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The Ecumenical Coalition of Working People was incorporated on March 15, 1979 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Coalition was organized to improve the living and working conditions of workers and their families, and sought to alleviate the historical bias against trade unions in the South by conducting labor education programs and lobbying the Georgia General Assembly.
John Gates Ramsay, born 1902, was a steelworker early in his career, serving as a vice-president and president of local unions. He joined the new Steel Workers Organizing Committee of the CIO in 1936. From 1940 he was a member of the organizing staff of the USWA, serving in their Southern organizing drive in 1946-1953. He then worked in the national CIO office in Washington. Ramsay's unique emphasis was to develop contacts with religious leaders and groups that might be useful in the labor...