Local news

Jim Kershner’s this day in history

FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2012

From our archives, 100 years ago

The Spokane mayor proposed several reforms in city labor practices as a result of shocking allegations raised in commission hearings during the week.

Mayor Hindley asked for prohibition of the practice of employees giving birthday presents to foremen. Testimony made it clear that sometimes these “donations” were coerced, and that failure to contribute to the foreman’s new watch could cost a laborer his job.

Mayor Hindley reaffirmed that the city would retain a strict policy of not giving recognition or preference to unions on city projects. A number of people alleged that city foremen were tied too closely to the unions and would hire only union men. The mayor also said that all city laborers must be hired “in rotation by number” through the city’s free employment bureau.

Not everyone was happy with the way the hearings were conducted. The city contractor whose allegations spawned the hearings said that his own integrity had been attacked during the hearings in a “pre-arranged coup” concocted by one of the city commissioners.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1822: Florida became a United States territory. … 1867: U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million. … 1964: The original version of the TV game show “Jeopardy!,” hosted by Art Fleming, premiered on NBC.

Click here to comment on this story »

Back to Spokesman Mobile