Witt Genealogy

The Decendents of Heinrich Witt
and Caroline Meister

The following articles appeared in Los Angeles papers concerning strikes at South Gate Aluminum and Magnesium Company.


Riot at S.G. Plant Leads to Court Suit

Aluminum and Casting Co. Seeks $25,000 A Day Damages for Halt in Production

Suit for a restraining order and damages against the CIO-United Steelworkers Union was filed in Superior Court after rioting broke out in connection with a work stoppage at a South Gate plant this morning. One man was hospitalized and several suffered minor injuries when violence broke out between workers at the South Gate Aluminum and Magnesium Casting Co., and some 100 non-employe members of a picket line, it was reported.
The dispute has no connection with the steel strike. It involves only the company and Steelworkers Local 2018 which represents workers at the plant. The company is asking damages of $25,000 per day for each day that production is held up. The firm, which informants said is in 100 per cent defense production, charges the union with an illegal walkout.
The union asserts the dispute is over a lockout, it was reported. Glen Witt of Compton, superintendent of the plant at 5331 Tweedy blvd., was treated for injuries to his arms and back following the melee, which broke out at 6 a.m. as employes arrived for the day shift. His condition was not considered serious.
Informants said Witt was injured in a set-to with Gilbert Anaya, representative of the local which has offices at 4110 Slauson, Maywood.
Police were called to the plant, but the excitement had died down and no action by the officers was necessary. No charge had been filed against Anaya. A conference between Judge Louis H. Burke and attorneys representing both the company and the union was scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon, after Attorney William Wittman filed the action at South Gate Superior Court.
The suit requests a court injunction against picketing of the plant and further violence. The damages are sought under provisions of the Taft-Hartley act. Wittman said the dispute started last Friday when 68 employes reported at the plant, but refused to go to work until a discharged union steward, Charles Barrier, was rehired.
Instead of reinstating Barrier, the 68 employes were discharged for refusing to work and a union ultimatum was made, threatening a strike Tuesday unless all were rehired, Wittman said.
There was no strike yesterday, but the picket line was on duty when the day shift reported for work this morning.
Wittman said the company has a contract that does not expire until next Aug. 16, under which the union "guarantees uninterrupted production and cooperation with the company to obtain maximum production." Wittman said the injunction and damage suit was filed on the basis that the union's action was in violation of that contract.
It was expected that the union would present its side of the case before Judge Burke this afternoon.


S.G. Plant Closed In Firing Dispute

The South Gate Aluminum and Magnesium plant, 5331 Tweedy boulevard, was shutdown today as company leaders and officials of the United Steel Workers of America CIO union attempted to straighten out matters concerning the firing of a union employee.
Pickets surrounded the plant and several outbreaks of fisticuffs were reported as employes sought to crack through the line.
President of A and M, Richard Stockton, has asked South Gate Superior Court Judge to hand down a temporary restraining order against the picketers or show just case why the action shouldn't be terminated. Burke was to rule this afternoon and set a hearing date.
Stockton declares that the shutdown threatens the security of his business seriously.
The strike, according to Stockton's affidavit, was sparked when the company temporarily laid off Charles Berrier, an employe, for "inadequate production" and then later made the firing permanent. That was on July 17.
Union officials met and then notified Stockton that unless Berrier was reinstated by 7 p.m. Monday a picket line would be thrown up around the plant. At 5 a.m. today pickets appeared on the company premises and halted workers from going to work according to Stockton's paper.
Wittman, Freiburghouse, Woodard, Truman and Nelson are representing the company in the fight against the United Steel Workers of America, Charles Smith, Gil Anaya, United Steel Workers of America, Local 2018, Lee Holiday and Berrier, chief steward.
Union leaders were unable to be reached for comment.


Foundry Official Injured in Picket Line Fighting

Fighting broke out on a CIO United Steel Workers picket line yesterday at the South Gate Aluminum & Magnesium Co. and when it was over Glen Witt, superintendent of the foundry, was treated at South Gate Emergency Hospital for a wrenched shoulder. He emerged with his arm in a sling.
Atty. William A. Wittman and Jack Nelson for the company got a Superior Court order that limited picketing at the plant and prohibited further violence there. The case is to have further hearing next Thursday before Superior Judge Louis Burke in South Gate.
Arbitration Matter
Nelson said that the union has a contract with the company under which an arbitration matter is proceeding over the discharge of an employee. He said that last Friday the day shift at the 175-man foundry refused to work. The men on the shift were discharged.
On Monday the plant opened with the night shift working on the discharged shift's time and this continued until yesterday when a large mass of pickets appeared at the place and fighting followed. Nelson said that the foundry will continue operating with some 90 employees who did not join the disturbance.


Court Limits S.G. Picketing Over Firings

A Superior Court injunction temporarily limited pickets today at the South Gate Aluminum and Magnesium Co., 5331 Tweedy blvd., where fighting between pickets and workers broke out yesterday and one man, Foundry Supt. Glen Witt, received a wrenched shoulder.
South Gate Superior Judge Louis Burke signed the restraining order and set July 31 for a full hearing between plant and union representatives. The restraining order limits pickets to one every 15 feet.
The dispute involves what plant officials term a partial walkout and union heads claim actually is a "lockout."
A plant spokesman, who said the firm is engaged in 100 per cent defense production charged that the United Steel Workers violated their "no strike" contract by walking out last Friday. Later plant attorneys filed suit for $25,000 a day damages during the production lag.
Union representative Robert Clark, assistant to District Director Charles Smith, reported today that 135 of the 140 union employes at the plant are off the job. They met this morning at Maywood union hall to discuss recent offers by management.
Union spokesman say trouble started when some 68 employes on the day shift refused to enter the plant until the company had agreed to send the cases of two recently discharged employes to arbitration. When the men did not enter the plant 15 minutes after a company order to return to work, the union charged that the gates were closed and the workers were locked out.
Management's Attorney Jack Nelson said the men were discharged when they failed to meet their daily quotas as set up by management. But he asserted that management had agreed to arbitration and in his opinion labor had "jumped the gun."
According to reports the plant is operated on limited capacity and union pickets are parading orderly at all plant entrances.