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1930s

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In November 1935, John L. Lewis announced the creation of the CIO, the Committee for Industrial Organization, composed of about a dozen leaders of AFL unions, to carry on the effort for industrial unionism. Industrial Unions are unions that organize an entire industry regardless of skill. In short they where unions of unskilled workers. Lewis, born in Iowa in 1880 of Welsh immigrant parents, went to work in the coal mines and became president of the Mine Workers in 1920. An orator of remarkable virtuosity, Lewis voiced increasingly bitter attacks on his colleagues on the AFL Executive Council; his words helped speed the break. In 1936, the various CIO unions were expelled from the Federation. In 1938 the CIO held its first constitutional convention and became the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

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