John L Lewis Biography Essay

765 Words 4 Pages
John L. Lewis was born in the town of Lucas, Iowa on February 12th, 1880. His parents are immigrants from Wales. When John was fifteen, he started working as a miner in Illinois. Between 1898 and 1907, John was voted to be a local representative to the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) in the year 1906. Lewis also tried farming, construction work, and owning a small business, before joining the labor movement in 1907. The United Mine Workers of America , aka the UMWA, later elected John as branch secretary. In 1909, he served as president of the Panama local of the United Mine Workers of America. In 1910, he would be elected as an Illinois representative on UMW's state legislature. He took a national position in the American …show more content…
This was very successful and by 1937 the Congress for Industrial Organization had more members than the American Federation of Labor (The Congress for Industrial Organization has a population of 3,718,000. It consists of 32 national and international unions. Eleven of these unions account for 2,765,000 people. This group is associated with the auto, textile, lumber, rubber, electrical, power, steel, coal, and transportation trades. The remainder members exists in the oil, ship building, leather, chemical, retail, meat packing, vegetable packaging, metal mining, manufacturing, agricultural labor, and other services.) John was republican, but supported Franklin D. Roosevelt during the 1932 and 1936 presidential campaigns. In 1935, realizing that all of the wins that Lewis had won for miners could easily be taken away; he knew he had to organize the "captive mines," which is held by the steel miners. By 1937, Lewis had reached his climax as a labor leader and just like all other climaxes, it was short lived. In the years 1938 and 1939, John L Lewis would lose substantial influence in the White House. The following year, Roosevelt would run against Wendell Willkie. Although John did agree with the “New Deal” in many ways, he opposed Roosevelt in this election because he wanted Wendell to win, thinking he would give a reward to the unions for their votes. Since John didn’t want Roosevelt winning again, he threatened to resign as acting president

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