Lewis, John L.
- ▪ American labour leaderin full John Llewellyn Lewisborn February 12, 1880, near Lucas, Iowa, U.S.died June 11, 1969, Washington, D.C.American labour leader who was president of the United Mine Workers of America (1920–60) and chief founder and first president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations) (CIO; 1936–40).The son of immigrants from Welsh mining towns, Lewis left school in the seventh grade and went to work in the mines at age 15. In the coal-mining town of Panama, Illinois, he became head of a United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) local, and in 1911 he became an organizer for the American Federation of Labor (AFL), with which the miners' union was affiliated. Lewis became a vice president of the UMWA in 1917, acting president in 1919, and president in 1920, by which time the UMWA had become the largest trade union in the United States. He would remain the UMWA's leader for the next 40 years. Lewis led a successful national coal strike in 1919, but during the 1920s the UMWA's membership shrank from 500,000 to fewer than 100,000 as unemployment spread among UMWA members in northern states and nonunionized mines in the southern Appalachians increased their production.Beginning in 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal presented organized labour with opportunities that Lewis exploited with energy and imagination. The formation of the National Recovery Administration through the National Industrial Recovery Act (1933) guaranteed labour the right to bargain collectively. This enabled Lewis to launch new organizing campaigns in the coalfields of Appalachia and elsewhere, tripling the UMWA's membership within a few years.Unions gained even more organizing rights with the 1935 passage of the Wagner Act (officially, the National Labor Relations Act). Building on previous labour victories, Lewis and several other AFL union leaders formed the Committee for Industrial Organization with the intention of organizing workers in mass-production industries. The more traditional leaders of the AFL, however, preferred limiting its membership to craft unions and refused to support the new strategy. As a result, Lewis and seven other dissident union heads left the AFL to organize what became the CIO. The new organization named Lewis its president. Beginning in 1935–36, Lewis presided over the often-violent struggle to introduce unionism into previously unorganized industries such as steel, automobile, tire, rubber, and electrical products. A dramatic 1936 “sit-down” strike against the General Motors Corporation convinced many unskilled workers that the motto “one shop, one union” could work and prompted other successful sit-down strikes to follow.Lewis was a lifelong Republican, but he had crossed party lines to support Roosevelt (Roosevelt, Franklin D.) for the presidency in 1932 and 1936. He opposed Roosevelt's third term, however, threatening to resign as CIO president if Roosevelt won. Interpreting Roosevelt's victory as a repudiation of his own leadership, Lewis resigned as president of the CIO in 1940. In 1942 he pulled the UMWA out of the parent body. A series of miners' strikes called by Lewis in the 1940s won wage increases and new benefits for miners but alienated large segments of the public. Antiunion sentiment spurred the passage of the Smith-Connally Anti-Strike Act (1943) and the Taft-Hartley Act (Taft–Hartley Act) (1947), both of which placed new restrictions on labour unions.In the 1950s Lewis worked closely with mine operators to mechanize the industry, a strategy that increased productivity and ultimately enlarged the union benefits for the miners. After retiring as UMWA president in 1960, he served as chairman of the board of trustees of the UMWA's welfare and retirement fund. A man of imposing appearance, with overhanging brows and a bulldog chin, Lewis studded his sonorous oratory with literary allusions and sometimes with harsh epithets.Additional ReadingMelvyn Dubofsky and Warren Van Tine, John L. Lewis: A Biography (1977; also published in an abridged ed. with the same title, 1986), is a biography; Robert H. Zieger, John L. Lewis: Labor Leader (1988), is a study of his career.
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Lewis, John — SUBJECT AREA: Textiles [br] fl. c. 1815 England [br] English developer of a machine for shearing woollen cloth with rotary cutters. [br] To give a smooth surface to cloth such as the old English broadcloth, the nap was raised and then sheared off … Biographical history of technology
Lewis, John — ▪ American musician in full John Aaron Lewis born May 3, 1920, La Grange, Illinois, U.S. died March 29, 2001, New York, New York American jazz pianist and composer arranger who was an influential member of the Modern Jazz Quartet, one of the… … Universalium
Lewis, John — T Confederation candidate, elected in Albert County, New Brunswick, 89, 107 … The makers of Canada
Lewis,John Llewellyn — Lewis, John Llewellyn. 1880 1969. American labor leader who was president of the United Mine Workers of America (1920 1960) and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (1935 1940). * * * … Universalium
Lewis, John Llewellyn — (1880 1969) The son of a Welsh immigrant, John L. Lewis was born in Iowa, where he began work in the coal mines in the 1890s. In 1907, he moved to Illinois, and he was elected president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) local in… … Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era
Lewis, John L(lewellyn) — born Feb. 12, 1880, near Lucas, Iowa, U.S. died June 11, 1969, Washington, D.C. U.S. labour leader. The son of Welsh immigrants, he became a coal miner at age 15. He rose through the ranks of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) and from… … Universalium
Lewis, John L(lewellyn) — (12 feb. 1880, cerca de Lucas, Iowa, EE.UU.–11 jun. 1969, Washington, D.C.). Dirigente sindical estadounidense, hijo de inmigrantes galeses. Empezó a trabajar como minero del carbón a la edad de 15 años. Fue escalando posiciones en la United Mine … Enciclopedia Universal
Lewis, John Aaron — ▪ 2002 American composer and pianist (b. May 3, 1920, La Grange, Ill. d. March 29, 2001, New York, N.Y.), brought elegance and charm to jazz while leading the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) to musical and popular success for over four decades.… … Universalium
Lewis, John Llewellyn — ► (1880 1969) Jefe sindical estadounidense. Fundó la Confederación de Organizaciones Industriales (CIO) en 1935 … Enciclopedia Universal
ELLERY, Robert Lewis John (1827-1908) — astronomer son of John Ellery, surgeon, was born at Cranleigh, Surrey, England, on 14 July 1827. He was educated at the local grammar school and qualified as a medical practitioner. He sailed for Victoria in 1851 attracted by the discovery of… … Dictionary of Australian Biography