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Monday, August 19, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Potlach discharges Wobblies

Lumber companies heard rumblings that members of Industrial Workers of the World were planning some kind of action in the region’s lumber camps. The Potlatch Lumber Company discharged all Wobblies and sympathizers in response, The Spokesman-Review reported on Dec. 14, 1916. (SR)
Lumber companies heard rumblings that members of Industrial Workers of the World were planning some kind of action in the region’s lumber camps. The Potlatch Lumber Company discharged all Wobblies and sympathizers in response, The Spokesman-Review reported on Dec. 14, 1916. (SR)

From our archive, 100 years ago

Lumber companies heard rumblings that the Wobblies (members of Industrial Workers of the World) were planning some kind of action in the region’s lumber camps.

The companies were so alarmed, some were already taking preemptive measures. The Potlatch Lumber Company discharged all Wobblies and sympathizers.

The Wobblies had recently gained strength in the region’s lumber camps and issued a series of demands for better pay and working conditions. The paper noted that Spokane was the “center of I.W.W. activity” in the region.

Meanwhile, the lumber employers’ association, based in Spokane, scheduled a meeting to discuss the issue.

They said that a Wobblies national organizer had been in Spokane for two weeks.

Wobblies recently staged a walkout from lumber camps in the St. Maries area when the company raised the cost of food and board for loggers in the lumber camps.

From the police beat: A 17-year-old freshman from Spokane was arrested for looting several fraternity houses at the University of Washington.

He told police he was “working his way through college” by performing menial tasks at fraternity houses. At some point, he decided he needed more money. So he “turned burglar.”

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