Little Steel Agreement Apush

The Little Steel Agreement was a significant event in American labor history during the Great Depression. This article will delve into the history and impact of the Little Steel Agreement in APUSH and how it has shaped labor relations in the United States.


In the 1930s, the country was in the midst of an economic crisis, and many Americans were struggling to make ends meet. To combat widespread poverty and unemployment, President Franklin D. Roosevelt`s New Deal introduced a series of reforms that aimed to stimulate the economy and protect workers` rights.

One of the most significant challenges faced by workers during this time was the lack of union representation. Many industries were dominated by large corporations that had little interest in workers` rights and often used violence and intimidation to prevent unionization.

In response to this issue, the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) was formed in 1935. The CIO`s goal was to organize industrial workers and fight for better wages, working conditions, and benefits.

The Little Steel Agreement

One of the CIO`s first major achievements was the Little Steel Agreement, negotiated in 1937. The agreement was between the CIO and several large steel companies, including Republic Steel, Bethlehem Steel, and U.S. Steel.

The agreement established wage increases and improved working conditions for thousands of steelworkers. It also included provisions for workers` rights to unionize and collectively bargain, which was a groundbreaking achievement at the time.

The agreement was named “Little Steel” because it did not include U.S. Steel, the largest steel company in the country. However, the Little Steel Agreement paved the way for similar agreements in other industries, leading to increased union membership and improved labor conditions for workers throughout the country.


The Little Steel Agreement had significant impacts on labor relations in the United States. It marked a turning point in the labor movement`s fight for workers` rights, demonstrating that unions could negotiate with major corporations and achieve tangible benefits for their members.

The agreement also showed the power of collective bargaining, setting a precedent for future labor negotiations. It contributed to the growth of the labor movement and helped establish unions` role in protecting workers` rights.

In addition, the Little Steel Agreement highlighted the importance of government intervention in labor relations. The agreement was negotiated with the help of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), a government agency created under the New Deal that oversaw labor relations and protected workers` rights.

Overall, the Little Steel Agreement was a landmark event in American labor history. It demonstrated the power of collective bargaining and paved the way for improved labor conditions for workers throughout the country. Its legacy can still be felt today, as unions continue to fight for workers` rights and wage increases.