On October 31, 1990, union workers at Ravenswood Aluminum arrived as usual for their midnight shift.
Only this time, they were turned away from the gates. Thus began one of the most bitter labor disputes of the late 20th century.
From the time Kaiser Aluminum opened the Ravenswood plant in 1954 until it sold its operations in 1988, there had never been a strike. But, workers felt that the new owners’ cost-cutting measures were jeopardizing their safety. In fact, four workers had been killed on the job just the summer before the conflict began.