Friday, March 13, 1903 Colorado City, Colorado-With the strike of the smeltermen of this town holding firm, we will now turn our attention to the Union which stands behind them and to the two leaders of that Union: the mighty Western Federation of Miners, the intrepid Charles Moyer, and one-eyed Big Bill Haywood.
The Western Federation of Miners was born in the Ada County Jail in Boise, Idaho. When the thirteen strike leaders, including Ed Boyce got out of jail, they called for a convention in Butte, Montana to unite the western miners. That convention was held in May of 1893 with Miner Ed Boyce elected as the first President.
Today the WFM organizes mostly metal miners. The union had managed to get the hours down to eight per day. Wages for the miners range from $3.00 -$3.50 per day.
The smeltermen are fighting for the same.
Charles Moyer, current Union President, is a former Black Hills smelterman, and stands firmly with the strikers, believing that they have every right to join the WFM. William D Haywood, age 37, is Secretary-Treasurer of the Union. He is a former miner who lost his eye in one mining accident, and had a hand mangled in another. Both are fearless in the face of Hawkins' Pinkerton detectives, and Governor Peabody's state militia who are now dispersing union picketlines and have the union hall under heavy surveillance.
The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood by Peter Carlson
Thursday, March 13, 1913 Pratt, West Virginia-Testimony ended today in the Court-Martial of Mother Jones and others by the West Virginia Military Commission. The verdict and sentences have been delivered to Governor Henry D Hatfield under seal and have not been revealed to the public.
SOURCE The Court-Martial of
Mother Jones -Edward M Steel, Jr, Editor
U press of KY, 1995
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Recent article from In These Times/Labor:
Labor and Allies, Surprised By Obama’s $9 Minimum Wage Proposal, Scramble to Coordinate We were given little advance notice,” says Bill Samuel, government affairs director for the AFL-CIO, labor’s main coalition. “I think this is a strategy that the White House has often employed before a State of the Union. I believe that was intentional. It wasn’t a bad motive. I think they decided this should be good news.”
In another indication that the president didn’t consult with allies before selecting the $9-an-hour figure, Congressional Democrats Sen. Tom Harkin (Iowa) and Rep. George Miller (Calif.), who proposed an increase to $9.80-an-hour in last year’s legislative session, were already at work on a new bill to raise the minimum to $10.10...
March 5th press release from Sen. Tom Harkin's office:
If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation since 1968, it would be worth approximately $10.56 per hour today… Increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour will increase GDP by nearly $33 billion over the course of three years as workers spend their raises in their local businesses and communities.
Read full article here.
Senator Tom Harkin
Rep George Miller
Jobs with Justice