GALLIANO GIORGIO DI NUCCI
(Capracotta, 14 febbraio 1902 - Parkersburg, 23 luglio 1979)
Sindacalista e fondatore della "Columbus Ohio Federation of Labor"
In almost every manufacturing center in Ohio, a handful of individuals served as catalysts for the local labor movement's upsurge in the 1930s. Iorwith Wilber (I. W.) Abel helped organize the Timken Company's Canton plant for the United Steelworkers of America. Ray Ross brought the United Autoworkers into International Harvester in Springfield, while John House led Goodyear rubber workers in a 1936 strike that became the CIO's first significant victory. Some of these activists, such as Abel who became president of the Steel in 1965, eventually gained major positions in the national unions they helped to build. But many did not make the adjustment to the more institutionalized labor movement of the post-World War II era. Some discovered that the skills needed for organizing a union were not the same skills needed for running one. Others lacked the proper base for attaining leadership positions as power gravitated to the representatives of those locals and national unions with the largest memberships. Such men and women spent their lives in the trenches of the labor movement, only to have history forget their names. This essay explores the life of one such activist, George DeNucci, both to reclaim his importance and to highlight some significant dynamics in Ohio labor history. George DeNucci, whose given name was Galli, was born in the small Italian town of Capratto on February 14, 1902. Within months of his birth, George's father, Vincent, left his wife, Catherine, and their two children and, on borrowed money, sailed for the United States in search of work as a skilled tailor. George's father had difficulty establishing himself in America, but after a few months he lòanded a tailoring job in Baltimore. Still, he did not earn enough to pay off his debts and send for his family. Vincent DeNucci's luck changed in 1904 when William Hersch, owner of the United Woolen Mill in Parkersburg, West Virginia, traveled east to recruit Italian tailors. Vincent was a particularly valuable catch for Hersch. Having served a five-year apprenticeship, the elder DeNucci was a complete tailor capable of designing and assembling a man's suit from scratch.
W. van Tine, George DeNucci and the Rise of Mass-Production Unionism in Ohio, in W. van Tine e M. Pierce, Builders of Ohio. A biographical History, The Ohio State University Press, Columbus 2003, pp. 254-256.