Today in Labor History – July 16th

San Francisco General Strike
San Francisco General Strike

Carlo Tresca and other Industrial Workers of the World ( IWW) strike leaders were arrested on charges of inciting the murder of a deputy. This was during a strike of 30,000 iron-ore mine workers of the Mesabi range in northern Minnesota. – 1916

Ten thousand workers went on strike at Chicago’s International Harvester operations. – 1919

Martial law was declared in a strike by longshoremen in Galveston, Texas. – 1920

The San Francisco General Strike began. The longshoremen’s strike actually started on May 9 and lasted 83 days, leading ultimately to the unionization of all West Coast ports. The strike grew violent quickly, with company goons and police brutalizing longshoremen and sailors. They hired private security to protect the scabs they brought in to load and unload ships, housing them in moored ships and wall compounds that the strikers attacked. In San Pedro, two workers were killed by private security on May 15. Battles also broke out in Oakland, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle. On July 5, police attacked strikers with tear gas and with clubs in San Francisco while on horseback and later fired into the crowd, killing two and injuring others. A General Strike was called on July 14 and began on July 16, lasting 4 days. – 1934

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