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100 years ago in Puget Sound: 130 unions to participate in general strike

UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 30, 2019

The Puget Sound area was bracing for the biggest labor crisis in its history: a general strike, The Spokesman-Review reported on Jan. 30, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)
The Puget Sound area was bracing for the biggest labor crisis in its history: a general strike, The Spokesman-Review reported on Jan. 30, 1919. (Spokesman-Review archives)

The Puget Sound area was bracing for the biggest labor crisis in its history: a general strike.

“All hope of compromise” in the shipyard strike had been abandoned, and plans for “a general labor walkout” were being made for early February.

About 130 organized labor unions were expected to take part. This would add 30,000 more strikers to the 25,000 or so already on strike.

From the Wobbly beat: Six Wobblies, arrested in a raid on their “secret headquarters” in the Mohawk building, were convicted of “syndicalism” – a law specifically intended to be used against Wobblies.

A prosecutor told the court the Industrial Workers of the World would “use any and all means to attain its end, and the question of right and wrong does not enter into it.”

All six men were sentenced to 30 days in jail.

The Spokane courtroom was crowded with the defendants’ sympathizers. One woman was arrested for disorderly conduct when she called a police officer “a dirty skunk.”

From the hospital beat: Plans were underway to double the size of St. Luke’s Hospital by adding a new wing.

Officials said they planned to carry out the construction program in the coming year.

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