The stockyards and the meat packing industry played a prominent role in the history and economic development of Chicago during this period. The battles between labor and management were sporadic, continuing, hard fought and often bitter, as vast numbers of workers from abroad and from the American South and rural areas flocked to Chicago seeking work in the industry.
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For further reading: Cohen, Lizabeth., Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1990. This work documents the difficulties and successes of industrial workers (immigrants and racial minorities) to form a union in Chicago before and leading up to the New Deal. It also describes how mass culture permeated the lives of these workers and forged cohesive bonds across race and ethnic lines.
Barrett, James R., Work and Community in the Jungle: Chicago’s Packinghouse Workers,1894-1922. Champaign: U. Illinois Press, 1987. A study of these workers, their political and social identifications, and the long, bitter and brutal battles for unionization.