Today in Labor History

Labor history is OUR history

Archive for the tag “iww”

November 19, 1915

November 19

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) organizer and songwriter Joe Hill is executed in Utah after having been framed on a murder charge. While in prison, Hill sent a telegram to IWW leader Big Bill Haywood: “Goodbye Bill. I die like a true blue rebel. Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize!” In a later telegram, he added, “Could you arrange to have my body hauled to the state line to be buried? I don’t want to be found dead in Utah.”

November 5, 1916

bildeApproximately 300 members of the Industrial Workers of the World attempt to arrive at Everett, Washington, from Seattle by boat. Everett’s sheriff and about 200 armed men met them at the dock to prevent them from landing and a gun battle ensued in which five Wobblies and two of the sheriff’s deputies were killed.

August 3, 1913

Durst_Ranch_Hop_Pickers__ThreeStriking hop pickers near the Northern California town of Wheatland gather to hear Industrial Workers of the World organizers, among them Richard “Blackie” Ford. Fighting broke out when sheriff’s deputies attempted to arrest Ford while he was speaking. Four people died, including the local district attorney, a deputy, and two workers. Despite a lack of evidence, Ford and another strike leader, Herman Suhr, were found guilty of murder by a 12-member jury that included 8 farmers.

July 8, 1905

abolishcapitalismThe founding convention of the Industrial Workers of the World concludes in Chicago. Founding member William “Big Bill” Haywood addressed the convention: “This is the Continental Congress of the working-class. We are here to confederate the workers of this country into a working-class movement that shall have for its purpose the emancipation of the working-class from the slave bondage of capitalism.”

June 14, 1924

June 14The Ku Klux Klan attacks members of the Industrial Workers of the World at the IWW’s meeting hall in San Pedro, California, during a benefit for the families of two workers killed in a railroad accident. The KKK beat many of the 300 members; kidnapped, tarred, and feathered others; destroyed everything inside the building; and scalded two children by burning them with a pot of coffee. [Photo: A twelve-year old child is treated at the hospital for burns she received during the attack.]

May 18, 1928

bbhWilliam “Big Bill” Haywood – founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World, member of the Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of America, secretary of the Western Federation of Miners, and an advocate of industrial unionism – dies in the Soviet Union where he had fled after having been found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison under the Espionage Act of 1917.

March 12, 1912

lawrence_strike_child_laborThe Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)-led “Bread and Roses” textile strike of 32,000 women and children ends after ten weeks when the American Woolen Company accedes to the workers’ demands. Soon, the rest of the Lawrence, Massachusetts textile companies followed suit and wages were raised for textile workers throughout New England.

February 4, 1869

Big Bill 400 tanWilliam “Big Bill” Haywood is born. Haywood was a founding member of the Industrial Workers of the World, member of the Executive Committee of the Socialist Party of America, an advocate of industrial unionism. “Labor produces all wealth; all wealth belongs to the producer thereof.”

December 10, 1906

December 103,000 Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) members at the General Electric plant complex in Schenectady, New York, begin what is believed to be this country’s first sit-down strike.

October 30, 1912

helen_schloss_irs_jan_1913_(2)Little Falls, New York, mounted police attack striking textile workers – mostly immigrant women and girls – beating some of them unconscious. The police chased the fleeing workers to their strike headquarters, continuing their assault, ransacking the building, destroying their union charter, and arresting the entire strike committee. Despite this, the workers saw the strike through until January 1913, when they won an agreement that included reinstatements, wage increases, and other demands.

Post Navigation