Ohio Steel Strike of 1937
Statement by Governor Martin L. Davey
Saturday, November 20, 1937
In view of the sit-down strike in three of the plants of one of the rubber companies in Akron, and on the request of local officials, a sufficient number of troops in that area were put on notice last evening. Trucks were moved from Camp Perry during the night to the headquarters of the several Infantry companies. Everything was in readiness to move the troops into Akron this afternoon to arrive before six o'clock tonight. I am glad to find that as a result of this action, the plants were evacuated during the morning.
We are not concerned with any ordinary strike, and have no intention of interfering with such affairs. However, the sit-down strike is illegal, immoral and revolutionary. It is a defiance of law and of decent public opinion, and is a dangerous defiance of American traditions. Such a weapon of industrial warfare will not be tolerated in Ohio.
I am supremely confident that the overwhelming majority of the members of organized labor are wholly out of sympathy with lawlessness and violence, and they do not condone in their hearts these revolutionary tactics. They are good American citizens like the rest of our people. The greater portion of them are heads of families and home-owners, and are law-abiding. The trouble springs from a small minority of radicals and extremists, lead in many cases by Communist agitators. Most American working men are thoroughly sound, and I salute them as good citizens.
Everyone with humane instincts has a feeling, not alone of sympathy, but of deep concern for the unnumbered thousands of working people who have had to be laid off in the last two or three months, as a result of the present depression. Nearly all employers have suffered alike in the present business decline, and they have seen orders cancelled, with a decreasing supply of new orders. Certainly no one wanted to lay off any of his people, and everyone would be most happy if his business could be running at full blast with everyone busily engaged in production of usable goods.