial union organizing.
  • 1921-22 AMC Strike.
  • The effects that the Great Depression and social ferment had on creating interracial and interethnic bonds.
  • The influence of the Communist Party on union organizing with its interracial approach to Unemployment Councils and Rent Eviction.
  • The CIO's deliberate attempt to create a rank and file "culture of unity" on the shop floor and in the community to organize African Americans, Mexicans, and White workers of various ethic backgrounds. 
  • The centrality of the Catholic and black churches in the CIO drive to organize the stockyards and meat packing industry.
  • The successful interracial organizing campaign by the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee against the "Little Six" meat packers in the late 1930s.
  • The successful interracial organizing campaign by the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee, Local 347, against Armour culminating in a victorious NLRB election in December 1939.
  • The influence of union recognition at Armour on the Swift and Wilson meat packing corporations.
  • The legacy of the interracial union movement in Chicago during the mid-twentieth century.

Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Time: 6:30 p.m. Central | 7:30PM Eastern | 4:30PM Pacific

Location: Zoom Video Conference

Cost: Free

January 31, 2023 at 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Zoom Video Conference

Chicago, IL
United States

Chris Stacey


Will you come?