Biography of Florida Union Organizer Frank E’dalgo

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This is a full-length study of one of Florida’s most vital union organizers. Bogumil examines E’Dalgo’s impact on the formation of labor unions in the sugarcane, citrus and early aerospace industries within Florida. He probes personality, motivations, and the extent of his accomplishments. It includes William J. Usery’s (former Secretary of labor under the Ford administration) candid recollections of their working relationship. With many photographs.


“As oral history it is first rate. The authors assist the reader by inserting within the narrative brief historical contexts as well as explanations involving labor terminology and labor-management issues. . . . While we don’t get much of a feel for the history of the union movement in this book, we do come to understand exactly how a labor organizer operates. This is one of the strongest virtues of the book. Once can feel the persistence and determination on the part of E’Dalgo to secure a more decent life for the field workers. One really knows very little about the plight of these workers until one reads E’Dalgo’s description of their conditions. . . . Just reading these accounts offers a valuable passageway into the inner workings of the Florida labor movement and what it takes to win a contract for the laborers. . . . E’Dalgo’s life and what he stood for are the things that history is really made of. For that we can thank the authors.” – Charles F. Howlett

“. . . through personal interviews, newspaper accounts, photographs, and a lucid analysis, the author renders a biographically genuine and historically detailed portrait of a preeminent labor organizer in the mid to late 20th century.” – Michael R. Molino

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Foreword; Introduction
1. E’Dalgo’s Early Life on a Farm
2. Working in the Citrus Packing Industry
3. Working in the Shipping Industry
4. Leaving the Production Line for Full-Time Labor Organizing
5. Working in Sugar Cane Harvesting
6. Joining the War Effort
7. Organizing the Citrus Industry
8. Organizing with Lou Rhodes
9. E’Dalgo Embarks on Yet Another Career in the Machinists Union
10. W. J. “Bill the Kid” Usery Recalls Working with Frank E’Dalgo
11. Organizing a Union at Pan American
12. Those Early Days at the Cape
13. E’Dalgo’s Relationship with Richard “Dick” Deem, Arbitrator
14. Still Walking the Picket Line at the Cape
15. The President’s Labor Site Commission
Afterword; References
Appendix I – A Labor Contract Comparison

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