For a labor organization so new and relatively unstable, the decision proved to be a godsend. Different Views of Unions. Ellis was also aware, however of the pressure that might be brought to bear upon Hormel if he believed that the refrigeration system had been shut down. Jay feared, he said, the destruction of the critical and expensive refrigeration system and should it be destroyed there was a strong likelihood he would opt not to open the plant again. Membership was to come from all laborers in Austin and in the surrounding rural area. A. Hormel & Company, as well as the town establishment, many of its citizens, and the Austin workers' parent union, the United Food and Commercial Workers. Hormel said he never “flew off the handle at an honest mistake in judgment. MNHS call number: Reading Room HD 5325 .P152 1985 .A873 1990. On Friday July 14th, the day after the Sutton Park meeting, Ellis, Harold Harlan, Soren Cardell and Helen McDermott met with a local attorney to prepare a charter for the new union. The Hormel company employed 2700 of the town’s 17,000 residents in 1933 and four years later Fortune magazine observed that should Austin ever lose the Hormel payroll “the town would wither away to a few roadside stands and retails stores for farmers.” The very thought of Hormel moving even a part of his family enterprise from Austin haunted local businessmen. When the company demanded a 23 percent wage cut, on August 17, 1985, about 1,500 workers with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Local P-9, in Austin walked off the job. When the couple returned to Austin, Jay isolated his family from the local community by building the first of seven installments of a rambling white-brick red-roofed French chateau on 177 wooded acres outside the town [George A. Hormel had lived with his wife Lillian Gleason Hormel and their son Jay in a large house a few blocks from Austin’s Main Street in the heart of the community. When he came here, Mr. Rogers promised to use his sophisticated ''corporate campaign'' strategies against Hormel, including pressure against its lenders and stockholders. Ellis was found at his home and asked to come to the meeting and was driven to the park by one of the workers. Anti-union forces seldom hesitated to use violence against Ellis and men like him. “Those men don’t know what they’re doing,” the chief engineer warned Hormel. But unknown to Shoemaker or to Hormel, Ellis had secretly sent engineers into the plant every few hours to turn the refrigeration system on and to monitor it carefully in order to keep the temperature in the plant high enough to prevent breakage of the system and low enough to prevent spoilage of the meat. "In 1933 the meatpackers at the Hormel plant launched the plant's first labor strike" here or after it would be good to know the demands and if they were successful Added a new reference and added some demands, with the success of the strike discussed further down in the paragraph. Ellis participated in the 1904 nationwide packinghouse strike and ten years later participated in the organization of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen, an American Federation of Labor affiliate in Oklahoma City. Meat packing – the slaughter and processing of cattle, hogs and sheep – was the industry of Austin. As the depression deepened in 1933, workers naturally became more concerned about their jobs and also more sensitive towards mistreatment by plant foremen. The Hormel strike at Austin, MN Dang Ha; 4 videos; 5,603 views; Last updated on Jul 27, 2011; Play all Share. Mr. Leopold called the Hormel strike ''an expression of protest from the bottom to do something about the weakness of the trade union movement.'' In that way he was able to place potential organizers throughout the plant between 1929 and 1933. He had assumed over the years that what was good for his company was good also for the community and he had successfully convinced the Austin business community of the truth of that assumption. Sutton Park was jammed that night with workers milling around exchanging complaints about the company and about Hormel the man and demanding action but at the same time uncertain as to just what action might be possible. Give them until tomorrow morning and then allow no foremen in.”, When Ellis had finished his speech, Hormel spoke to the strikers again. Worried, Syck sent an emergency telegraph to the Governor: SITUTATION HER SO UNRULY THAT DEPUTIZING OF UN-UNIFORMED AND POORLY-AREMED CITIZENS WOULD PRECIPITATE GUERILLA WARFARE WITH PITIFUL CASUALTIES ON BOTH SIDES, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE MEN HAVE BEEN TOLD LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WOULD NOT INTERFERE WITH THEM. With a strike that wore on, the company reopened the plant Jan. 13 with workers who had abandoned the strike and with newly hired people. If you are an employer or if you are the proprietor of a business, you have a job and a trusteeship…. His father has worked at the same hotel for thirty years while working a second job to support their fami George Hormel attributed his success to his personal surveillance over every phase of the slaughtering process and to his intimate knowledge of every aspect of marketing his products. He suggested that Hormel would like to work out an accord with the union's national leaders. The call immediately went out for a meeting of all Hormel workers that evening in Sutton Park. A timeline of the Hormel strike April, 12, 1986 — The Rev. Organize all of the producing classes. So move out!” Hormel and the other company officials were roughly handled and pushed out the office door. The newspaper complied. If the strike had continued Hormel wouldn’t have had to import men,” Shoemaker cautioned. Some of the men regularly stepped outside the plant onto the spiral staircases of the smokehouse for a noon cigarette. Olson said he had been especially impressed by the willingness of both sides to submit their problems to arbitration by the State Industrial Commission. At the age of twelve George Hormel began working in a Chicago packinghouse. If the strikes would leave him and his executives alone for a moment, he said, he would see to it that all of them left the plant in an orderly fashion. 3. Two minor changes were incorporated into the original text of the agreement. THEREFORE IN ORDER TO AVOID NEEDLESS BLOODSHED I APPEAL TO YOU TO DISPATCH MILITIA TO TAKE SITUATION BEFORE NIGHTFALL AT THE LATEST. These men worked with him in the casing room first and when they were ready he sent them to other foremen with a good reference. In fact, not until after the 100,000th hog had been slaughtered in the plant, in 1901, did he trust anyone else with the difficult task of splitting carcasses. Organization! Among the workers there was more and more talk of the need for a union to bargain collectively with the plant management. But then, displaying a courageous presence of mind in a heated and chaotic situation, Hormel stood his ground and faced the strikers and in careful, measured tones told them that he wanted no trouble in his company. At an early age he was sent away to a Shattuck School for Boys, a private military academy in nearby Faribault, Minnesota, rather than to the local public schools where he might have gotten to know the children and families of workers in the Hormel company. In exchange for the company demand that the plant be turned back over to the owners immediately, company officers agreed to the gradual reemployment of all strikers without discrimination. This has led to criticism from the union and others that the campaign is a failure. And in a way, Hormel had been correct in his prediction. Hormel’s fanciful image of himself as a benevolent dictator asserted itself once again in his conception of a plan that was supposed to help the workers. Two more departments were brought under the plan in 1932 and still another in 1933. The craft proved unseaworthy and much to the delight of the strikers on the shore, sank half way across the river. The Austin strike was far from an ordinary labor dispute: For the 1,500 P-9 families and their supporters, it was nothing less than a crusade to defend the Middle American way of life. Prospects for the Strikers. Only if better workers produced more and better work per hour or if new machinery or a new organizational plan provided increased production and efficient could the company afford to pay higher wages. Foremen “traded” workers back and forth between departments – one of them laying off a worker and the other hiring him back at a lower wage. At 10:00AM Olson addressed the union members in the armory. The 10-month strike made national headlines and devastated the city. On 19 August 1985 Local P-9 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) went on strike against Geo. The increases were in line with increases that went into effect throughout the meatpacking industry that autumn. His eldest son, “Geordie,” left the family business to pursue a moderately successful career as a jazz pianist. There were no firings or discharges in the plant on Friday morning, but Jay Hormel called some of the speakers from the organization rally into his office, including Ellis, and asked why they were not satisfied with the way they were being treated by the company. Luckily, there's a range of ways you can filter the library content to suit your needs, from casual browsing to researching a particular topic. In 1984, Local P‐9 of the United Food and Commercial Worker's Union (UFCW) launched a publicity campaign to protest wage cuts at the George A. Hormel Company of Austin, Minnesota. Jay Catherwood Hormel, the only child of George and Lillian Hormel, was born in 1892. Since his ejection from the plant and the shutting down of the plant refrigeration system, Hormel worried about the twenty million pounds of meat he believed was spoiling on racks inside the plant and the massive $500,000 refrigeration system itself that was threatened. Hormel’s often expressed contempt for the radical Farmer-Labor governor was neither surprising nor secret. Beyond that, he said, “There will be no slaughtering of livestock or any shipments out of the plant until I give you notice.” He then asked some of the union members to volunteer as deputies to protect the company property. A short (5 feet 4 inches) dark-haired, ruddy-complexioned part-Cherokee Indian, Ellis, 45, had been raised in St. Joseph, Missouri, and had worked in packinghouses since he was eight years old. Previously, all Hormel workers were paid by the hour and were laid off when business was slack. The libcom library contains nearly 20,000 articles. Achetez neuf ou d'occasion Olson agreed to send Frank T. Starkey of the State Industrial Commission to Austin to confer with representatives of both the union and the company. AUSTIN DAILY HERALD. The Hormel strike that began 25 years ago, devastated Austin and transformed the workforce of the small city. One particularly brazen group crashed through the doors to a conference chamber where Jay Hormel and five company officials were meeting. Suport from Local Unions. In Austin, Olson uncompromisingly asserted his intention to uphold his oath of office as governor and to enforce all of the laws of the state of Minnesota. One year after Olson’s victory the plant in Austin had been shut down. Twenty-five years ago today, workers at the Hormel meatpacking plant in Austin, Minn. went on strike, bringing the struggles of the national labor movement home to southern Minnesota. But few workers knew how to get a union started. 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