This Date in SESCO's History
February 23, 2022
This famous picture depicts our founder, J.W.R. Lawson, Sr. in crossing the picket line at Roanoke Electric Steel, the country’s first “mini mill” and first continuing steel casting plant. Roanoke Electric Steel was founded by John W. Hancock, Jr. who was an icon in the steel industry.
This image became famous as not only was Lawson one of the first to truly "fight" unions, but also note that he is escorting a young black man across the picket line. Crossing a picket line (SCAB) was a very dangerous thing to do. In addition, the individual was black. How brave! Labor Relations Consulting during the 40’s, 50’s and 60's was not for the "faint of heart" as Lawson stated. But further considering racial relations in this era, that Lawson had the guts to escort a black person across the picket line was even more remarkable and frankly brave.
We are very proud of our historic firm and the services that we have provided to our clients since 1945. We sure miss J.W.R. Lawson, Sr. (Uncle Joe) for his tireless inspiration, perspiration and desire to serve others fearlessly. He was the first Employee Relations specialists in the country and a true Icon! Our success rate in defeating the unions is unsurpassed.
P.S., due to SESCO’s efforts, Roanoke Electric Steel turned a profit and as Mr. Hancock stated, "he was forever indebted to the efforts of SESCO and Mr. Lawson, Sr."