Thursday, March 12, 1903 Colorado City, Colorado-The strike of the smeltermen has shut down all three of Colorado City's mills for the past three weeks. The smelter owners have rejected all the demands of the Western Federation of Miners: an eight-hour day, union recognition, and the rehiring of the fired men. It was the firing of twenty-three men for union organizing by J. D. Hawkins which caused the walk out. The WFM is an industrial union and therefore, Union President, Charles Moyer and Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Haywood, believe that the smeltermen belong in the same union with the metal miners. These leaders also believe that the smeltermen deserve the same rate of pay. Currently, the miners make about $3.00 for an eight hour day, while the smeltermen make about $1.80 for a twelve hour day, leaving them so impoverished that many must live in tents even through the Colorado winter.
The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood
-by Peter Carlson
Wednesday, March 12, 1913 From a recent article in the New York Tribune:
If anywhere in the world men need organizing to protect their interests it is in the West Virginia [coal] mining district...
In the West Virginia coal fields the mine operators are the landlords, the local merchants-for the miners trade at the company stores-and they are very much of the local government so far as there is any in those mountains. Indeed, they have always been a large part of the state government, too. Each way the miner turns, he comes up against the employing corporation. When he rents a house it must be at the company's terms. When he buys food and clothing he must pay the company's prices. And when he seeks his legal rights it must be from the authorities that are likely to be subservient to the great local industries. It is a species of industrial feudalism to which he is subjected.
SOURCE History of the Labor Movement
In the United States, Vol. 5,
The AFL in the Progressive Era,
1910-1915 -by Philip S Foner
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 From the San Francisco Business Times:
Hyatt reaches deal with labor unions in three cites, but not San Francisco After years of negotiations, Hyatt has finally reached an agreement with UniteHere local groups in Philadelphia, Denver and San Diego over its workers contracts. San Francisco’s Hyatt hotels are still in the fight.
Four- and five-year contracts were signed at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia with UniteHere Local 247 and the Hyatt Regency Denver with UniteHere Local 23, giving workers wage and benefit increases.
Read full article here:
There's blood upon the contract like vinegar in your wine.
We should never take our union contracts for granted.
Those who went before paid the price.