OK

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
                                                      -Mother Jones

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Wednesday September 16, 1903
Denver, Colorado - Big Bill Haywood, Secretary of the Western Federation of Miners

In the Denver office of the Western Federation of Miners, William D. Haywood, Secretary of the W. F. of M., is hard at work. Haywood is known simply as "Big Bill" by his fellow metal miners. He works in the office by day arranging relief for striking miners and their families, and seeking legal representation for those arrested. In the evening there are meetings to attend. Meetings for the smeltermen, Socialist Party meetings, and various union committee meetings all demand his time and attention.

Rumors persist that he stops at too many saloons on his way home, and drinks too much whisky. Perhaps this is true, although no one can say that any man works harder for the W. F. of M. than Big Bill.

At home, Haywood has a wife who is bedridden with a serious illness. A woman is employed to care for her. Haywood is distressed that, more and more, his wife seeks relief from a practitioner of Christian Science, a woman whom Big Bill considers to be a "charlatan." However, he states that he can stand for it if "these so-called treatments" can give his wife any comfort as the doctors have been unable to cure her.

SOURCE
The Autobiography of Big Bill Haywood
(1st pub 1929)
International Pub, 1983

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Tuesday September 16, 1913
Trinidad, Colorado - Special Convention of District 15 Opens with "Battle Cry of Union."

The Special Convention of the United Mine Workers of America's District 15 opened yesterday with 250 delegates singing the "Battle Cry of Union:"

We will win the fight today, boys,
We'll win the fight today,
Shouting the battle cry of union;
We'll rally from the coal mines,
We'll rally from the hills,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Union.

The union forever, hurrah boys, hurrah!
Down with the gunthugs and up with the law;
For we're coming, Colorado,
We're coming all the way,
Shouting the Battle Cry of Union

While general business was being conducted in the hall, the Scale and Policy Committee, led by John Lawson, took testimony from the coal miners of the southern fields. The grievances of the miners are many and include: being paid in script worth only 90 cents on the dollar at the company stores or saloons which they are forced to patronize, being robbed in the weighing of coal at the rate of 400 to 800 pounds per ton, being forced to vote according to the views of the company superintendent, being discharged for union membership, being discharged for voicing any complaint whatsoever about short weights, safety conditions or camp conditions.

But mostly the coal miners hate the company guard system. These gunthugs who lord it over them in the company towns, have become increasingly intolerable as the union organizing drive in the southern coalfield has progressed.

Mother Jones will speak at the convention today, a strike vote will be taken, and demands will be issued. The miners know full well that a strike will lead to to eviction from their homes. They will be homeless along with their families, creating 20,000 refugees in all. The U.M.W. has been shipping tents, food, blankets, and clothing into the area. Locations are being rented by the Union where strikers' tent colonies can be established.

SOURCES

Out of the Depths
Barron B. Beshoar
(1st ed 1942)
CO, 1980

History of the Labor Movement in the United States Vol. 5
Th AFL in the Progressive Era 1910-1915

-by Philip S Foner
International Pub, 1980

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Monday September 16, 2013
From TheStar.com: Bangladesh workers deserve compensation, an Editorial

How long must families who lost loved ones in Bangladesh’s catastrophic factory disaster wait for compensation? The shoddily-built Rana Plaza in Dhaka collapsed on April 24, killing or injuring most of its 4,000 workers in a tragedy that stirred international sympathy and outrage. Yet five months on most of the poor families involved are getting nothing like the help they should, adding insult to tragedy.

The disaster, which killed 1,100 and injured 2,500, focused attention on Bangladesh’s notoriously unsafe $18-billion clothing industry and on the retailers who rely on its heavily exploited workforce. The country’s four million garment workers make as little as $38 a month, and most labour in harsh conditions. The disaster prompted calls for generous compensation, better wages and wholesale safety reforms. Months later, many are still waiting.

Read full article here:
http://www.thestar.com/...

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Battle Cry of Freedom

This is the tune for the "Battle Cry of Union" as sung by the delegates to the Special Convention of District 15 of the United Mine Workers of America as the convention was called to order. They were prepared to loose their jobs, their homes, and even their lives, if needed, in order to fight for justice in the Southern Coalfields of Colorado.

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Mon Sep 16, 2013 at 11:13 AM PDT.

Also republished by Invisible People, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Anti-Capitalist Chat.

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