forced labor

Hellraisers Journal: In Bangladesh, 200,000 garment workers protesting, factories set ablaze.

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 23, 1903
Cripple Creek District, Colorado - All Finns Imported as Strikebreakers Have Escaped

All of the Finns who were imported as strikebreakers last week have now managed to escape from the clutches of the military and the mine owners' gunthugs. They worked under the bayonets of the soldiers, and were forced to scab, but, to their credit, these imported strike breakers were not born to be scabs. They have been provided transportation out of the strike zone by the Western Federation of Miners.

Another rebellious worker, however, was not so lucky. Near the Strong Mine a sentry saw movement in the dark and hollered, "halt." When the the movement did not cease as commanded, the sentry opened fire. Soon all hell broke loose as other sentries joined in, firing off twenty-five shots in all. The movement in the dark turned out to be a burro, now quite dead. Bullets also came flying into two nearby houses, but we are relieved to report that none of the occupants were injured. We cannot say whether the burro was trying to make his escape, or only lost and wandering about. But the incident does point to the risks taken by those attempting to escape from the mining camps of the Cripple Creek District.

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Hellraisers Journal: Report Finds Forced Child Labor Is On The Rise!

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

Sunday July 26, 1903
Coney Island, New York - The Textile Army Guests of Animal King, Frank C. Bostock

Since yesterday, Mother Jones and her Industrial Army of textile strikers have been the guests of the famous animal trainer, Frank C. Bostock. Known far and wide as the "King of the Animals," it is said that Bostock's lion act, featuring Bonavita and his 27 African lions, is the greatest in the world. In spite of the dangers to himself and to the delight of the public, Bonavita enters the ring each evening to faces the snarling teeth and giant claws. He has been injured more than once.

There is Mme. Morelli, "queen of the jaguars." She is the world's most famous woman animal trainer. On one occasion, she was bitten right through the shoulder, yet has not given up her act. We can also find Clyde W Powers with his trio of elephants, Brandu, the snake charmer, a grizzly bear, pumas, tigers, and more-some 25 acts in all.

The children slept last night in the loft of the Bostock Building, and will sleep there again tonight. They seem delighted with their accommodations.

Mother Jones will address the crowd at 4:30 this afternoon.

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Hellraisers Journal: Hannah Silverman "The Joan d' Arc of the Silk Strike."

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

Sunday June 21, 1903
From The Outlook: "Forced Labor in West Virginia"

This is Part II of our discussion of the article by Gino C. Speranza which appeared in the June 13th issue of The Outlook.

Yesterday we were relieved to see that the men, tied up by the contractor and bound to a mule to be dragged back to the work camp, were cut free by "the squire" who had issued the arrest warrants. But yet, that same officer of the court urged the men to return to the camp to work out their "debt." No action was taken against the contractor who had no authority to tie them up and drag them away at the point of a gun.

Mr. Speranza came to West Virginia from New York this past April as an investigator for the Society for the Protection of Italian Immigrants. He found this sort of maltreatment to be the rule and not the exception. The demand for labor exceeds the supply in West Virginia, and, rather than recruiting workers through good pay and decent working conditions, the contractors choose these brutal methods to retain their labor force.

The men arrive already in debt for the cost of their transportation. More debt is piled on for the cost of food and shelter, such as it is. The workers are even charged for the expense to the company of hiring the brutal company gun thugs that hold them in bondage...

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Hellraisers Journal: Forced Labor in WV, Six Italian Laborers Tied Together and Hitched to a Mule

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

Saturday June 20, 1903
From The Outlook: "Forced Labor in West Virgina"

For the next few days we will be presenting this article by Gino C Speranza from the June 13, 1903 issue of The Outlook. Mr. Speranza is the Corresponding Secretary of the Society for the Protection of Italian Immigrants. After reviewing this article, we will plainly see why Italian immigrants (or any other immigrant workers) need protecting.

Mr Speranza tells the story of 23 Italian laborers who were shipped (and he uses that word advisedly) from New York to Raleigh County, West Virginia last March. The men had been told that they were not going far away from New York, so they sensed a betrayal when they arrived in Beckley two days later. They were then driven to the isolated Harmon Camp and began working under the watchful eye of a contractor with a revolver stuck ostentatiously in his breast pocket. They were surrounded by armed guards. The work of drilling and grading was nothing like it had been represented.

They arrived in debt due to the cost of their transportation, and they were forced to incur more debt through the exorbitant prices at the camp commissary. They had not yet been paid, but decided that conditions were unbearable, and they made up their minds to leave. Little did they realize that through the "Boarding-House Law" of West Virginia, they had been turned into debt slaves.

Never mind that the so-called "Boarding-Houses" were actually shanty shacks, and that the men had money coming to them, an arrest warrant was, never-the-less, soon issued. They were arrested in Beckley and charged with non-payment of board.

Mr Speranza describes the amazing events which followed their arrest:

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Hellraisers Journal: Immigrant Workers fight back against forced labor and threats of violence.

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.

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