Co-Founder, The Democracy Collaborative
Black Monday, ’77, When the Mill Shutdown in Youngstown Gave Birth to the Rust Belt
Co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative Gar Alperovitz writes for Moyers & Company about the first steel mill in Youngstown, Ohio, and how the effort to save the mill through worker/community ownership helped lay the seeds for today’s movement for a democratized economy.
On Sept. 19, 1977 — a day remembered locally as “Black Monday” — the corporate owners of the Campbell Works in Youngstown, Ohio, abruptly shuttered the giant steel mill’s doors. Instantly, 5,000 workers lost their jobs, their livelihoods and their futures. The mill’s closing was national news, one of the first major blows in the era of deindustrialization, offshoring and “free trade” that has since made mass layoffs commonplace.