Hellraisers Journal: International Socialist Review “Labor Notes,” Show IWW Still Active Despite Arrests of Leaders

Howard’s camp at Alder Creek is also working eight hours.
Twelve men from this camp donated $47 for the Idaho cases.
The camp is 100 per cent organized.
-Fellow Worker Fred Hegge

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Hellraisers Journal, Friday November 9, 1917
“Labor Notes” from the International Socialist Review

If the Plutocrats, fat on war profits, believe the ongoing round-up the leaders of the Industrial Workers of the World will put an end to the work of the One Big Union on behalf of the underpaid and overworked common laborers of the nation, the following report from the Review should disabuse them of that notion.

Labor Notes

Labor Notes, ISR Nov 1917

Agricultural Workers

THE convention of the A. W. I. U. No, 400 convened at 9:30 a. m. October 15 with about 150 members present, and adjourned October 17, 1917. Mat K. Fox was chairman of the proceedings and M. G. Bresnan recording secretary. C. W, Anderson was elected secretary-treasurer. Mat K. Fox, O. E. Gordon, M. Sapper, W. Francik, James Rohn, Louis Melis and M. G. Bresnan is the new organization committee. The convention sent greetings to all members of the I. W. W. and all class war prisoners. The A. W. I. U. No. 400 has pledged all support possible to those indicted on federal charges.

It has been suggested that all members of No. 400 donate one day’s wages toward the defense of the men in jail. Members in Chicago have already voted to do this.

From the Sacramento Valley comes the report that bumper crops are the expectation for the bean and rice growers. Shortage of labor is becoming acute. Wages are low according to the high cost of living. Workers are dissatisfied, discontent is becoming greater, and spontaneous strikes are accruing in numerous localities of these two industries. Delegates are needed by the hundreds to get into this field and organize the workers. Remember, one good man on the job is worth a dozen off the job. Everybody place your shoulder to the wheel and make this year the banner year for the agricultural workers in California. This harvest will last up to the rainy season of winter. Larger wages can be gotten by a little determination.

— C. W. Anderson, Sec’y-Treas., Minneapolis, Minn., Box 1776.

Butte and Anaconda Strike

LWIU, IWW Label, Lumber Rowan, ab 1920

FOUR months we have been on the firing line. It has been one of the greatest battles ever waged on the industrial field, and when we have won (which we will, and that shortly) the mine owners will know that they have been thru some battle. They will think twice the next time before trying to place their heel on the miner’s neck. They have run over this community for so long they thought it was theirs to do with as they pleased, without question.

Here’s to him of the hot-box, with the courage and strength to have rudely jarred and punctured their arrogant dream! To him is due a debt of gratitude for having questioned the right of the plutes to run over this community and state rough-shod; out of it is going to issue not only betterment for ourselves underground, but social and political betterment for the community and state.

Hold the fort, boys; victory is in sight. Bell, Diamond, East Colusa, Rarus and Alice mines went down tight Tuesday night. Reason? No miners. The rest will have to close in a few days. There is no more room in the hospitals for the greenhorns with which the big push has been trying to carry on the big farce of pretending to produce copper. Just hold on a few days more, boys, and the big push will, in this stunt, as they have in everything they have tried to pull since this strike began—hang themselves.

Not a wheel moving in Great Falls. Some joke, this thing of trying to kid themselves into the idea that their pen-pushers in the editorial offices can dig copper with a lead pencil. Nothing doing; nobody home, with the people who indulge in such childish foolishness.

Meanwhile, what about the burning pat-rot-ism of our dear plutes that we have had fired at us from their untiring editorial batteries? Of course, we know they are mighty anxious to produce copper for our Uncle Sammy; providing the 400 per cent excess profits are forthcoming. This is some pat-rot-ism all right,—about 400 per cent worth. If the plutes love their Uncle Sammy as much as they pretend— editorially—our just demands will be granted without further delay, and the miners will all return to work and dig the much needed copper. But not till then.

We don’t blame the plutes for having a fit of pat-rot-ism when there is 400 per cent excess profits behind it.

Now, Uncle Sam, we miners of Butte have a proposition to put before you.

If you will conscript these mines, and the smelters, and the refineries, as you have conscripted the bodies of our brother workers, for the period of the war, we, the miners, will abolish all the conditions of which we complain that exist underground; we will fully safeguard our lives; we will ventilate these mines, thereby increasing our efficiency; we will lay all the dust, the cause of miners’ consumption; we will abolish the blacklist system, and we will grant the $6 a day demanded. We will go that one better—we will make it $7 a day, and we will pay to the stockholders good, fat returns on the money invested. Not only that, we will do better by them than they have been done by the past year—we will get the mines back to normal production in short order. Not only that, we will clean this community of all its human scum and make it a fit place in which to live. Further, we will wager that we can reduce the cost of copper production very materially.

Now, Uncle Sam, we are willing, and anxious, to show you what we can do. If you will do your little part, we will do the rest

We are putting up to you a concrete proposition; we mean every word of it. We want to show you that dense ignorance, inefficiency, incapacity, and downright foolishness has marked the handling of these mines during their development, and the fact that they have been developed at all is due to their richness, and in spite of pure bullheadedness and unscientific handling.

— Metal Mine Workers’ Unions of Butte and Anaconda.

The Lumber Strike

THERE appears to be no question but that the strike-on-the-job tactics of the lumber workers of the Northwest are proving more effective as the lumber workers become more acquainted with this form of striking.

The crew of the Milwaukee Lumber Company at Alder Creek has gained the eight-hour day; wages $3.50 low. This crew is over one hundred strong and donated $253.75 for the defense of the Idaho cases. The crew is 90 per cent organized and will be 100 per cent in the immediate future. This camp is fitted up with wash rooms with hot and cold water. The next camp built for this company is going to be built to suit the workers. This is an example of what can be accomplished with solidarity on the job, and can be repeated in every camp of the Northwest.

Howard’s camp at Alder Creek is also working eight hours. Twelve men from this camp donated $47 for the Idaho cases. The camp is 100 per cent organized.

At the Inland Empire Paper Company’s camp at Addie, Idaho, conditions are reported to be fairly good, but delegates are badly needed to line up the unorganized there. The crew is working about eight hours on this job. At this camp there are electric lights, shower and tub baths, blankets and pillows, and the sheets are changed once a week. Some improvement over the old lousy conditions, eh? you blanket-carrying jacks of the Northwest. But of course the I. W. W. had nothing to do with the improved conditions, not a bit—the companies are changing the conditions entirely from philanthropic motives—yes, they are!

At Haugan, Mont., one camp of the Mann Lumber Company has granted the eight-hour day, and a number of jipo camps on the Marble Creek have also given in to the workers’ demand that eight hours is enough time to slave on any job. Among the camps on the Marble Creek granting the eight-hour day is Nelson and Kelso, and another named Dary, the latter being a cedar job.

McGill’s camp at Usk, Wash., is working eight hours, there being thirty-two men employed. There is room for a few more. The grub is reported to be fair and spring mattresses have been installed in the bunk houses. The work in this camp is not very heavy, the timber being scattered. The station for this camp is on the Newport branch.

Big Lake: About fifteen men in this camp. Crew blew the whistle’ at 4 p. m. The boss got peeved, but we should worry.

Bloedell-Donovan camp: Thirty men came out of this camp for the eight hours. Camp badly crippled. No doubt the next crew will get their demands granted.

Snohomish: At Maltby, eighty men came out for the eight-hour day and now the bull of the woods is looking for another crew. A few stunts like this are sure to prove productive of results.

Wagner & Wilson Company is looking for a ten-hour crew. Eight-hour wobblies, take notice.

From Hoquiam comes reports that the Carlisle Company’s mill had to shut down for lack of logs. In normal times this mill gets out thirty cars a day, but they are lucky to get five now. The strike-on-the-job, the delegate states, is hitting the bosses an awful jolt and is sure to “get the bacon” in time.

At the Milwaukee Lumber Company’s camp at St. Maries sixteen men worked on the flume for three and a half days on the eight-hour basis. After this nine men walked off the job for refusing to work overtime.

McMurray & Company is looking for a ten-hour crew, and it is understood that the Sound Timber Company started operations, or at least tried to do so, last Monday.

The bonus system is in vogue at Cobb & Healy’s outfit. The men are reported to be working eight hours. There are a few wobblies on this job.

Comes news from Tacoma that a certain pile driver crew working on bridge work discovered that ten-hour lumber was being used, and all members of the crew decided to quit rather than use scab lumber, which they did. At a meeting held in their hall a few hours later, their “business” agent, a member of the labor council and the commissioner of public works decided that the pile driver crew should return to work, ten or twenty-hour lumber, which the crew subsequently did. We feel sorry for the rank and file of this so-called labor organization, and look forward to the time when continued stunts of this kind will be instrumental in causing them to awaken to the fact that their organization is a joke, as did the Metal Mine Workers of Anaconda and Butte several months ago, and line up with a real democratic organization, the officers of which are no more empowered to order the members back to any job than is the newest initiated member of its rank and file; one big, virile organization which teaches the full significance of solidarity of labor, and having taught it, puts the teaching into practice.

—Fred Hegge, Box 2217, Spokane, Wash., Press Committee.

LWIU, Doodle, IWW Lumber Rowan, ab 1920

[Photographs added.]

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SOURCES

Hellraisers Journal, Friday November 2, 1917
Cook County Jail, Chicago – A View from the Inside
From International Socialist Review: Big Bill Haywood on “Inside” the Cook County Jail

International Socialist Review Volume 18
(Chicago, Illinois)
Charles H. Kerr and Company
July 1917-June 1918
https://archive.org/details/ISR-volume18
Nov-Dec 1917
https://archive.org/stream/ISR-volume18#page/n132/mode/1up
“Labor Notes”
https://archive.org/stream/ISR-volume18#page/n157/mode/1up

IMAGES
LWIU, Lumber Rowan X2, ab 1920
https://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/images/publications/SL_RowanIWWLumberIndustry/SL_RowanIWWLumberIndustry.pdf

See also:

Note: re money donated for “Idaho case,” I believe these are the IWWs arrested under the Idaho Criminal Syndicalism Law.

Per Washington IWW History Project:
Scroll down to date-
http://depts.washington.edu/iww/persecution.shtml

Oct 27, 1917, Solidarity, from Moscow, Idaho: 18 IWWs released, 5 still held.
Nov 16, 1918, New Solidarity, from Moscow, Idaho: 1 IWW convicted of criminal syndicalism and sentenced to 6 months to 10 years.

According to Kohn, 20 IWWs were imprisoned during this period under Idaho’s CS Law:
American Political Prisoners:
Prosecutions Under the Espionage and Sedition Acts

—Page 170: “Idaho Criminal Syndicalism Act Prisoners”
(“T. E. Hawkins, from Moscow, Idaho, received a six-month to ten-year prison sentence.”-Kohn gives no date, but Hawkins only prisoner that fits above description, i.e.: place and length of sentence.)
-by Stephen Martin Kohn
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1994
https://books.google.com/books?id=-_xHbn9dtaAC

“Spokane IWW office is raided, leaders are arrested, and martial law is declared on August 19, 1917.”
-by Ross Reider
http://www.historylink.org/File/7363

The IWW in the Lumber Industry
-by James Rowan
Lumber Workers Industrial Union #500
Seattle, Washington, 1920
https://www.iww.org/es/history/library/Rowan/lumberindustry

Note: Rowan may have written this history of LWIU #500 while he and other IWWs were out on bail from Leavenworth Pen. This was during the appeal of Haywood et al.-from September 1919 until April 1921 when the appeal was decided against them.
See: Kohn (above), page 128
See also:
http://www.marxisthistory.org/history/usa/government/justicedept/1921/0423-loebl-inrehaywood.pdf

Rowan’s book can also be read here:
http://digitalcollections.lib.washington.edu/cdm/compoundobject/collection/iww/id/565/rec/23

IWW in Lumber, Rowan, 1920

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50,000 Lumber Jacks – Joe Glazer

50,000 Lumber Jacks, NW Worker, Aug 24, 1917
https://www.newspapers.com/image/64454383

50,000 Lumber Jacks, NW Worker, Aug 24, 1917