The CIO After 50 Years: A Historical Reckoning

The CIO After 50 Years: A Historical Reckoning

Lewis did most of the talking. His voice was low, and he spoke with passion. He outlined the conditions in all of the major industries of the country. He emphasized that thousands upon thousands of workers were waiting with outstretched arms for unionization to come to them. Lewis then said, “And it can only come from you and you and you,” as he dramatically punctuated his statement by stabbing his finger at each man seated around the table. He painted the breathtaking potentialities of a great labor movement embracing almost every workingman in the country….

As Lewis spoke, most of the food on the table went untouched and grew cold; but the men around the table were on fire. They too had caught the vision, and it became their gospel.

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