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Monday, September 07, 2015

She wears scarves instead of hats

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* Minewar: The Progressive Miners of America and the 1930’s Illinois Mine War:

In March 1932, the wage contract between Illinois coal operators and United Mine Workers District 12 miners expired. With coal demand and prices waning, operators sought to substantially reduce miner’s pay. District leadership negotiated a reduction from $6.10 per day to $5.00. However, the contract was subject to rank and file approval.
A vote was held in July 1932, and the union membership soundly rejected the agreement. District President John Walker called on UMWA President John L. Lewis to come to Illinois to convince miners accept the deal. However, when Lewis or Walker spoke publicly in support of the new agreement, they were often met with catcalls and organized protests from the rank and file.
On August 6, a new election was held. Before the tallies could be made public, the ballots were stolen. Instead of retrieving the ballots or holding a new election, John L. Lewis immediately declared an emergency and imposed the $5.00 per day agreement on the workers. (Later, the license plate number of the robbery get-away car was traced to District 12 Vice President, Fox Hughes.)

* Hoping to get a podcast of the one hour radio documentary, We Were Not Ladies, We Were Women, also from Minewar, which I heard on the radio today. Amazing story:

In September, 1932 thousands of Illinois miners split from the United Mine Workers of America to form a dissident union, the Progressive Miners of America. More than a factional dispute, the Illinois mine war would determine whether a union’s power could be wielded autocratically by its leaders, or if the miner’s union would be governed democratically by its members. And under Agnes Burns Wieck’s leadership, the women of the coal fields would assert themselves as equal partners in the struggle.

* Is it not possible for any business to set up shop without assistance in the form of tax dollars? I'm not exactly opposed to helping companies get started, or survive a crisis, but something is wrong when one of the most successful companies in the world can't get by without going on the dole in a state that can hardly pay its own existing bills. I guess we're supposed to be grateful that we beat out Wisconsin. Personally, I'm embarrassed for them and for us: Amazon gets Illinois tax credits despite calls for review.

* For future reference: Learn Eight Helpful Microsoft Excel Tricks with This Handy Cheat Sheet.

* Words and a few photos: Constructing Identities: Stories We Thought We Knew.

* That is a beauty: Champlain and 112th.

* Waiting for a factory girl.......

Posted by Marie at September 7, 2015 7:30 PM