Today in Labor History July 23, 2020

Unrest in Detroit

Northern Michigan copper miners struck for the 8 hour day, higher wages and union recognition. The strike continued until April 12, 1914. During the strike, 600 were arrested for inciting a riot, 500 for violating an injunction against picketing, and the Western Federation of Miners ( WFM) president, Charles Moyer, was shot, beaten and forced out of town. Also, on Christmas Eve, 1913, the women’s auxiliary of the WFM organized a party for miners and their families during which someone shouted “fire” causing a stampede that killed 73, mostly children. The identity of the crier was never determined, but many believe it was a member of the Citizen’s Alliance, a group used by the mine owners to attack strikers and crush their movement. The strike ended with the union being effectively driven out of the Keweenaw Peninsula. – 1913

Northern Michigan copper miners on strike for 8 hour day, seven days of social unrest in Detroit, and more. Click To Tweet

Seven days of social unrest, including fighting with cops, anti-business and anti-government actions began in Detroit. By the end of the riots, 43 were dead, 2,000 wounded and 5,000 made homeless. It was the largest riot of the century, sparking additional riots throughout U.S. – 1967

Aluminum Workers International Union merged with The United Brick & Clay Workers of America to form Aluminum, Brick & Clay Workers. – 1981

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