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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

EMPLOYERS RESOURCE COUNCIL

EMPLOYERS RESOURCE COUNCIL

The EMPLOYERS RESOURCE COUNCIL, formerly the Associated Industries of Cleveland, is an organization of employers dedicated to assisting business and industry in the field of employee relations. Founded as the American Plan Assn. of Cleveland by 15 members of the UNION CLUB in 1920, it assumed the name Associated Industries of Cleveland in 1930. Control of the group was vested in a 15-member Board of Governors. WM. FREW LONG of Pittsburgh was hired as the first general manager in 1920 and served the association until his retirement in 1949. Initially dedicated to the principle of the open shop, the association solicited memberships from local industries, which paid dues proportionate to the number of employees on their payroll. In 1938 some 500 area industries were members. In 1982 over 600 companies were members. During its early history, the group fought unionization and the Wagner Labor Relations Act. It assisted the Ohio Rubber Co. of Akron during the United Rubber Workers strike (1934) and was very involved in the LITTLE STEEL STRIKE OF 1937. Its involvement in the latter strikes became the subject of a U.S. Senate investigation in which it was alleged that the association had hired strikebreakers, provided munitions, and conducted espionage in an attempt to break the strike. In 1989 the association moved from the Leader Bldg. to 5700 Lombardo Ctr. in SEVEN HILLS and changed its name to the Employers Resource Council. At this time, its services included training programs, workshops, research, and communications activities directed toward assisting management in employee relations. In 2003, the Employers Resource Council served over 900 organizations that employed a total of nearly 400,000. In addition to its existing programs, the ERC used its significant size to provide access to discounted business services to its members, like health insurance, 401K, and corporate legal services. At the end of 2003, the ERC maintained its headquarters in the Crittenden Bldg. at 1382 W 9th St.