The Great Steel Strike And Its Lessons

Written: William Z. Foster
First Published: B. W. Huebsch Publishers, New York, 1920
Source: Internet Archive and Project Gutenberg
Transcription/Proofread: Produced by Odessa Paige Turner, Barbara Kosker and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
Markup: 2019 by Philip Mooney
Copyleft: Creative Commons (Attribute & Share-alike). Marxists Internet Archive 2019.


I. The Present Situation
The strike—"Victory" of the employers—Industrial democracy abroad, industrial serfdom at home—What the workers won—The outlook.
II. A Generation of Defeat
The urge for mastery—Democratic resistance—The Homestead strike—The strikes of 1901 and 1909—The Steel Trust victorious.
III. The Giant Labor Awakes
A bleak prospect—Hope springs eternal—A golden chance—Disastrous delay—The new plan—A lost opportunity— The campaign begins—Gary fights back.
IV. Flank Attacks
A sea of troubles—The policy of encirclement—Taking the outposts—Organizing methods—Financial systems —The question of morale—Johnstown.
V. Breaking into Pittsburgh
The flying squadron—Monessen—Donora—McKeesport —Rankin—Braddock—Clairton—Homestead— Duquesne—The results.
VI. Storm Clouds Gather
Relief demanded—The Amalgamated Association moves —A general movement—The conference committee— Gompers' letter unanswered—The strike vote—Gary defends steel autocracy—President Wilson acts in vain —The strike call.
VII. The Storm Breaks
The Steel Trust Army—Corrupt officialdom—Clairton—McKeesport—The strike—showing by districts—A treasonable act—Gary gets his answer.
VIII. Garyism Rampant
The White Terror—Constitutional Rights denied— Unbreakable solidarity—Father Kazincy—The Cossacks—Scientific barbarity—Prostituted courts—Servants rewarded.
IX. Efforts at Settlement
The National Industrial Conference—The Senate committee—The red book—The Margolis case—The Interchurch World Movement.
X. The Course of the Strike
Pittsburgh district—The railroad men—Corrupt newspapers—Chicago district—Federal troops at Gary —Youngstown district—The Amalgamated Association—Cleveland—The Rod and Wire Mill strike—The Bethlehem plants—Buffalo and Lackawanna—Wheeling and Steubenville—Pueblo—Johnstown—Mob rule—The end of the strike.
XI. National and Racial Elements
A modern Babel—Americans as skilled workers— Foreigners as unskilled workers—Language difficulties —The Negro in the strike—The race problem.
XII. The Commissariat—The Strike Cost
The Relief organization—Rations—System of distribution —Cost of Commissariat—Steel Strike Relief Fund—Cost of the strike to the workers, the employers, the public, the Labor movement.
XIII. Past Mistakes and Future Problems
Labor's lack of confidence—Inadequate efforts—Need of alliance with miners and railroaders—Radical leadership as a strike issue—Railroad shopmen, Boston police, miners, railroad brotherhood strikes—Defection of Amalgamated Association.
XIV. In Conclusion
The point of view—Are trade unions revolutionary?—Camouflage in social wars—Ruinous dual unionism—Radicals should strengthen trade unions—The English renaissance—Tom Mann's work.


Pennsylvania Law and Order


State police driving peaceful citizens out of business places, Clairton, Pa.