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

Thursday May 7, 1903
American employees vs employers: a summary of 1881-1900.

This interesting summary was received from Emma F. Langdon of Colorado:
In the twenty years from 1881 to 1900, there were 22,793 strikes, involving 6,105,694 workers. The loss in time was equivalent to 194,000,000 days, or practically one month for each worker who had been involved in a strike. The loss in wages was $258,000,000; the total estimated loss to the community was $469,000,000. contributions from labor organizations to maintain strikes amounted to $16,000,000.

Fifty-one per cent of the strikes in this period were successful, thirteen per cent partially successful, and thirty-six percent failed. strikes are characteristic of periods of prosperity, lockouts of periods of depression. In the boom period from 1881 to 1883, fifty-seven per cent of the strikes were successful, while sixty per cent were won in the prosperous years from 1895 to 1900.

The Cripple Creek Strike
A History of Industrial Wars in Colorado

-by Emma F Langdon
Denver, CO 1904
Appendix added 1917
-by EFL

Reprinted as
Mass Violence in America
NY, 1969

Wednesday May 7, 1913
From the Military Bastille in Pratt, West Virginia: letter from Mother to Caroline LLoyd

(As written, without correction, except punctuation as needed for clarity.)

    ...I am still holding the fort in the prison although the great Governor says I am not in prison. I would like to know what he calls this place. I have been here three months incarcerated in one small room with a lounge to sleep on and no place to wash you face without going out on the porch and I am beginning to suffer with severe headaches which I am afraid will prove fatal one of these days. How brutal those men in authority are. They never reverse the condition of others and wonder how they would feel if their wives or mothers were placed in the same condition. I know that the May Day celebration would not have touched this subject had it not been for you. You have indeed so much of your brother's nature in you that every letter you send me brings him so vividly to my mind. I looked upon him as one of the great men of the age but unfortunately he passed away a little too soon.
     When my emancipation takes place you will be one of the first that I go to visit and to see...
                                                                               Always yours,
                                                                               Mother Jones
The Correspondence of Mother Jones
-ed. by Edward M Steel
U of Pittsburgh Press, 1985

Tuesday May 7, 2013
From Dissent: "Guest Workers As Bellwether"

Incredible story of forced labor, with threats of violence against immigrant workers in Louisiana, and their families back in Mexico. This is some first-rate reporting from Josh Eidelson:

...For years, the hours at CJ’s [Seafood] were long, and the work was hard. Then, in 2011, Mike LeBlanc replaced his father as the head of the company. “That,” said CJ’s worker Ana Rosa Diaz, “was when it started to get out of control.” Workers say they were required to come to work earlier and stay later, sometimes working as many as sixteen to twenty-four hours straight. Management installed security cameras in the plant and also around the company-owned trailers where the workers lived. Workers say management imposed a curfew, threatened to confiscate the keys to their cars, and told them they couldn’t have visitors. Worse, one of the managers repeatedly said, “If you don’t understand that your break is over, I’ll make you understand with this shovel.” Uvalle understood: “He was saying he would beat us.”

The worst day at CJ’s, Uvalle remembered, was “the day of the threat.” It came after LeBlanc heard that a worker had attempted to report him to the police. Workers say they were called into a mandatory meeting where LeBlanc told them that if any of them got him in trouble, he wouldn’t just get them deported forever. He would send armed men to assault their families back in Mexico....

Eidelson goes on to report how the workers fought back with the help of Worker Rights Consortium, an international labor rights group, which investigated the workers’ allegations.

This story is long, but well worth the time:

Workers Rights Consortium

"With our brothers and our sisters from many far off lands
      ...there is power in a union."

Originally posted to Hellraisers Journal on Tue May 07, 2013 at 03:00 PM PDT.

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

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