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Hall of Honor

1982 Union Hall of Honor

Webtrax Admin

Ralph Helstein

"For his brilliant leadership of the packinghouse workers as they fought their way out of the industrial jungle."

Since the 1930s, Helstein has done a great deal to promote material and social gains for workers. As a labor lawyer for the CIO, he was instrumental in negotiating a settlement for packinghouse workers in Austin, Minnesota, with the Hormel packing plant in 1937. In 1942, Helstein came to Chicago as the General Council for the Packinghouse Workers Organizing Committee of the CIO. Throughout his career, Helstein has promoted greater democracy within this union. He promoted the participation of women and minorities in the life of the union.


Milton P. Webster

"For 45 years as a pioneer fighter for equal employment and for his key role in the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters."

Webster fought throughout his career to end racial discrimination in organized labor in general and within the defense industry in particular. In 1925 Webster was the first International Vice-President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. During World War II, Webster challenged the Roosevelt Administration by promoting worker racial integration in the defense industry. Until his death in 1965, Webster was active in civil rights within organized labor and US society at large.