Representation and rebellion : the Rockefeller plan at the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, 1914-1942


    • Rees, Jonathan


Representation and rebellion : the Rockefeller plan at the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, 1914-1942

Jonathan H. Rees

University Press of Colorado, c2010

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Includes bibliographical references and index



In response to the tragedy of the Ludlow Massacre, John D Rockefeller, Jr introduced one of the nation's first employee representation plans (ERPs) to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in 1915. With the advice of William Mackenzie King, who would go on to become prime minister of Canada, the plan -- which came to be known as the Rockefeller Plan -- was in use until 1942 and became the model for ERPs all over the world. In Representation and Rebellion Jonathan Rees uses a variety of primary sources -- including records recently discovered at the company's former headquarters in Pueblo, Colorado -- to tell the story of the Rockefeller Plan and those who lived under it, as well as to detail its various successes and failures. Taken as a whole, the history of the Rockefeller Plan is not the story of ceaseless oppression and stifled militancy that its critics might imagine, but it is also not the story of the creation of a paternalist panacea for labour unrest that Rockefeller hoped it would be. Addressing key issues of how this early twentieth-century experiment fared from 1915 to 1942, Rees argues that the Rockefeller Plan was a limited but temporarily effective alternative to independent unionism in the wake of the Ludlow Massacre. The book will appeal to business and labour historians, political scientists, and sociologists, as well as those studying labour and industrial relations.


  • Memories of a Massacre
  • Student & Teacher
  • Between Two Extremes
  • Divisions in the Ranks
  • The Rockefeller Plan in Action: The Mines
  • The Rockefeller Plan in Action: The Mill
  • New Union, Same Struggle
  • Depression, Frustration & Real Competition
  • Conclusion
  • Index.

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