The catastrophe at Sparrows Point

“Baltimore Steel – A history of industrial struggle, past, present and future.”

Saturday, June 8, 2013 (this Saturday)
11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Govans Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library

The closing of the Sparrows Point mills dropped 2,000 jobs, and $ 3 million a week, from the local economy–“devastating” is the best description. More improatntly, it was a reflection of the decline of manufacturing and of unionism over the past 35 years.

The steel mills in Baltimore were not simply a place of employment. Sparrows Point was a workers community. Generations grew up there, were schooled there, retired, and died there. The destruction of that community was not in the hands of the workers, though. The fate of a place and its people was in the hands of the Owners. Was there another outcome possible? Could workers and their organizations have affected the finale? And what was or should have been the role played by “government”? Did the city, state, or feds serve the workers–or the owners? What does that tell us about the fundamental problem that lies at the heart of workers struggles?

The discussion will be led by Bill Barry, a leading activist and teacher of labor history.