Chapter 3: chronological history

1932

There was a great deal of organizing activity this year. Speakers such as J.P. Thompson, C.B. Ellis, Fred Thompson, Arthur Boose and Ben Fletcher traveled throughout the country holding meetings and giving talks. The I.W.W. was active in Detroit, New York City, Cleveland, Bridgeport, Conn., Toledo, Spokane, Portland, Ore., Port Arthur, Ontario and Vancouver, B.C. as well as in many other places. Often their efforts met with strong opposition. In Flint, Michigan, for example, a meeting scheduled in September was canceled when Fred Thompson (Editor of the Industrial Worker since 1946) was arrested. The I.W.W. believed that his arrest had been instigated by officials of General Motore, who apparently were much concerned at that time about the possibility of their workers joining the I.W.W. The Flint newspapers referred to Mr. Thompson as an alien and former convict. They claimed that he had a record in California for "gang syndicalism” and that he was a dangerous jail bird and agitator.

In Toledo, Ohio in the latter part of August, an I.W.W. open air meeting conducted by speakers named Korenblatt and De Witt was broken up by a crowd of American Legionnaires who were holding a convention in Toledo at the time. Violence was narrowly averted.1

Several meetings were broken up in New York City by the police before the "Wobblies”t with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union and a capable lawyer were able to put a stop to the practice. Free speech fights were waged frequently in the vicinity of Boulder Dam, Yakima and Port Arthur.2

During this year the I.W.W., together with other liberal and radical groups, were working zealously on behalf of W.B. Jones and W.H. Hightower and the other Kentucky miners involved in the famous Harland county trials.3 These men had been convicted of murder for the slaying of Jim Daniels, Otto Lee and Howard Jones in the bloody “Battle of Evarts”, in May 1931, The I.W.W. contends that the above three men were “tgun thugs" hired by the mine operators to prevent unionism. The whole affair was surrounded with violence. The I.W.W. was quite active in the organizing work and in publicizing the deplorable working conditions in the mines. As a result they were subjected to much oppression. More than one "Wobbly” was killed in this struggle.

General defense meetings were held by the I.W.W. throughout the country to call the public's attention to this situation as well as to raise funds to help the men on trial. Many contributions were received from the various I.W.W. Branches.

Organization work in 1932 was strong at Boulder Dam, in the Colorado mines, at Lake Cle Elum and among agricultural workers.

At Boulder Dam the I.W.W. concentrated on efforts to improve working conditions. They fought for the six hour day, for stricter enforcement of the safety laws, the improvement of safety laws, for better food and a comfortable lunch room, for recreation facilities, better transportation to the job and abolition of the blacklist system. They were violently opposed. "Wobblies” were frequently deported from the reservation and were occasionally arrested for distributing copjlea of Industrial Worker. The city manager of Boulder City seemed to have difficulty in making up his mind whether he should issue a permit for the sale of Industrial Worker or not. More than once the permit would be issued and then revoked.4

In Colorado well attended meetings of the I.W.W. coal miners were held to discuss strengthening the organization in that area. The meetings were at Erie, Lafayette, Louisville and Frederick, Colorado. In addition to bringing about general improvement in working conditions in the Colorado mines, the I.W.W. was able to obtain recognition of checkweighmen elected by the workers at the Crown mine at Lousiville and at the Baum mine at Dacona.

At Lake Cle Elum, near Ronald, Washington, I.W.W. construction workers werking for the Laher Company were able to secure better sanitary facilities. There was a short and successful strike on this job in 1932 due to alleged discrimination against I.W.W. members in regard to terminations.5

In addition to the Laher Company, Baum & Ridge Co. and Winston Bros. were also involved in these difficulties. On Sept. 26 workers of Laher Co. and Baum and Ridge went on strike under the banner of the I.W.W. for a raise in pay and for inclusion of "walking time” in the eight-hour work day. It took almost an hour to walk from their camp to the place of work.

When the job started the rate of pay was thirty cents an hour with one dollar and thirty-five cents deducted for board. On May 6, the strikers had previously won an increase of ten dents an hour, a five cent reduction in board, and pay for walking time one way. As a result of the strike on Sept. 26, the workers received a raise in pay to fifty cents an hour, and an agreement that "walking time” should be paid for as time worked.

These strikes were bitterly opposed by the companies involved, although no extreme physical violence occurred. However, there were the usual threats of sending in the militia and of tar-and-feather parties for the organizers. Management tried to get rid of the I.W.W. by hiring non-members after the customary lay-off during the “fire-prevention" season. The union successfully opposed this technique.

In 1932 the I.W.W. put forth considerable effort toward organizing the unemployed. It was their intention to set up a union for the unemployed in as many parts of the country as possible. Dues were to be as low as possible; no official was to draw wages; transfer into the various industrial unions was to be facilitated. In order to stimulate the organization of the unemployed, street meetings were held in the larger cities at which prominent I.W.W.s spoke on the evils of the capitalistic system. At this time also the I.W.W. occasionally advocated the General Strike. For instance, the March 22 issue of the Industrial Worker carried a full page two column exhortation which can be summed up in the following sentence extracted from the article:

The I.W.W. calls upon all workers in America to prepare and carry out a GENERAL STRIKE IN ALL INDUSTRIES. tI article also included these statements: ttprepare now for General Strike. Carry the slogan until the nation rings The one answer to bourgeois tyranny that they fear and cannot defeat.

The article also included these statements: “prepare now for General Strike. Carry the slogan until the nation rings with it. The one answer to bourgeois tyranny that they fear and cannot defeat."

Several conventions were held in 1932. I.U. 110, the Agricultural Workers' Union, met at Alva, Oklahoma in June and at Ellsworth, Kansas in July. The General Recruiting Union met in Chicago and Detroit, the Canadian branch met at Port Arthur, and finally the twentieth General Convention was held in Chicago for seven days beginning on Nov. 14. At the General Convention consideration was given to stimulating the organization and education of the members; to pioneering for the four-hour work day; to ettering the condition of the unemployed; to cooperation with the International Workman's Association; and, to stimulating interest in the organization of the Junior Wobblies Union, as well as in the Work Peoples College at Duluth, Minnesota. This college was managed by the I.W.W. and friends from 1916 to 1940.6

  • 1. Industrial Worker 8/30/1932
  • 2. Ibid 1/12/1932, 4/5/1932
  • 3. Ibid 4/5/1932, 4/26/1932, 6/7/1932
  • 4. Ibid 1/12/1932, 4/5/1932, 8/30/1932, 9/20/1932
  • 5. Ibid 6/14/1932
  • 6. Ibid 10/11/1932

1933

Major organizing efforts in 1933 were made in the hop fields near Yakima, Washington and in the auto industry at Detroit. There was also activity in Cleveland, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Schenectady, Oakland, Toledo, at Boulder Dam and at Port Arthur, Ontario as well as in a few other places.

The work at Detroit increased in tempo during a strike at the Briggs Manufacturing Co., body builders. The workers at that plant went on strike at the end of January in protest against a cut in pay. Strike headquarters for I.D. 440, Metal and Machinery Workers, I.W.W. were set up at 121 Victor Street in the center of the strike zone. Mass meetings were held at which several I.W.W. organizers spoke. One of the most prominent of speakers was F.R. Cedervall. I.W.W. educational literature was passed out at these meetings and many Briggs strikers joined up. Ralph Chaplin, writer of the recent book "Wobbly" spoke to strikers and other auto workers at the Northern High Auditorium, Sunday evening, March 19. The title of his talk was "The I.W.W. Way Out." 1

Attempts were made to organize the auto workers at several plants. The I.W.W. was probably most successful with the workers of the Murray Body Co., but workers at Chrysler's, Plymouth, Ford, Michigan Malleable Iron and other Detroit companies also joined. Several of the organizers were arrested. F.R. Cedervall, for instance, was arrested three times in one week. One of these arrests was based on the charge that he had been obstructing traffic. It was claimed that a man had been run over by an automobile while listening to him speak.

There were several interesting features connected with this organization drive. I.W.W.s of the different nationalities would address the workers in separate groups in their native tounge. Radio educational talks were given over Station WEXL. Meetings were held outside of the different factory gates before and after work and during the noon hour. Severe competition was received from the U.A.W.

On August 16, metal finishers at the Briggs Mfg. Co., went on strike for more pay and to secure the adjustment of certain grievances. The I.W.W. immediately went into action to assist the strikers, many of whom were members. The company acceded to the strikers demands immediately. It was a strike at this company in January, which caused such a great increase in organizing activity in the early part of the year.

I.U. 440 called a strike at the Murray Body Plant on Sept. 27 to secure recognition of the union. This unsuccessful strike was called off on Nov. 9 after a bitter struggle. Mass picket parades had been staged on several occasions. Warrants were issued for the arrest of about fifteen strikers for "conspiring to obstruct and impede persons in the lawful pursuit of their business." The Detroit Times editorialized on the merits of the "right to work." The regional labor board was drawn into this dispute by a letter from F.W. Thompson of the I.W.W. The board ruled in favor of the company.

During this period of activity in Detroit, the I.W.W. opened an unusually grand hall at 53 Sproat Street. The opening night was the occasion for a gala celebration.

Yakima, Washington was the center of organization activity in the hop fields of the Northwest.2 On May 12, the union drafted a list of objectives including the eight hour day, a minimum of thirty five cents an hour, and elimination of child labor. They planned to call a general strike of all agricultural workers in the Yakima valley if their demands were not met. On May 15, a strike was called on the ranch of a Mr. Slavin. This was the signal beginning a bitter struggle between the workers and the ranch owners, assisted usually by the police. Gun thugs were imported and many pickets were arrested. Mass meetings of the workers were held in several little towns and in the open fields in the area.

On August 11, another strike was pulled by I.U. 110 on the ranch of D.O. Traubarger. The Condon ranch at Selah, Washington was struck on August 23. These and other strikes in the area were accompanied by a great deal of violence. Several strikers were arrested, organizers were deported, and vigilante committees were formed. A.J. Farley, who was Secretary-Treasurer of the I.W.W. in 1948, was one of the members active in and around Yakima at the time. More than one pitched battle took place between the farmers of the area, helped by the State police, and the workers.

In New York City activities were stimulated by the opening of a new hall at 94 Fifth Avenue, in June. This increased the number of I.W.W. halls in New York to five. Others were located at 31 Coenties Slip, 85th Street and Third Avenue, 2036 Fifth Ave. and 158 Carroll Street, Brooklyn. During this period the principal I.W.W. activities were a strike against the American Merchant Line in protest against a cut in wages, and the defense of "class war" prisoners, including an individual named Athos Terzani, who had been indicted for murder.3

Progress was made in Philadelphia also. The Textile Workers' Union, No. 410, obtained an increase in pay for the workers at the Densten Felt and Hair Company; I.U. 330, the Construction Workers Union, was on strike at Villanova College, and against three apartment building contractors in Ardmore. It was also attracting members in nearby Camden, N.J. In addition, the Marine Transport Workers' Union, No. 510, was picketing ships bringing sugar cargoes from Cuba.

The Marine Workers' Union was also active in New Orleans. In September it held a seven day convention at which its objectives were carefully considered. Prior to the convention, it had assisted I.U. 310 in its strike against the Seims Helmers Construction Co. on its Mississippi River bridge job.

  • 1. Industrial Worker, 2/7/1933, 3/21/1933, 5/11/1933, 8/29/1933
  • 2. Ibid 5/30/1933, 6/6/1933, 6/13/1933, 7/14/1933, 8/22/1933, 12/19/1933
  • 3. Ibid 7/11/1933, 8/15/1933, 8/22/1933, 9/19/1933

1934

This was one of the I.W.W. 's most successful years, particularly in Cleveland, where the union secured job control in several plants. The Marine Transport Workers were engaged in strike activity on the Gulf of Mexico and along both the east and west coasts; I.U. 210, the Metal Mine Workers' Union, made some progress in Colorado; organizers for I.U. 220, the Coal Miners, were busy in the coal mining fields of Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah; I.U. 310, the Construction Workers' Union, carried on a struggle against the finger printing campaign that had been started on many public works; the Lumber Workers' Union was active on the old battlefields of the Northwest; progress was also reported by the railroad, agriculural, electrical equipment and auto workers' unions.

On April 16, I.U. 440, the Metal Workers' Union concluded a successful eleven day strike at the Enameling Divis'on of the Ohio Foundry Company in Cleveland, which resulted in recognition of the I.W.W. Shop Committee, an increase in pay and 3 abolition of the piece work system in existence at that plant.1

This strike had involved about one hundred and seventy five workers. The union was successful despite the opposition of the A.F.L.

On April 28, the same union won a two day strike at the Accurate Parts Manufacturing Company. This strike resulted opposition on the part of the management to I.W.W. Organizing efforts. The incident which started it was the termination of the entire night shift at the plant. It was called off when management agreed to full recognition of the I.W.W. Shop Committee reinstatement of the men laid off and an increase in pay.

The Draper Manufacturing Company plant of Jones and Laughlin Company experienced two I.W.W. strikes in 1934. The first occurred on May 3, and resulted in an agreement to recognize the I.W.W. Shop Committee and the discontinuance of company union propaganda. This strike lasted only seven hours. The second strike occurred on June 7. It was also of short duration and was ended when the plant management agreed that the I.W.W. union alone would be recognized.

However, the third strike at the Draper plant lasted fourteen weeks, ending on September 10. It was terminated after the Cleveland Regional Labor Board had intervened, and after the I.W.W. won the election held to determine whether they or the A.F.L. was to control the plant. It had been agreed that all employees must join the union winning the election. The I.W.W. withdrew its demand for an increase in pay, when the company agreed to begin negotiations regarding wages one week after the election. It was also agreed that the question of wages would be submitted to the labor board if the union and management failed to agree. This strike was peaceful throughout, although some bitterness resulted when the company attempted to transfer its production to the Stevens Metal Contained Company in Niles, Ohio. Shortly after this successful strike was ended, management agreed to an increase in pay.

At that time the I.W.W. claimed control of five plants Cleveland. In addition, it had members in several others. The plants in which it exercised control were those of the Accurate Parts Manufacturing Company, the Enameling Division of the Ohio Foundry Company, the Perfection Metal Container Company, the Permold Company and the Draper plant of the Jone. and Laughlin Company. Recognition at the Perfection Metal Container Company had been gained in May, 1934 without a strike; however, it was necessary to strike to secure recognition at the Permold Company. A short strike for that purpose was won on May 29, when the workers were also granted a pay increase. During this period it was the policy of the I.W.W. to concentrate its organizing efforts on the small plants. One of its objectives was to secure control of all barrel manufacturing plants in Cleveland.

In June, the I.W.W. was successful in securing recognition by strike activity at three plants of the American Stove company in Cleveland. First, they won recognition at the New process-Reliable and Enameling Divisions. The occasion for the strike was the dismissal of two I.W.W.s for organizing activity at the New Process Division. The union picketed both plants and won recognition of the respective Shop Committees, as well as reinstatement of the men dismissed. Later in the same month the union won recognition at the Dangler Division as well as an increase in pay. Victory at this plant enabled the union to claim that all divisions of the American Stove Company at Cleveland were organized one hundred per cent in the I.W.W. According to a telegram from the Organization Committee, !twelve hundred stove workers were wearing Wobbly monthly dues buttons on the job.

On September 28, the American Stove Company workers went on strike for two weeks to secure the dismissal of a female forewoman at the Enameling Division, who had slapped a male member of the union during the course of an argument on the job, and another woman for "inharmonious and uncivil behaviour in the shop”. The union finally agreed to a compromise in which the forewoman was given a two week disciplinary layoff and the other woman was transferred from the Enameling Division.

In September the I.W.W. also won a three day strike at the Republic Brass Company for recognition of the Shop Committee, suitable rotation of work and observance of seniority.

During this year the union was less successful in its attempt to organize the workers at three other Cleveland plants, the National Screw and Manufacturing Company, the Excelsior Dry Cleaning Company and the Cleveland Wire Spring Company.

This was also a big year for the Marine Transport Workers Union, I.U. 510.2 It was actively organizing longshoremen and seamen in many ports. Strikes were carried on in Galveston, Houston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, New Orleans and San Francisco. It seems pointless to review these strikes because not much was accomplished by them. From May to the end of the year the Industrial Worker devoted much space to the details. The purpose of the strikes is not clear, but apparently they were expected to improve conditions for the seamen and longshoremen, as well as to attract new members. There is some possibility that they were part of a larger plan, which was to secure for the I.W.W. control over all shipping. At least, the words "General Strike" were frequently used by the Industrial Worker in reference to them.

During this year vigorous, but unsuccessful, efforts were taken in and around Philadelphia by I.U. 310 and 330, Construction Workers, I.U. 410, Textile Workers, and I.U. 420, Furniture Workers, to increase their membership. The Building Construction Workers' Union staged two minor strikes in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.

I.U. 440 was fairly successful in boosting wages in Detroit. The Industrial Worker referred to the method employed in the Hudson Motor Company's Department 3760 as being typical. It was referred to as "action on the job," "conscientious withdrawal of efficiency. In effect, the procedure was the same as that of a "sit-down" strike.3

Another I.W.W. strike during this year was that of the Canadian Lumber Workers, organized in I.U. 120, against the Abitibi Pulp and Power Company, near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. This strike was of short duration and resulted in only minor concessions to the workers.

Several organizing conferences were held in in various parts of the country. Most important was the twenty-first General Convention, which met in Chicago from November 11 to November 18. The principal topics discussed at this convention were organization of the unemployed, affiliation with the International Workingmen's Association, the General Strike and central versus branch record keeping. In May, forty delegates from eastern branches of the I.W.W. met in New York City to discuss improvement in organizational activities. Separate conferences were also held by the Lumberworkers, Marine Workers and Construction Workers.4

  • 1. Industrial Worker, 4/9/1934, 5/8/1934, 6/12/1934, 9/29/1934
  • 2. Ibid 3/20/1934, 4/2/1934, 5/29/1934
  • 3. Ibid 2/20/1934
  • 4. Ibid 11/17/1934, 11/24/1934

1935

During this year the I.W.W. was very busy, particularly in Cleveland. The strike of the dharwomen at Terminal Tower, which began on Dec. 12, 1934, was finally defeated on April 10 by the mass arrest of the pickets. During this strike there was some violence and several rumors of plans for the use of dynamite Major Snead, manager of the Tower, used strikebreakers in 0pposing the strike. Prior to the mass arrest on April 10, several women had been arrested for assault and battery. In addition, in the latter part of January the Cleveland Press carried stories about a plot to dynamite the Tower which was uncovered when a bomb was found in a fire hose box on the sixth floor of the building. Later, there was a story about the bombing of the home of a Margaret Hozin, an alleged scab.1

The strikers demanded recognition of the Building Maintenance Workers' Industrial Union No. 440 of the I.W.W. as their bargaining agent. They also demanded a six hour day and thirty six hour week at the same pay received for the existing eight hour day forty eight hour week. At one time it appeared that the management was ready to yield on these points, but, since it was unwilling to reinstate the strikers who had been arrested, the strike continued.

At about the same time another unsuccessful I.W.W. strike was in progress at the National Screw and Manufacturing Co. This one was conducted by the Metal and Machinery Workers' r.U.No. 440. Like the other I.W.W. activities of the period, it 'NaS violently opposed by an organization called the "Associated Industries. The strike started on February 8, and involved about thirteen hundred men. It began when the management refused a ten percent general increase, which the I.W.W. claimed had been previously agreed upon.2 All workers in the plant went out, although the tool and die makers at first refused to participate in the picketing. However, they soon joined the rest of the workers.

There were frequent arrests usually resulting from skirmished between strikers and alleged gun thugs. Frank Cedervall and other organizers were also arrested from time to time. These abuses of the workerss' rights became so flagrant that the American Civil Liberties Union sent a letter of protest to Mayor Harry L. Davis. The following quotations were taken from this letter:

Our information is that strikers are harassed with continual arrests; that more than a dozen of the workers' organizers and active committeemen have been arrested, held for 48 hours or more, and then released without any charge being made against them;-----that arrested strikers have been beaten by detectives-----that known gangsters have been used as professional strikebreakers---- whether a strike is lead, as this is, by the Industrial Workers of the World or by some other labor group, the rights of the workers are the same.

Norman Thomas was credited by the union as having sent a fifty dollar check be used by you in relief of the men and women now on strike at the National Screw and Manufacturing Company's plant." It was during this strike that Michael J. Lindway was jailed on the charge that an arsenal of "dynamite bombs, tear gall, revolvers. shotguns, ammunition, and a machine shop for the manufacture of further supplies" had been found in his home. Mr. Lindway was not released until 1946, despite the efforts of the General Defense Committee and other groups.

On April 29, this unsuccessful strike was called off.

Other Cleveland plants affected by I.W.W. activities during this year were the Accurate Parts Manufacturing Co., Republic Brass, Cochrane Brass, Perfection Metal Container, Cleveland Steel and Wire, American Stove and Holland Trolley. In addition, there were strike threats at the Dill Manufacturing Co., and a successful strike at Wedge Protectors Inc., which resulted in a raise in pay and recognition of the union as bargaining agent. At Holland Trolley where the I.W.W. had been recognized, no strike was necessary to secure the raise in pay sought.

During this year in order to get away from the I.W.W., the American Stove Co. management moved its Dangler Division Plant to Lorain, Ohio.

Efforts were made to organize the New York subway and bus workers during this year by Municipal Transportation Workers Industrial Union No. 540 of the I.W.W., but these efforts were not very fruitful. The Construction Workers' Union, No. 310, was active at Fort Peck, Montana and at Los Angeles. The Lumberworkers' Union, No. 120 was active also in the vicinity of Port Arthur, Seattle and Spokane. The Marine Transport Workers' Union, No. 510, was busy in Houston, where its hall was raided, and also in New Orleans and New York.

  • 1. Industrial Worker, 1/5/1935, 2/16/1935, 3/9/1935, 4/20/1935
  • 2. Ibid 2/2/1935, 3/2/1935, 3/30/1935, 5/11/1935, 6/15/1935

1936

On January 17, the I.W.W. shop committee at American Brass Co. in Cleveland was recognized as the workers' bargaining agency. On July 1, a five per cent general increase was negotiated; however, apparently the company changed its mind, and as a result the workers went on strike. Picketing was carried on for sixty nine days until an agreement was finally reached that the strikers would be hired without discrimination, and that a five per cent raise be given, effective thirty days after the return to work. The I.W.W. Claims to have agreed to these unfavorable terms, because some of the workers, who did not belong to the union, had been negotiating separately with management and were about to break ranks and go to work.

In the meantime I.U. 440 was having difficulty with the management of the Dangler division of the American Stove Co. which had been moved to Lorain to get away from the union.1 Organizers were frequently arrested, and the I.W.W. was even unable to get a hall in Lorain to serve as organizing headquarters. The' union claimed that the workers were being asked to sign a "yellow-dog” contract, also. Shortly after the I.W.W shop committee had been refused recognition by management, an increase ranging from three to six cents an hour had been granted the workers.

During this year the I.W.W. was most active among the lumber workers of the Northwest. A conference of the lumber workers had been held in December, 1935 in the new hall at 207 Main Street in Seattle.2 After the customary resolution had been passed regarding the release of Tom Mooney and Warren K. Billings plans were laid down for a drive among the lumber workers which was to be very effective during the coming year, particularly in Washington and Idaho. Among other things these plans called for demanding a six hour day, minimum wages of five dollars a day, improved living conditions, and better safety standards. Another conference was held by I.U. 120 on March 2, in Spokane, which further stimulated the drive. Shortly after this conference three short strikes were pulled against Potlatch Forests Inc., all of which were successful and resulted in raises in pay and improved conditions. In May additional short strikes were called against the Winton Lumber Co., as well as against Potlatch Forests. Picket lines were set up at various times at Coeur d'Alene, St. Maries, St. Joe, Fernwood, Clarkia, Bovill, Kendrick, Elk River, Pierce and Orofino. Finally in July the lumber companies began to fight back by importing strikebreakers. Eventually, martial law was declared; a number of pickets and organizers were arrested; and, violence and gun play were in evidence Evert Anderson, G.E.B. representative was deported out of Idaho. On August 19, the strikers at Pierce, Idaho voted to return to work. Although the lumber strikes were eventually broken, pay and conditions had been improved in most cases.

During 1936, I.U. 440, in addition tobeing active in Cleveland, also opened an organizing drive in the Los Angeles area. I.U. 420, the Furniture Workers' Industrial Union was active in Chicago. I.U. 460, the Foodstuff Workers' Industrial Union was active in New York. In addition, the Marine Transport Workers Union, No. 510, was active in several ports, particularly Philadelphia and Boston, where it waged strikes against the United Fruit Co.

Ralph Chaplin resigned as Editor of the Industrial Worker in March, 1936. He explained as follows: "This step is unavoidable. Very serious disagreement with the policy and personnel of the newly elected Administration of the I.W.W. has made any other course impossible." Fred Thompson succeeded him. Mr. Thompson had been elected General Secretary-Treasurer as of March 1.

The twenty-second General Convention of the I.W.W. met eight days in Chicago, beginning on Nov. 9. In addition to usual reports and discussion of organization plans, it was decided to publish a monthly magazine to be called One Big Union Monthly.

  • 1. Industrial Worker, 1/25/1936, 6/27/1936, 9/19/1936
  • 2. Ibid 3/14/1936, 6/10/1936, 6/23/1936, 7/3/1936

1937

On January 9 a strike for an increase in wages was won by the Food Workers' Industrial Union, No. 460, at Ritchie's Dairy, Toronto, Ontario.

However, Cleveland continued to be the center of the I.W.W.'s major activities. The Cleveland Plain Dealer in the week of August 9, included an article about the I.W.W. under this significant heading: “I.W.W. Gains Respect Here -Tribute to Cedervall Brothers - Pure Industrial Unionism."

In March the Superior Carbon Products Co. was added to the list of Cleveland companies which recognized the I.W.W. as representative of its workers. The Cleveland Steel Barrel Co. went I.W.W. in May, as did also the Globe Steel Barrel Co. and American Stove Co. Recognition of the I.W.W. by the American Stove Co. was challenged by the C.I.O. in June. However, the I.W.W. won out in an election supervised by the National Labor Relations Board. In July, the I.W.W. was elected as the bargaining agent at the Independent Register Co.

A short strike occurred at the Glove Steel Barrel Co. on June 29, as the result of management's encouragement of organizing efforts on the part of the A.F.L. This strike was won and insured the continuance of the I.W.W. as sole collective bargaining agent.

Conferences were held in Spokane and in Minneapolis by members of the Railroad Workers' Industrial Union, No. 520, in the closing months of 1937 to determine ways to strengthen the union among the maintenance workers of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, the Great Northern, and the Northern Pacific railroads. The drive which resulted was not particularly successful.

Marine Transport Workers' Union, No. 510 was active in Philadelphia, particularly, but also at New York, Galveston, Jacksonville and Tampa. They were protesting the use of the Copeland “Fink” Books. These books, known as "Continuous Discharge Books" were required under the Copeland Act. The I.W.W. objected to these books, because they believed the books would facilitate "blacklisting."

1938

This was a very quiet year. Organizing efforts continued in Cleveland, in Detroit, and among the lumber workers in California, Washington and Canada. The Marine Transport Workers' Union was fairly active, as was that of the Railroad Maintenance Workers. For the most part, organization efforts were concentrated on W. P.A. projects in various parts of the country.

Conventions were held by several of the industrial unons and the twenty-third general convention was held in Chicago at headquarters., 2422 N. Halsted St. from Sept 12 to Sept.17. During this year reports began to come in of "Wobblies” killed in action in Spain. Several I.W.W. 's had joined the Loyalist forces.

In April delegates from Seattle, Everett, Olympia and Angeles met at Tacoma, Washington and Port Angeles drew up plans for organizing the W.P.A. workers in that area. At about the same time, similar groups met at Detroit and in Minnesota. However, nothing of importance resulted from the organization drives which developed, although there were minor strikes in Detroit and Missoula, Montana.

Agricultural Workers Industrial Union, No. 110, put on an organizational drive in California. They had limited success in the Watsonville and Salinas district. The Marine Transport Workers' Union gave considerable publicity to their opposition to shipping to Fascist dominated countries. And, in Cleveland I.U. 440 successfully opposed wage cuts by threatening to go on strike.

Nothing important occurred at the General Convention, except that a resolution was passed reaffirming the I.W.W. 's opposition to capitalist's wars and its unfaltering prosecution of the class war.

1939

This year was quite a bit more eventful than the last. In the first week in March a convention was held in St. Louis by the unions represented in the American Stove Company's plants at St. Louis, Harvey, Ill., Cleveland and Lorain, Ohio. The A.F.L., C.I.O. and I.W.W. were all represented at this conference. Information was exchanged about job conditions at the respective plants, and a plan of coordinated action was discussed. However, subsequent events do not indicate that any important decisions were made. In fact, later events at the Lorain plant of American Stove and the Steel Barrel Stamping Companies, respectively, showed that no strong spirit of cooperation was developed with either the C.I.O. or A.F.L.

In April, the I.W.W. started a drive to organize the American Stove 60. plant at Lorain, but encountered opposition from the C.I.O. as well as from management.1 The three cornered struggle became violent, and in June the I.W.W. workers went on strike to secure a collective bargaining election. The election .as held on June 26, and after some dispute about its legality, it was determined that the C.I.O. had won.

In the meantime, I.W.W. organizers were active at the Lorain plant of the Steel Barrel Stamping Co. and at the Cleveland plant of Sealbrick Mfg. Co. A three day strike was called and won by the I.W.W. at the latter plant. It resulted in an increase in pay.

At the Steel Stamping Co. plant, after another bitter struggle against the management and, on this occasion, the A.F.L. the I.W.W. won the collective bargaining election held on August 23. A few weeks later the I.W.W. was able to negotiate a 12% general increase in pay, after threatening a strike.

On November 9, the I.W.W. won a collective bargaining election at the Globe Steel Barrel Co. plant in Cleveland. This election had been preceded by a strike for the reinstatement of organizers terminated for union activity. Again there were stories of violence and intimidation.

Efforts continued to organize the W.P.A. workers in various parts of the country, especially in Detroit, and Minneapolis. In addition, work was done among the lumber workers in Idaho, in the vicinity of Seattle and Olympia, Washington, in British Columbia and near Port Arthur, Ontario; among the agricultural workers near Sacramento, California and near Wenatchee, Washington; among the railroad maintenance men; and, among the construction workers along the Delaware River aqueduct.

Conventions were held by several of the industrial unions. At the convention of the Marine Transport Workers, for instance, plans were developed for organizing the lake seamen from Buffalo to Duluth. The twenty fourth general convention was held in Chicago.

  • 1. Industrial Worker 3/11/1939, 5/2/1939 6/17/1939, 8/26/1939, 9/2/1939

1940

The I.W.W. received the news with a certain amount of satisfaction that their Hungarian language paper Bermunkas had been placed on the list of those publications whose entry into Canada was forbidden. Bermunkas like other I.W.W. papers frequently contained strong statements against war, whether waged by Germany, England, Canada or any other country.

Most of the I.W.W.'s activities in 1940 were centered in Cleveland.1 At Cochrane Brass they were able to obtain their sixth wage increase, since the workers in that plant had been organized. At the same time, in January, they persuaded management to install certain health protecting devices. One of these was a blower, used in the polishing department. Management had objected at first because of the cost. There was a short strike at this plant in October, when a request for another general raise was turned down. Although trouble was anticipated, and although the workers expected the strike to be of long duration, it was settled in one week. The workers agreed to an adjustment slightly less than their original demand.

In November, at the American Stove plant the workers voted unanimously to enforce a closed shop. They also decided to seek a general increase of ten cents an hour. On November 20, a work stoppage began. It was the result of a number of accumulated grievances, in addition to the desire for an increase and the closed shop. This stoppage continued for eleven days. It was ended when the workers agreed to a three cents per hour increase and a union preferential layoff and recall arrangement. The union had accused management of discrimination against members, and of having to build up a company union. Management agreed to take the necessary steps to discontinue both of these practices. 2

Considerable effort was made to organize the plant of the Mitchell Metal Products company in Cleveland. However, these efforts were unsuccessful.

In Lorain, Ohio after a bitter 63 day strike at the Steel Stamping Co., an agreement was finally reached. This agreement called for the reinstatement of an employee previously fired because of a struggle with his foreman. This incident started the strike. The union members threatened to walk out if tne employee was fired. Management decided to call the union's bluff only to find out that it meant business.

In addition to protesting this discharge, the union made several other demands against the company. It also charged tne company with violation of Section 7a of the Wagner Act; with hiring girls at lower rates to replace men; with refusing to bargain in good faith; with threatening to move the plant to another city; and, with discrimination against union members in terminations. The union demanded discontinuance of these practices. It also demanded higher pay, time and one half for overtime and improved working conditions. Much ill will was generated between management and the men in this strike. The labor board sent a conciliator to try to straighten it out, but to no avail.

After weeks of picketing the following terms were finally agreed to:

"Strict observance of seniority in layoffs and rehirings; the company must meet with the Shop Committee within 72 hours of demand for conferences; four hours of pay if men report for work and there is no work or less than four hours work; time and one half for all holiday work; two cents an hour general wage increase; additional wage increases and other points In dispute to be negotiated."

In addition to these activities in Cleveland, the I.W.W. also did some organizing work in Pittsburgh at the Duquesne Smelting Corporation, and at Cle Elum, Washington as well as among the track workers at the yards outside of Tacoma, Washington. In the first two cases there was violent resistance None of this organizing activity was particularly successful.

  • 1. Industrial Worker, 2/5/1940, 3/17/1940, 10/17/1940
  • 2. Ibid 11/24/1940, 12/8/1940

1941

There was very little activity worth reporting for this year. I.U. 210, the Metal Mine Workers' Union, was successful in securing a thirteen and one half per cent wage boost for the workers at the U.S. Vanadium mine at Bishop, California. Except for this success, and a minor strike at nearby Darwin, California by I.U. 210, all the rest of the news came from Cleveland.

Even from Cleveland, the news was thin. A slow down at American Stove in February was credited with persuading mana8ement to grant a wage increase. In March a two week strike at the Republic Brass Company resulted in a five per cent general increase. This strike was otherwise uneventful. However, it was claimed to have influenced the management of the Cochrane Brass Company to grant a similar increase to the workers in that plant. The workers at the Draper plant of Jones and Laughlin also received an increase in pay as of April 1.

The only other event of interest was the convention in Cleveland held under the auspices of [/i]Bermunkas[/i] the official Hungarian language paper of the I.W.W. The purpose of this convention was to consider means of increasing the circulation and support of this paper.

1942

In March, 1942 it was decided at a National Labor Relations Board hearing to let the employees vote for their choice of a bargaining unit at the mines of the U.S. Vanadium Co. at Bishop, California. At that time the I.W.W. was the only union which had put in an appearance. In fact the ballot was to read: "Shall Metal Mine Workers Industrial Union 210 of the I.W.W. represent you for the purposes of collective bargaining”.1 After some dispute it was decided that the mill workers should be included in the same bargaining unit as the miners.

Later in the month A.F.L. representatives appeared on the scene. Shortly after their appearance, a company attorney was successful in persuading the N.L.R.B. to schedule a new hearing and to include the A.F.L. on the ballot.

In the meantime I.W.W. organizing work was accelerated. They tried to line up the whole town including waitresses, cooks, bar~enders, etc. Workers of the latter type were enrolled in I.U. 640, Hotel, Restaurant and Building workers. The miners and mill hands were included in I.U. 210. Women assisted in the organizing work, particularly for I.U.640. Opposition to the I.W.W. 's vigorous organizing activities on the part of some townspeople resulted in considerable excitement. There was talk of vigilante committees and tar and feather parties, although not a great deal of actual violence.

On August 20 the N.L.R.B. finally decided that an election would be held not later than September 20. Two ballots were to be provided, one for Group A, the other for Group B. Both A.F.L. and the I.W.W. were represented on the Group A Ballot. This group was to include only the miners. Group B on which only the I.W.W. was to be represented was to include all other employees, mill hands, waitresses, cooks and others.

The election was held on September 4. The I.W.W. won Group A; the I.W.W. won the larger Group B.

There was not much activity in Cleveland in 1942, although the little action taken was effective. At American Stove the union protested the firing of one of their number by a plant foreman. The member was reinstated immediately. At Republic a 5% raise was obtained through negotiation. At Jones & Laughlin a five and one half cents raise was obtained.

  • 1. Industrial Worker, 8/21/1942, 9/30/1942

1943

In the early part of May, 1943 at the American Stove Co. plant at Cleveland the I.W.W. decided to walk out. During the war this company was making aircraft parts. Wages for the work involved had been set at a rate lower than that for work previously done on stoves. In some cases the rate was also lower than that paid by the other aircraft production plants for comparable work.

The union had been seeking adjustment of the rate from the War Labor Board since January. In the interest of the war effort the workers had declined to take the interest of the strike action. In fact, they had agreed among themselves to continue working until a decision was made by the Board. George Dobrich was the shop committee chairman at the time. 1

When the workers learned of unfavorable decisions by the Board in two specific cases, they walked out immediately. Conscious of the fact that they would be accused of impeding the war effort, they reasoned that not only was it important to fight for democracy and the four freedoms overseas, but also on the home front. They were determined that when the workers in uniform came home, they would find that the workers in overalls had maintained and advanced the rights of labor.

The workers came back a few days later when assured that favorable action would be taken in regard to their claims. In the next pay period some of the workers found as much as forty dollars extra pay in their checks for retroactive wage adjustments. This encouraged them to believe that the War Labor Board would shortly decide favorably upon their other claims. Incidentally, the workers voted to return on Monday rather than immediately, because the Board had been represented as not being in favor of paying time and one half for Saturday nor double time for Sunday.

On June 4, the War Labor Board finally approved the reclassifications sought by the union. The adjustment was retroactive to January. Some workers received back pay of close to five hundred dollars. Under the new classification the lowest paid sweeper in this I.W.W. organized plant received eighty cents an hour and the typical wage was more than one dollar an hour. This union victory came on the ninth anniversary of I.W.W. control in the American Stove Co. plant.

In August, 1943 the employees of the Draper Manufacturing Co. (Jones & Laughlin), Cleveland organized in the I.W. W. rejected an incentive pay plan proposed by the management. It seems that the company had circulated copies of the August Reader's Digest among the workers. It contained an article by William Hard boosting the plan. This trick seems to have backfired upon management. One of the reasons given for the workers having voted against the plan was that Hard's article described how C.I.O. shop stewards, where the plan had been adopted, were busy disciplining the men to promote production. The I.W.W. members couldn't visualize their job delegates performing that function.

Also in August 1943, as a result of joint negotiations by the I.W.W. (I.U. 210) and the International Operating Engineers with the United States Vanadium Corporation, the Non Ferrous Metals Commission sitting in Denver granted a wage boost of 50 cents per day to all workers employed by the company. This pay boost was retroactive to April 10, when negotiations began. The I.W.W. rejected this decision. A letter was written to the Commission by Pat O'Brien and E.A. Hicks pointing out the inadequacy of the raise. Excerpts from this letter are presented as follows: On the date of August 3, 1943, the Metal Mine Workers Industrial Union No. 210, I.W.W. at a meeting held at the Pine Creek operation of U.S. Vanadium Corporation voted unanimously to refuse the proposed 50t per day wage increase for the following reasons:

1.The original demand was for $1.50 per day and was made more than a year ago
2.The Principal Mediation Officer of the Commission made a thorough investigation and recommended $1.00.
3.The proposed $0.50 per day is too insignificant to make any appreciable difference to the men.
4.High altitude of the mine and long and dangerous road to be traveled to reach it should be worth more.
5.Conditions of employment hazardous and unhealthy. 6. I.U. 210, I.W.W. requests the case be reopened.

Shortly thereafter the membership voted to accept the raise in order to clear the way for future action. This was done because as long as the original case before the War Labor Board remained unsettled, there was no way for I.U. 210 to take further steps regarding the wage situation.

Other activities in 1943 were these:

1. A strike of I.W.W. longshoremen for wages and better working conditions in Chile was broken by the Chilean Government's use of Chilean soldiers and sailors to replace the strikers.

2. At American Stove in Cleveland the workers were irritated by the shortage of time clocks delaying their punching out at the end of the· day. Management answered their protests by arguing that there was a shortage of time clocks. One day the workers took matters into their own hands by simply forgetting to clock out. The next day there were enough time clocks.

3. I.W.W. controlled shops in Cleveland were granted increases by the War Labor Board. Specifically, the workers at Jones & Laughlin, American Stove and Republic Brass received increases.

4. I.W.W. organization work was stimulated in Toronto, Canada, particularly in the railroad industry by I.U.
520. After a fair start, however, little progress was made.

  • 1. Ibid 6/13/1943, 7/15/1943

1944

Several Cleveland companies were affected by I.W.W. activities in 1944. In March, I.U. 440 arrived at an agreement with Federal Aircraft, Inc. by which it was to be recognized as the sole collective bargaining agency; there was to be no checkoff; there was to be union preference in hiring and 1ay-offs; no discharges nor 1ay-offs without the Shop Committee' s approval; top rates for the industry to b e paid; and, nothing in the agreement obligated any employee to work on jobs transferred from a struck plant or to aid in breaking any strike of any union. Organization of Federal Aircraft was facilitated by the fact that several of its employees were I.W.W.'s previously employed at the American Stove Company, where they had been laid off due to lack of work. I.W.W. control at American Stove continued.

In May the union was successful in securing the reinstatement of a foreman, whom the I.W.W. protested had been dismissed unjust1y. They indulged in a brief work stoppage to make their protest effective. 1

Unsuccessful efforts were made to organize Thompson Products and American Steel and Wire Company in Cleveland. Those exerted at the latter company are particularly interesting. There, the workers were represented by the C.I.O., but some of them had become dissatisfied with the behavior of the international office.

In October, 1943 the local absolved its President, James Adams, of charges filed by the international office because of a three day stoppage to enforce time and one half provisions of the local's agreement with management. The local conceded that the stoppage was a violation of a "no Strike pledge," and that during the stoppage disrespect had been shown the international representatives. In March, 1944 because of this stoppage and general dissatisfaction with the local leaders, Philip Murray ordered the officers of the local suspended from office, and told them to turn their records over to his appointee.

Resentment over this interference, as well as over a long list of unsettled grievances, influenced the workers to stop work again on March 26. The men refused to recognize the appointee, and the company refused to deal with the local officers who lacked the approval of the International. Coincidentally, the local officers were drafted into the armed forces shortly thereafter. However, the workers immediately elected others to replace them. These were not recognized by the International either.

Several of the workers were in contact with I.W.W. organizers. On their behalf the I.W.W. on March 30 wrote to the National Labor Relations Board, pointing out that the procedures adopted under Section 9a of the National Labor Relations Act had come into conflict with the rights guaranteed under Section 7 to the injury of a large number of the workers; that there was confusion concerning the question of representation by officers elected and wanted by the workers, or officers appointed and unwanted; that there had been a suspension of officers without trial; that this suspension was made known to the company, before the workers, even those suspended, were informed.2

No reply was received to this letter. However, the expulsions were not enforced. In fact, the local officers were later reelected and recognized by the International.

The I.W.W. organizers took advantage of the situation, of course, to impress upon the workers the advantages of belonging to their union, such as the absence of the "check-off"; the settlement of grievances at the local level rather than by international officers not necessarily conversant with the details; control by the "rank-and-file”; and, retention by the local of a larger percentage of the dues collected. The failure of this organizing effort was claimed to be due largely to the fact that other American Steel and Wire plants were organized in the C.I.O., and the workers preferred to maintain this unity of interest.

In May the I.W.W. became interested in an anticipated strike of the Cleveland street car operators. Public opinion had been aroused, and there was much criticism of the operators, who, by the way, were not members of the I.W.W. I.U. 440 sent the operators a suggestion, which was commented upon favorably by the press, to the effect that instead of going on strike, they might continue to operate the cars, but without collecting fares.3 The anticipated strike was finally averted, when the Transit Board consented to arbitration after having refused it previously.

An amusing incident was reported by the Detroit branch during this year. A member of that branch had discovered an unexpected use for his I.W.W. Committee button. For some time he had been trying unsuccessfully to secure a "Statement of Availability" from his employer. He was suddenly successful one day, when he showed up with his Committee button prominently displayed, and advised his boss that he had changed his mind about leaving and had decided to settle down on the job and to organize it.

Reports from other branches indicated minor progress. The Lumber Workers' Union held a convention in Spokane on Oct. 15, 16 and 17. Plans were discussed to stimulate the recruitment of new members in the short 10 log country in and around Idaho. A conference was held in Oakland on October 22 to devise ways to make the workers of the San Francisco Bay area better acquainted with the I.W.W. Letters from the Canadian and Australian branches were optimistic about their chances of increasing their membership. And, the Marine Transport Workers reported a few new members from the Lake Michigan area.

In addition, I.U. 310 reported from the Bishop mines of the U.S.Vanadium Co. that it was unsuccessful in its protest to the National Labor Relations Board about the Morrison and Knudsen Company. That company had insisted that its employees must be A.F.L. members. The company had fired those I.W.W.'s who refused to join the A.F.L.

  • 1. Industrial Worker, 5/17/1944, 5/25/1944
  • 2. Footnote missing from original text
  • 3. Ibid May 22, 1944, July 17, 1944

1945

During this year Cleveland continued to be the source of most of the news. However, there was also news from the Houston branch; the Detroit branch announced the opening of a new hall in May at No. 4 W. Vernor Highway at Woodward. In addition, during this year the magazine, Business Week, acknowledged the existence of the I.W.W. in an article from which excerpts are given below:1

War breathes life into the cadaver of the old Wobblies by uniting malcontents who spurn labor's no-strike pledge. Lastweek union members at the American Stove Co., in Cleveland walked out in a dispute over the transfer of several employees to departments where pay rates were lower...As recently as ten months ago, a new directory of U.S. labor organizations failed to list the I.W.W." although its listings were complete enough...But the I.W.W. is showing signs of life. In the metal shops of Cleveland, the vanadium mines of California, the copper diggings at Butte, the lumber camps around Spokane, and on the waterfronts of San Diego, New Orleans, and New York, the dead past is stirring and workers carry 'red cards'...Although the I.W.W. industrial union idea might be considered as having come to partial fruition in the C.I.O., many students think the organization's most important contribution to the labor movement is its development of the sitdown strike. A keystone in Wobbly strategy was the so-called 'strike on the job'. It implied the withdrawal of productive effort without absence from the work place...Now, as always, most Wobblies belong to two unions...Like the Communists, they operate on the theory that 'boring from within' can make them more widely influential than building exclusive organizations of their own...Consequently, the 7,000 members which the I.W.W. now claims... the I.W.W. is as purely syndicalist in philosophy as any organization that ever operated in America...As unionists, Wobblies have neve r sought recognition for their organization...The organization bargains for its members, but it will not sign contracts...Strikes for improved conditions are approved because the I.W.W. considers them fine training for the great revolutionary general strike which will bring capitalism crashing down...The decline of the I.W.W. movement was a direct result of the disappearance of the American frontier and pioneer conditions...A secondary factor which put the I.W.W. into the shade was the rise of the Communist Party...The I.W.W. revitalization, however, can hardly be expected to outlast the war...And the A.F.L. and C.I.O. have demonstrated, at least to the satisfaction of the bulk of their members, that labor's position can be improved under capitalism.

The Industrial Worker criticized this article on several points, protesting that it had never died out; that the article neglected to mention other contributions to the labor movement such as "endless-chain picketing"; that the I.W.W. does not believe in or practice "boring from within" tactics.

In May and June I.U. 510 reported opposition from the Galveston-Houston Towing Company to their efforts to organize the tugboat employees of that company. The company was accused of intimidating the employees and of declaring openly that it would discharge anyone promoting an outside union. In fact, the company did discharge L.R.Currington, an I.W.W., for organizing activities. The excuse given was that he had been absent with leave.

On Kay 14, the M.T.W. hall at Houston was raided by the police, apparently because someone had informed the police that the union was plotting a revolution in the hall.

The I.W.W. retained A.J. Mandell, a Civil Liberties Union lawyer, to protest this violation of civil rights, as well as the case of L.H. Currington referred to above. No satisfaction was obtained in either case.

In Cleveland a convention was held on October 20 and 21 by I.U. 440 at the Hotel Hollender. Twenty two delegates, the General Organization Committee, the General Secretary-Treasurer, and the General Executive Board member were present. Some of the questions discussed were: the check-off; the future of the Cleveland Newsletter ( a monthly paper printed by the Cleveland branch, including union news and personal items about the Cleveland members); improvement in the labor education of the members; and, minor amendments to the by-laws.

I.U. 440 had a little difficulty with the management of the Draper plant of Jones and Laughlin during this year. Apparently, the management wanted to get rid of the I.W.W. It complained of unprofitable operations due to a "slow-down" allegedly directed and supported by the union, and it threatened to close the plant. However, this threat was not carried out, and the situation didn't become serious until the next year.

Relations between the union and the American Stove company management were more satisfactory. During this year an agreement was reached by which the workers received a 20% increase.

  • 1. Business Week. 3/7/45

1946

Considerable organizing work was still being done in Cleveland by 1946. In June, there was a National Labor Relations Board election at the Cleveland Electronics Company. The vote was for the I.W.W. or no union. The I.W.W. lost this one, as well as a later election at the Green Ball Bearing Company. However, they won at the Schrimer-Dornbirer Pump Company.

The union went on strike at the Pump Company on the morning after Labor Day for starting rates of one dollar an hour for all employees working on assembly and machine work with increases of five cents a month thereafter, until their rates were in line with those paid for similar work elsewhere. They also demanded time and one half for all hours over eight in anj one day, and a union shop. In retaliation the company sued the union for twenty-five thousand dollars as damages. It claimed that performance of some of its contracts had been unreasonably delayed, and, in some cases, made impossible by the union's actions.

Early in October the union and company arrived at a compromise agreement. The company withdrew its suit, agreed to pay time and one half for all hours over eight, and also agreed to a wage adjustment saightly less than the union had demanded.

The friction between the union and the management of the Draper Manufacturing division of Jones and Laughlin culminated in a work-stoppage in 1946 which lasted for seven weeks. Although neither management nor the Ohio Unemployment Commission would agree with them, the union insisted that a "lock-out" and not a "strike" existed. The union contended that a lock-out had occurred, because no legitimate offer of employment had been given. The union had sought a twenty-five cent increase, a reclassification of jobs, and new hourly job rates. The company offered the eighteen and one half increase typical of steel industry settlements, but included a change in the existing incentive system, which the union contended would have resulted in an increase of only about six and one half cents. The union also pointed out that the company had no right to change the incentive system approved by the Wage Stabilization Board without the agreement of the union as well as the Wage Stabilization Board. The company then withdrew its offer entirely, including the eighteen and one half cent increase.

The seven week struggle which resulted was relatively peaceful. It was terminated, when the workers decided that most of their demands had been met. The eighteen and one half cent increase had been reinstated and the incentive plan previously proposed by the company had been modified. Other issues, such as the rates for certain job classifications, were left over for negotiation.

At about the same time satisfactory increases in pay were negotiated by the union with the American Stove and Republic Brass companies in Cleveland.

From March 21 to March 25 delegates to the twenty-fifth national Convention met in Chicago. Nothing of great importance developed from this convention. Resolutions were passed against the Communist Party, wars, and the check-off.

In September a conference of the Marine Transport Workers was held in Houston, Texas. Among other th&ngs it passed a resolution commending the various unions engaged in the 1945 water front strikes for their show of solidarity, and reaffirmed the I.W.W.'s traditional stand in support of all workers in their fight against employers.