The Committee for Industrial Organization began as a sector of the AFL. After World War I, the demand for highly skilled workers declined. With mass production factories, such as Ford, the demand for semi-skilled workers increased dramatically. The AFL was against hiring semi-skilled workers, but the CIO began accepting members from the steel and automotive industries. Once the AFL became aware of the actions of the CIO, the AFL forced the CIO out, and the CIO formed its own union.
The CIO may have taken the "one big union" approach, but their approach was not technically "one big union". The CIO had one large union for every major industry, one for steel, but a separate one for automotive. They felt that all steel workers generally share the same interests. With effective leadership and their approach, the CIO was successful as a labor organization. Their popularity grew rapidly, because of the demand for semi-skilled workers was increasing at the time. The number of jobs for semi-skilled workers was rapidly rising as companies began to shift to mass production techniques. By late 1937, the CIO members included 75% of the steel industry, 70% of the automotive industry, 65% of the rubber industry, and 35% of the textile industry. This provided the CIO the power to influence decisions made by owners and managers through techniques such as sit-down strikes. The CIO made it clear that not much would get accomplished unless the labor force and management agreed with one another. 2.1
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