Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia

Campbell’s Workers Strike

Campbell’s Workers Strike

A large group of striking workers are standing outside one of the Campbell buildings; filling the sidewalk and blocking the doors of the building.

Since first striking in 1934, Campbell’s production workers fought an ongoing battle with their employer.

Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

Since first striking in 1934, Campbell’s production workers fought an ongoing battle with their employer. Initially, employees went on strike to pressure the company to allow unionization. After workers achieved union recognition in 1940, the next few decades were marked by work stoppages and other industrial actions as workers demanded better factory conditions and fair wages. Campbell’s countered the strikes and protests by hiring lower-wage immigrant laborers and by building factories in other cities, free of disgruntled unions. However, these actions only angered employees more, and in 1946 the Camden and Chicago plants won a united strike. In 1968 a multi-plant strike ultimately failed. The Camden plant (pictured here in 1952) closed its doors, leaving almost 1,000 people out of work.

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