Centennial of the Seattle General Strike

first_imgFrom Feb. 6 to 11, 1919, some 60,000 workers, led by 35,000 shipyard workers, shut down Seattle — population 300,000 — in a general strike. The strike was in solidarity with the Russian Revolution of 1917, which, along with the Chinese Revolution of 1950, was one of the great watershed revolutions of the 20th century.General strikes had already taken place in St. Louis in 1877 and New Orleans in 1892. The Seattle general strike was the most organized, with 110 union locals participating.Industrial Workers of the WorldAt the height of the industrial revolution, militants and labor radicals founded the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905 to represent all workers, including im/migrant and workers of all nationalities and genders, for industrial unionism and against capitalism. It demanded that workers receive the fruits of their labor. The IWW struck at Lawrence, Mass., in 1912, when thousands of immigrant women garment workers united and fought to victory against poverty wages.The “Wobblies” were involved in big struggles in Grays Harbor County on Washington’s Pacific Coast. They fought a successful free-speech battle there in 1911 and 1912 and overturned a ban on radical speakers in the lumber town of Aberdeen. IWW workers then struck between March and May of 1912 in mills all across Western Washington. Great gains were made against low wages. Thousands joined the IWW during and after this struggle.In 1916, in the mill town of Everett near Seattle, several thousand shingle weavers held out against the shingle mills in a beleaguered five-month strike. The IWW came to the their aid by holding free-speech street meetings in the face of arrests and other heavy repression.On Nov. 5, 1916, two solidarity ships full of bold and courageous IWW workers sailed from Seattle to Everett. Just before the ship Verona arrived at the Everett dock, shots rang out from two covered piers full of the bosses’ armed thugs. Eleven IWW workers were murdered and 31 wounded.Everett was the most bloody confrontation with striking workers in the Northwest. But all IWW mass organizing was met with mass jailings, beatings and defamation of workers in the bosses’ news media — which only stiffened the workers’ determination. Admiration for the great solidarity of the worker-martyrs at Everett helped lead to the Seattle General Strike.In 1917, 50,000 loggers in the Northwest went on strike for the 8-hour day and to win bedding in bunkhouses in lumber camps. The loggers, who were called bindlestiffs because they carried their bedding on their backs in bindles, worked in hazardous and unsanitary conditions. The army was called out against them.Despite this, the loggers won the 8-hour day and bunkhouse bedding and celebrated by throwing their bindles into big bonfires. They came out of the woods singing a new song for labor — “Solidarity Forever!”End of WWI brings class struggle homeSeattle shipyard workers, under very regimented, dangerous conditions, had built 26 percent of the U.S. World War I fleet. But they were under a wage freeze during World War I. The Shipbuilding Labor Adjustment Board in Washington, D.C., had control over wages. It was called the Macy Board after its director, V. Everit Macy. The shipyard workers’ main grievance was their low wages — only $4.16 a day — which were kept low by the rulings of the Macy Board for the benefit of the yard bosses. But prices began going up and, with many workers moving into the crowded city for jobs in the shipyards, the landlords jacked up the rents.The end of World War I, Nov. 11, 1918, now celebrated as Armistice Day, brought much rejoicing and helped bring the class struggle home to the U.S. The mutiny of the armed soldiers and sailors of Germany had brought down the German Kaiser. The German Social Democrats supported them and the workers almost overthrew capitalism. (see WW, Oct. 18; tinyurl.com/y9dt3svg)Workers in Seattle closely followed world events affecting their class. There were at least 52 working class/radical newspapers in Washington state between 1898 and 1920. Seattle had a daily newspaper, the Seattle Union Record, which bent toward socialism and was the mouthpiece of organized labor under the Seattle Central Labor Council. It had a daily circulation of 50,000 to 100,000 during these years.In November 1918, the Seattle shipyard workers, under the Metal Trades Council, reacted quickly to the end of the WWI strike ban and ratified a strike vote. There were 35,000 workers in the Seattle yards, in about 20 union locals under the MTC.Hulet Wells gives a description of the Skinner & Eddy yard: There were “boilermakers, drillers, reamers, blacksmiths, machinists, electricians, carpenters, molders and painters. … In the shops were blast furnaces, giant shears, punch presses and table rolls. Boilers reverberated, planers screamed, white hot rods were rammed into bolt machines. … It was Dante’s Inferno and Chaplin’s Modern Times all in one.”Strike!On Jan. 16, 1919, the workers’ MTC entered negotiations with the yard bosses for long-overdue wage increases, especially for the low-paid laborers. But bargaining broke down after an intercepted telegram from the Emergency Fleet Corporation, which said the yards would get no steel if any pay increases were given. The 35,000 MTC workers struck the shipyards on Jan. 21, with another 15,000 in Tacoma.Now the complete intransigence of the bosses moved the workers in the direction of a general strike. A leaflet showing a worker pushing a capitalist into a coffin showed up across the city and even around the country. It said “Russia Did It” — a spin-off of the slogan “The Yanks Did It” for a WWI Victory Bond drive.The Seattle Central Labor Council was made up of 110 union locals representing 65,000 workers — half of them shipyard workers already on strike. The CLC had strong flanks from the socialists and the IWW.A Jan. 22 meeting of the CLC was packed to the rafters, and the question of the general strike was cheered forward by the workers against any opposition. Favorable general strike votes were taken in the next several days by nearly all union locals.On Feb. 2, a meeting of representatives from all the unions set the general strike date for Feb. 6. A Committee of 15 was chosen to plan the organization of the strike.The immediate issue was how to run a city without capitalist production and distribution — how to provide and manage the necessities of life for the working class. Essential services such as light and power, fire protection, hospitals and food distribution had to be planned. Organized labor had cooperative relations with farmers through the State Grange, a farmers’ association.How about the aims and duration of the strike? This question was taken up in a way by Anna Louise Strong, the editorial page editor of the Seattle Union Record, who wrote that labor not only would shut down industry, but could reopen more and more industries “under its own management.” She also said that workers were starting on a road that leads “no one knows where.” This shocked the daylights out of the bosses.On Feb. 6, at 10 a.m., the general strike began. It was a Seattle and Tacoma general strike, with 20,000 striking in Tacoma. All the streetcars and trucks headed for the barns, and all activity in the city ceased. Some 65,000 union workers struck, but with many sympathetic non-union workers also striking or unable to get to work, there could have been 100,000 staying home. There were also 5,000 to 10,000 striking coal miners in districts east of Seattle.Labor set up 21 cafeterias serving meals for 25 cents to unionists and 35 cents to others. Milk was provided for babies at 35 milk stations. Linen and fuel was delivered to hospitals under the authorization of the General Strike Committee. The Japanese Labor Association, comprising hotel and restaurant workers, struck in sympathy with a labor movement that had never recognized them.The Labor War Veterans Guards, under the General Strike Committee, patrolled the city to prevent any provocations against the strike. But the threat to public safety came from 1,500 troops brought in from nearby Camp Lewis, who set up machine gun nests at intersections. Instead of urging workers to stay home, it would have been powerful for the General Strike Committee to call out the masses of labor in demonstrations.Labor advancesThe great strike lasted five working days until Tuesday, Feb. 11, at noon. The workers had won nothing from the federal government, but were satisfied they had shown solidarity. It was a great demonstration of the growing power of labor against the bosses, who were rabid in their attacks. It was a demonstration of labor’s ability to run and manage society, and also a show of solidarity with the Russian Revolution, as it grew to become a Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.In October 1919 a shipment of crates labelled “sewing machines” came to the Seattle port. Suspicious longshore workers “accidentally” dropped a crate on the dock. Out came rifles from Remington Arms bound for counterrevolutionary Admiral Alexander Kolchak, who led the White Movement against the Russian Revolution. The longshore workers refused to load the cargo, and the Central Labor Council backed them up. Such was the spirit of proletarian internationalism in Seattle and among the working class in many places during and after the Russian Revolution.Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson was whipped into a rage against the Reds, and even toured the country giving speeches on Americanism versus Bolshevism.Possibly influenced by Seattle’s strike, a six-week general strike broke out in Winnipeg, Canada, from May Day, May 1, until mid-June. This general strike involved 30,000 workers — virtually the entire working class of Winnipeg. Sympathy strikes were called in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and all across Canada, and the ruling class was so shaken that they responded with bloody violence.The Seattle general strike and all the organizing during that period helped labor move to a higher level during the 1930s. Under the labor movement, the pension leagues and the Washington Pension Union fought for and won a $50 state pension for workers. This helped force the federal government to implement Social Security for retirees and others.Sources: “Revolution in Seattle” by Harvey O’Connor and The Canadian Encyclopedia.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Industry Veteran Brad Blackwell Announces Retirement

first_img Share Save May 14, 2018 3,042 Views The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Industry Veteran Brad Blackwell Announces Retirement The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Previous: Mortgage Relief for Those Impacted by Hawaiian Volcano Next: Banking Committee Considers Fed Nominees Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Tagged with: Brad Blackwell Wells Fargo After 17 years at Wells Fargo, Brad Blackwell, EVP, Housing Policy and Homeownership Growth Strategies at Wells Fargo Home Lending, has announced that he will retire, effective September 1, 2018.Blackwell leads the development and advocacy for housing policy and the development of strategies to increase homeownership in the U.S. at Wells Fargo. “My passion is helping minority and LMI families to become homeowners. In my remaining time at Wells, I will be working hard to increase our capability to serve these consumers,” Blackwell said in a social media post while announcing his retirement. “After that, I will be spending time with my two new grandchildren, traveling with the love of my life, and enjoying family and friends.”A veteran of the financial services industry, Blackwell was EVP, Portfolio Business Manager at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage until 2016, where he was responsible for building stronger capabilities to generate home equity and non-conforming mortgage loans for the bank.Blackwell’s passion for homeownership development in the country has resulted in Wells Fargo introducing new programs that promote diversity and inclusion not only within the bank but also towards its vendors and suppliers.Speaking to MReport for its June issue on Diversity, on the subject of Wells Fargo’s plans on supplier diversity, Blackwell said, “Wells Fargo is taking a leadership position within the banking industry by placing diverse supplier growth within its strategic business agenda. We establish aggressive spending goals with diverse suppliers, and each one of the CEO’s direct reports is accountable for delivering on the supplier diversity goals.” Over the past three years, Wells Fargo has added $300 million incremental diverse supplier spend and is investing over $1 million annually in programs designed to help a diverse business grow and scale.Though he’ll be retiring in September, Blackwell hinted at planning to continue his work to promote homeownership. “I’ll be back in the not-too-distant future to pursue my passions in some form or another,” he said in his post. About Author: Radhika Ojha Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days agocenter_img Brad Blackwell Wells Fargo 2018-05-14 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Featured, Journal, News Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Subscribe Home / Daily Dose / Industry Veteran Brad Blackwell Announces Retirement Sign up for DS News Daily Radhika Ojha is an independent writer and copy-editor, and a reporter for DS News. She is a graduate of the University of Pune, India, where she received her B.A. in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting and Marketing and an M.A. in Mass Communication. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ojha worked at a national English daily publication in India (The Indian Express) where she was a staff writer in the cultural and arts features section. Ojha, also worked as Principal Correspondent at HT Media Ltd and at Honeywell as an executive in corporate communications. She and her husband currently reside in Houston, Texas. Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Related Articles Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago  Print This Postlast_img read more

The Grocer Cup 2018: the nominees revealed

first_imgEmma WalmsleyJob title: CEO Company: GSK “Thatcher has managed to grow Thatchers into an fmcg heavyweight”Read more Kate SwannJob title: Chief executive officer Company: SSP Dave LewisJob title: CEO Company: Tesco  The Grocer Cup is back! And readers decide who will lift the prestigious prize. For the past two decades, the trophy has been awarded to an outstanding leader for their work in the industry over the past 12 months. Take a look at our 2018 shortlist of contenders. Who gets your vote?,Voting for The Grocer Cup 2018 has now closedThe winner will be announced at the IGD Awards ceremony in London on 2 October, one of 20 categories at the 25th IGD Awards. “With Jack’s, Carrefour and Booker to integrate, Lewis has unfinished business to attend to at Tesco”Read more Andrew SelleyJob title: Chief executive Company: Bidfood UK “One of the army of newly converted analysts has dubbed Ocado the ‘Microsoft of retail’”Read more David PottsJob title: Chief executiveCompany: Morrisons “If the past four years have proven anything, it’s that Coupe isn’t afraid to stick his neck out”Read more Tim SteinerJob title: Founder and CEO Company: Ocado Mike CoupeJob title: CEOCompany: Sainsbury’s Jason WarnerJob title: President for Northern Europe Company: AB InBev Martin ThatcherJob title: Managing director Company: Thatchers “She’s bought a new sense of stability to the business, bolstered by the results she’s delivered”Read more “Swann has a rich spread of experience combined with an innate understanding of what customers want”Read more “Throughout Bidfood’s turnaround, Selley has hardly appeared to break into a sweat”Read more “Potts has transformed Morrisons by embracing principles Sir Ken would have appreciated”Read more Barry WilliamsJob title: Managing director Company: Poundland “Warner has taken mid-tier lager brands and seeded each into distinct niches”Read more “While his demeanour is cheerful and positive, he shows a steely lack of sympathy to fallen rivals”Read morelast_img read more


first_imgA DONEGAL businessman is toasting a success this weekend – after selling his share in a top whiskey business and pocketing a cool €3Million.Inishowen man Willie McCarter first came with the idea of starting an independent distillery when he met business partner John Teeling in the Star & Ploughs Irish pub in Boston in 1987 when they were both studying in the city.They went on to fulfill their dream and were selling Kilbeggan, Tyrconnell, Greenore and Connemara whiskies around the world. But this weekend they have sold up – to one of the world’s biggest companies.New York-listed Beam, home to brands including Courvoisier cognac, Sourz liqueurs, Teacher’s Scotch and Jim Beam, bought whiskey producer Cooley from the Teeling family for $95 million (€73M).Mr McCarter gets more than €3M for his share in the business.Cooley’s distillery at Kilbeggan was founded in 1757 and claims to be the world’s oldest licensed whiskey making site (though Bushmills insists its 1608 license is older). The firm also has a distillery at Cooley in County Louth, while its head office is in Dublin. Chairman John Teeling said: “Beam understands whiskey. They have the culture, experience and global strength to enable the Cooley brands to reach their potential.“The renaissance in Irish whiskey, most evident in the United States, is now spreading across the world. Through Beam, our brands will be introduced to a host of consumers. I am certain the marriage between Cooley and Beam will benefit all.”Matt Shattock, president and chief executive of Beam, added: “Cooley is one of only three sources for Irish whiskey, and the only independent player, so this is a unique opportunity to enter one of the industry’s highest-growth categories.”Mr McCarter is probably best known as the Managing Director of the family textile company WP McCarter & Co Ltd in Buncrana from 1972 to 1987 and having successfully led a joint venture in the US was Chief Executive of Fruit of the Loom from 1987 to 1997. He served as Chairman of the International Fund for Ireland from 1993 to 2005.© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights Reserved The copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law.Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.com WHISKEY GALORE! DONEGAL MAN’S €3M WINDFALL! was last modified: December 18th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Beambuncranawhiskey salewillie mccarterlast_img read more