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Charles Rosenberg

a leading rank-and-file organizer of the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee in Chicago, and member of the subsequent United Packinghouse Workers of America, particularly instrumental in organizing the six “little” packers, providing a base from which to secure recognition at the dominant Armour, Swift, Cudahy and Wilson companies.

Details of Washington's birth have not been documented, but he grew up in Chicago, the son of a butcher at the Swift meatpacking company, who moved the family from Mississippi in 1915. Initially, Washington's father tried to obtain work in bricklaying and plastering, as he had in the Vicksburg area before moving north. Excluded from these occupations by the building trades unions' refusal to accept African Americans, he became a bitter opponent of unionization in the meatpacking industry, literally turning his back when representatives of the Stockyards Labor Council invited him to join.

Between the efforts of SLC to incorporate and advance ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

anti–labor union activist in the Chicago meatpacking industry during the time of the Stockyards Labor Council (SLC), particularly 1916–1919, was one of the few men known by name for his leading role in anti-union agitation among African American employees, and those seeking work from the large and smaller packing companies.

Williams's birth, previous experience, and later life are unknown, although there are faint clues for speculation. Even his motives and loyalties are unclear, and probably more complex than any partisan for or against organized labor may have credited. He may have been born around 1874 in Texas, the son of Lizar Williams, who had been born, like Williams's father, in Georgia. If so, he was living in 1910 in a rooming house in Fort Worth, working at odd jobs.

According to two African American SLC floor committeemen Williams was the leader of a group of men who came ...