Colorado Fuel and Iron: Culture and Industry in Southern Colorado

Labor Relations in the Industrial West

Since the  beginning of the nineteenth century the relationship between large corporations and their workers has been, well, dynamic. While each side needs the other to be successful they don't always agree on a means to an end, which is actually the same for everyone involved; financial security. As we study the history of labor relations we tend to focus on labor disputes, which is unfortunate as periods of turmoil are actually the exception rather than the rule. That's not to say that CF&I and its employees didn't have their fair share of disagreements, disagreements that sometimes exploded into strikes, violence, and even a full-blown massacre. But, as we consider this topic, we should remember that there were long periods of peace and understanding between the two sides, and that they often worked together to the benefit of everyone involved. The steel mill was the life-blood of the Pueblo community for over a hundred years, and most of the men and women who were worked at the mill are proud to say that they had done so. 

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