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Jim Kershner’s This day in history » On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

From our archives, 75 years ago

Labor troubles in the region’s lumber mills and timber camps took on a radical tinge.

Regional communist activists sent out a bulletin with “STRIKE” emblazoned across the top, encouraging a strike in “every mill and camp in the Inland Empire.”

The established labor unions, such as the American Federation of Labor, were also talking strike – but this communist salvo didn’t sit well with them.

“If there is a strike, the farther the communists stay away, the better,” said the president of the Spokane Central Labor Council.

Meanwhile, another radical union, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, the Wobblies) was initiating strikes in lumber camps all over North Idaho. The local IWW office declared that 2,000 men walked out of camps in the Clearwater and Coeur d’Alene districts, and that the timber industry was “tied up.”

Meanwhile, the owners warned that the industry was still in the grip of the Great Depression and “was by no means prosperous.”

“The union would be making a serious mistake if it called for a strike at this time,” said a lumber company owner.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1971: Washington became the first state to ban sex discrimination.



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