An initially peaceful protest was named “Battle of Toledo” once it became fatal. Nearly 85 years ago, a federal labor union of the American Federation of Labor began to strike against the Electric Auto-Lite company. An arrest of an organizer and four strikers initiated a five-day battle. During this battle, members of the Ohio National Guard and several thousand strikers clashed. Two strikers were shot down by National Guardsmen from a nearby bridge, and many others were injured. This photo shows a civilian and officer carrying a man near the Electric Auto-Lite plant during the strike. The strike began on April 12, 1934, and ended on June 3, 1934. The historic strike, which was during the Great Depression, led to widespread unionization in Toledo and influenced federal laws allowing the right to unionize. It played a major role in the evolving United Automobile, Aerospace, and Agricultural Implement Workers of America. The 600,000-square-foot factory played an important part of Toledo history. It prospered after the strike until 1960 when Chrysler Corp. discontinued being a customer. Once closed, the factory suffered from multiple vandalism incidents.
The Blade/Katie Rausch
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