Help document May 1 marches, strikes, and actions by donating photos, video, signs

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The UW Libraries Special Collections and its Labor Archives of Washington are documenting and collecting items from the upcoming May 1, 2017, marches in the Puget Sound region.

We are interested in your:

Photographs and video of signs and crowd scenes. High-resolution files from DSLR cameras are preferred, but they will accept camera phone images. Please review your images and edit out blurry or repetitive images. To make submissions, email Ann Lally, UW Libraries digital collections curator, and in the email title or text:

  • Tell her your submissions are for a labor or labor-related organization and name the organization/banner you marched behind
  • That they are destined for the Labor Archives of Washington’s digital collections.

Labor-related physical signs and flyers used in the march. Email me, UW Libraries Labor Archivist Conor Casey, to arrange for delivery pickup of your items.

► Signs without any labor or working class/immigrant worker focus can be sent to Anne Jenner, UW Libraries Pacific Northwest curator. Email her for details.

You will be required to sign a donor form for any materials given to the UW Libraries. This form allows future researchers to use your images or materials in books, documentaries, etc. If you have questions about the donor form or copyright, email Conor Casey.

For general questions, email Ann Lally, UW Libraries digital collections curator.

New Episode of “Learn Yourself”: The Seattle General Strike of 1919

Man_speaking_to_crowd_during_the_Seattle_General_Strike_Seattle_Washington_February_1919
Man Speaking to crowd during the Seattle General Strike, PHColl922.20

The latest episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s regular segment on the KSVR radio show, We Do the Work, will air April 11th and stream online via KSVR and Public Radio International’s Exchange thereafter! This Learn Yourself will be about the Seattle General Strike of 1919, the first city-wide strike in US history. This strike presaged a wave of postwar organizing and strikes as well as anti-labor and anti-radical repression and continues to inspire as a model for collective action today.

The regular segment, “Learn Yourself,” features Labor Archivist Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections), being interviewed about a history topic by host Mike Dumovich, with an emphasis on archival collections and secondary sources related to the topic in the hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about labor history on their own.

Links to Other Episodes in the Series:

  1. Labor Archives of Washington Overview
  2. Everett Massacre, also called Bloody Sunday, where a confrontation caused 7 to 12 people to be murdered on November 5, 1916.
  3. SeaTac Seattle Minimum Wage Campaign and History Project
  4. Filipino American Cannery Workers’ Unionism and the Murder of Domingo and Viernes
  5. Farmworkers’ History: The Chateau St. Michelle Grape Boycott and the Labor Archives of Washington’s second annual event Preserving Solidarity Forever: Washington State Farmworkers’ Struggles.
  6. Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Life and Art of Richard V. Correll
  7. Author, Poet, Worker: Carlos Bulosan’s Collections at the Labor Archives of Washington and Eva Urcia’s Quest to Uncover and Preserve Bulosan Family History
  8. The Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration
  9. The 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike

Related Episodes
1. Former LAW intern Senteara Orwig on the collections she worked on in the Labor Archives of Washington “The Songbird and the Martyr: Katie Phar, Joe Hill, and the Songs of the Industrial Workers of the World”

For more information, go to the following sites and links:

Websites:
Seattle General Strike Project
“The Seattle General Strike and Its Aftermath” Labor Archives of Washington Digital Collections Portal 

Secondary Sources:
• Brecher, Jeremy. 1997. Strike! Boston, MA: South End Press.
• Friedheim, Robert L. 1964. The Seattle general strike. University of Washington Press: Seattle.

Films:
• Ostrander, Lucy, Maria Gargiulo, Anna Louise Strong, John Gilbert, and Marjorie Nelson. 2005. Witness to revolution: the story of Anna Louise Strong. [Seattle, Wash.]: Ostrander Productions.

Primary Sources:
• Seattle. 2009. The Seattle general strike: an account of what happened in Seattle, and especially in the Seattle Labor Movement during the general strike, February 6 to 11, 1919. Seattle, Wash: Left Bank Books and Charlatan Stew.
Robert Friedheim Seattle General Strike Collection, Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
IWW Seattle Joint Branches Records, Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
Industrial Workers of the World photograph collection, Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
King County Central Labor Council Records, Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
Broussais C. Beck papers, 1919-1961, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections

New episode of Labor Archives of Washington’s radio show on history of the 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike now streaming online

The latest episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s regular segment on the KSVR radio show We Do the Work is now streaming online via KSVR and Public Radio International’s Exchange.

This ‘Learn Yourself’ will be about the pivotal 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike, which shut down ports along the West Coast for months, spurred a four-day general strike that shut down San Francisco,  and resulted in the emergence of regional leadership that would form the present day International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The strike also inspired workers for generations and reinvigorated other maritime unions, including the Sailors Union of the Pacific.

The regular segment, called “Learn Yourself”, features Labor Archivist Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections) being interviewed about a history topic by host Mike Dumovich with an emphasis on archival collections and secondary sources related to the topic in the hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about labor history on their own.

Links to Other Episodes in the Series:

  1. Labor Archives of Washington Overview
  2. Everett Massacre, also called Bloody Sunday, where a confrontation caused 7 to 12 people to be murdered on November 5, 1916.
  3. SeaTac Seattle Minimum Wage Campaign and History Project
  4. Filipino American Cannery Workers’ Unionism and the Murder of Domingo and Viernes
  5. Farmworkers’ History: The Chateau St. Michelle Grape Boycott and the Labor Archives of Washington’s second annual event Preserving Solidarity Forever: Washington State Farmworkers’ Struggles.
  6. Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Life and Art of Richard V. Correll
  7. Author, Poet, Worker: Carlos Bulosan’s Collections at the Labor Archives of Washington and Eva Urcia’s Quest to Uncover and Preserve Bulosan Family History
  8. The Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration
  9. The 1934 Pacific Coast Maritime Strike

Put on that gauze mask and smile*

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The Seattle Star. Thursday, October 31, 1918, page 10.

Special Collections will be hosting two events this month in conjunction with our current exhibit, Washington on the Western Front: At Home and Over There. Both events will provide an opportunity to explore themes featured in the exhibit more fully. Please mark your calendars and join us for:

AMERICAN PANDEMIC: THE LOST WORLDS OF THE 1918 INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC 

Lecture by Nancy Bristow, PhD, Professor of History, University of Puget Sound, focusing on the effects of the 1918 influenza in Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest. Author of American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic, Oxford University Press, 2012.

January 12, 2017 | 3:30pm – 5:00pm | Suzzallo Library 5th Floor East Conference Room

WASHINGTON AT WAR: THE EVERGREEN STATE IN WORLD WAR I

A Reader’s Theater, led by Lorraine McConaghy, PhD, Public Historian and Historian Emeritus, Museum of History and Industry, will bring together multiple voices and viewpoints from diaries, newspapers and other contemporary sources illustrating the mindset of America at war.

This talk is presented by Humanities Washington and the Washington State Historical Society in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of America’s involvement in World War I.

January 24, 2017  | 3:30pm – 5:00pm | Suzzallo Library 5th Floor East Conference Room

Washington on the Western Front: At Home and Over There will be in display through Tuesday, January 31, 2017. For questions or additional information contact Lisa Oberg at lisanne@uw.edu or 206-543-7492.

* The Seattle Star. Wednesday, October 30, 1918, page 1.

Labor Archives of Washington’s Latest Exhibit: “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”

From December 5, 2016 to January 29, 2017, you can view the Labor Archives’ latest exhibit, “An Injury to One is an Injury to All”: The Legacy of the 1916 Everett Massacre and the Industrial Workers of the World in the Pacific Northwest, in the UW Allen Library North Lobby. Featuring photographs, books, and ephemera from Labor Archives collections, several contributions from collections at related repositories, and digitized interviews, the exhibit highlights the history of the IWW in the Pacific Northwest and looks deeper into the events leading up to the Everett Massacre.

exhibit-poster

This exhibit was designed to use surrogates of photographs and documents, ensuring that the originals can be preserved and secured while sharing the information contained in them with a broader public. This enables the archives to host the exhibit at a variety of community venues. Portions of the exhibit have already been displayed at the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association Conference in May of 2016 in Portland, Oregon as well as the Everett Massacre Commemoration Centennial Boat Tour in November 12, 2016 on board the historic steamship the Virginia V. The exhibit is lightweight and portable and mounted on hardware of backdrop frames from a photographer’s studio to facilitate moving it and installing it in diverse venues.

About the IWW and the Everett Massacre

November 5, 2016 marked 100 years since the Everett Massacre, remembered as the bloodiest day in Pacific Northwest labor history. On this day in 1916, 300 IWW members aboard the ship Verona were met by Everett Sheriff Donald McRae and 200 armed citizen vigilantes at a dock in Everett. A labor strike of the International Shingle Weavers of America had been underway in Everett since May, and the IWW saw the current labor unrest as an opportunity to win striking workers over to their vision of industrial unionism and to support the strikers. After the sheriff refused the Wobblies permission to land on the municipal dock, a gunfight broke out. In the aftermath, at least 5 Wobblies lay dead, and 2 citizen deputies had been killed by “friendly fire” by their fellow deputies. Countless others were injured. It is also likely many other IWW members drowned as the ship began to capsize when those aboard fled to the other side of the ship. The 74 IWW members who made it back to Seattle were thrown in jail, and leader Thomas Tracy was put on trial for the murder of the two deputies. Those in jail were released and Tracy eventually acquitted.

Why was the IWW repeatedly met with such hostility? Everett, a city of industry in the period, had a strong organized labor presence as well as a class of rich industrialists who owned the industries in which the union members worked. Sheriff McRae, who organized the citizen deputies and orchestrated a campaign of escalating violence against the Wobblies, was also pro labor and a former shingle weaver himself. These are puzzles the exhibit seeks to examine, investigating the leading figures involved, the state of the economy in Everett, and the history of the escalating tensions between labor and business as a result of the shingle weavers’ strike.

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IWW Stickerettes

The IWW was met with varied responses by Everett trade unionists as a result of their emphasis on industrial unionism, internationalism, radical politics, and direct action organizing tactics. Many members subscribed to socialist and anarchist ideologies, seeking to organize workers under “one big union” and advocating for an end to oppressive working conditions under a capitalist system in favor of a cooperative commonwealth of industrial democracy governed by working people. The exhibit includes a look at this broader IWW history, featuring books on the IWW as well as leaflets, stamps, and stickerettes created and used by the organization to educate the public.

But Why Are Some of the Cases Empty?

As a way to make the exhibit more dynamic and augment the existing materials with new content, we are adding new materials in planned waves throughout the next month. Be sure to check back in throughout December and January! And if you’re interested in learning more about our collections on the IWW and the Everett Massacre, many items are viewable as a part of our digital collections.

We hope you enjoy the exhibit. Be sure to tell your friends and bring them along when you come back to see our updated installment!

New episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s radio segment on the West Coast Maritime Strike of 1934 streams online this Tuesday

The latest episode of the Labor Archives of Washington’s regular segment, “Learn Yourself”, on the KSVR radio show We Do the Work will stream online this Tuesday December 13, 2016 at 6:30 PM PST. You can also tune in the old fashioned way on KSVR 91.7 FM!

This “Learn Yourself” segment will feature Labor Archivist Conor Casey speaking about the West Coast Maritime Strike of 1934. For more information, go to www.laborarchives.org or email cmcasey@uw.edu.

The regular segment, called “Learn Yourself”, features Labor Archivist Conor Casey (Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections) being interviewed about a history topic by host Mike Dumovich with an emphasis on archival collections and secondary sources related to the topic in the hopes that it will inspire people to learn more about labor history on their own.

Links to Other Episodes in the Series:

  1. Labor Archives of Washington Overview
  2. Everett Massacre, also called Bloody Sunday, where a confrontation caused 7 to 12 people to be murdered on November 5, 1916.
  3. Filipino American Cannery Workers’ Unionism and the Murder of Domingo and Viernes
  4. Farmworkers’ History: The Chateau St. Michelle Grape Boycott and the Labor Archives of Washington’s second annual event Preserving Solidarity Forever: Washington State Farmworkers’ Struggles.
  5. Images of Labor and Social Justice: The Life and Art of Richard V. Correll
  6. Author, Poet, Worker: Carlos Bulosan’s Collections at the Labor Archives of Washington and Eva Urcia’s Quest to Uncover and Preserve Bulosan Family History
  7. The Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration

Labor Archives Collection Highlights: The Joseph Clancy papers

An archival collection does not have to consist of countless boxes to be rich in historical information. Sometimes the smallest collections are the most interesting! The Joseph Clancy papers is a perfect example of this, consisting of 1.96 cubic feet of material maintained by Clancy during his time as Secretary of Seattle Local 104 of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, and Helpers of America. The materials span the years 1921-1972 and are records commonly kept by a union officer, including union constitutions and bylaws, correspondence, meeting minutes, reports, news clippings, publications, ephemera, and photographs.

When rehousing the collection in new acid free folders, a fascinating story began to emerge from the small assortment of materials, highlighting the tensions that can arise between international union and local union leadership. [1]  In 1946, International President of the boilermakers union, Charles J. MacGowan, demanded Local 104 turn over control of their records, newspaper, and funding to a governing board created by MacGowan. Unsurprisingly, the president was met with great resistance by Joseph Clancy and other members of Local 104 who did not like the idea of an external board controlling the activities of the local. Secretary Clancy and fellow officer Bill Miller refused MacGowan’s requests, resulting in the suspension of Clancy and Miller from the union

 

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Telegram sent by President MacGowan suspending Clancy from the union on February 24, 1947. (Joseph Clancy papers, 2218-001)

MacGowan’s actions were initially upheld after the matter was taken to court by members of Local 104 in the late 1940s; however, the case was eventually brought to the Washington State Supreme Court in the early 1950s, ultimately reversing the decision. This enabled the local to take back control from the international and hold elections for local officers, resulting in the re-election of Clancy as secretary. He then served as Secretary of Local 104 until 1972, just a year before his passing. Local 104 was not the only regional chapter of the boilermakers union to experience interference from international leadership. Several news clippings talk about the efforts of Local 72 in Portland, Oregon, to maintain control of their own local activities.

The Joseph Clancy papers also highlight other issues relevant to union organizing during this time. For instance, one folder of public elections campaign and legislative initiatives material includes ephemera from the 1958 November election campaign urging voters to vote no to Right-to-Work Initiative 202 which would undermine the strength of union organizing in the state. The labor movement was able to effectively organize and counter this initiative, which is part of a long series of attempts to break the power of labor organizations by anti-union advocates.

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1958 November election campaign ephemera. (Joseph Clancy papers, 2218-001)

To learn more about the Joseph Clancy papers, click here for the updated finding aid in Archives West. And of course, this collection, along with many others in the UW Libraries Special Collections, can be viewed in person during our open reading room hours! Come discover the “people’s history” at the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. Who knows what stories you might uncover?

[1] An International union is the parent labor organization of a union of workers in a particular trade or industry. Local unions are geographically distinct units of the parent organization, which sometimes represent groups of workers in different bargaining units within the same geographical area. “International” denotes that the umbrella organization represents workers in multiple countries—usually the United States and Canada in North America. Umbrella organizations that have a national scope are often called “American Association” or “National Association” or simply “Association” rather than containing the term “international” in their title.