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History

From THE FIGHTING MACHINISTS, A CENTURY OF STRUGGLE
by Robert G. Rodden

About the Author

Bob Rodden grew up during the Great Depression in a working family in the blue collar section of Pittsburgh known as Homewood. His parents, both of whom first went to work as children, his father in a coal mine and his mother in a textile mill, instilled an early appreciation of unionism.

Barred by childhood polio from joining friends who went to work in the steel mills or other factory jobs after graduating from Pittsburgh's Westinghouse High School, the author was sent to the University of Pittsburgh by the federal Bureau of Rehabilitation. Receiving his B. A. from Pitt in 1944 he came to Washington, first as an employee of the War Department and later joining a team of historians preparing a postwar study of the Navy's war-time research and development programs.

Pursuing an interest in unionism which had been further whetted by industrial relations courses at Pitt, Rodden earned his M. A. in labor economics at American University and spent the next several years at the U. S. Department of Labor. Specializing and writing on workmen's compensation, industrial relations and other labor issues he became acquainted with various members of the Machinists Union's headquarters staff. Offered a position as special assistant to President Al Hayes in 1957, Rodden has spent the years since researching and preparing speeches, articles, testimony, pamphlets, manuals and organizing materials for IAM officers and staff. For many years he also taught legislative issues and labor history at Machinists Leadership Schools. When assigned to lecture on the history of the American labor movement at orientation seminars for the IAM's field staff some years ago, he developed a deep interest in the IAM's origins and early struggles. The Fighting Machinists is the result of hours spent poring over early Machinists Monthly Journals and other old documents.

Soon to retire, Rodden lives in Bethesda, Maryland, where he and his Canadian-born wife look forward to frequent visits from a growing bevy of grandchildren in assorted sizes.


SOLIDARITY FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

History


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