A beige pinback button with a central portrait of imposing man with the caption "John L. Lewis, President", encircled by the words "50th Golden Jubilee/ United Mine Workers of America." John L. Lewis was president of the UMWA from 1920-1960. His work to organize the country's industrial workers through the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in the 1930s helped raise living standards for millions of American families. In the first year of the CIO, nearly four million workers joined labor organizations and wages were raised by over a billion dollars. Lewis sent hundreds of UMWA organizers to help create some of the nation's leading labor unions, including the United Steelworkers of America (USWA), the United Auto Workers (UAW), the Communication Workers of America (CWA) and many other important labor organizations that continue to speak in behalf of America's workers. Perhaps Lewis' greatest legacy was the creation of the UMWA Welfare and Retirement Fund in a contract with the federal government, signed in the White House with President Truman in attendance.
Gift of Bella C. Landauer
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.