Labor Events Yearbook: 1915
This is a database of campaigns, strikes, and labor related events as recorded in the Seattle Union Record during 1915. It was researched by Jessica Hutton. Start by reading her labor highlights report. Below that is the database. Click the links to read the articles.
Highlights 1915 by Jessica Hutton
Seattle in 1915 was, according to a history of the city written by Richard Berner and Paul Dorpat, in a “transition from boomtown to maturing city.”  In the very first part of the twentieth century, Seattle went through a massive population growth and formally introduced itself to international commerce at the Alaska-Yukon Exhibition in 1909. By 1915, Seattleites were settling down into the rhythm of a city. Yet with the boom came the bust as unemployment rates escalated. The Washington state legislature was controlled by conservatives who passed laws unfriendly to labor, exacerbating the situation. One way to follow these currents is to survey the states' most important labor newspaper, the Seattle Union Record.
The Seattle Union Record was published by the Western Central Labor Union, affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL). The weekly newspaper had been founded in1901 and had an impressive circulation. It's editorial position was pro-labor and often pro-socialist but opposed to the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). It ran both local and national stories regularly and sometimes even reported on significant international events. The paper usually ran the length of eight pages, and included a page for coal miners, a page for local groups to report on meetings, and a page devoted to union-friendly businesses and to the week’s bowling scores. Midway through the year, “A Page for Women” was introduced and featured fashion and home-keeping advice. An important part of the reporting done was on labor strikes and protests. In 1915, major themes that resonated throughout the reporting of strikes and protests were the bad conditions strikers faced, the steadfastness of union men and women, and contempt for the legislature, authority, and scabs. Major events that warranted coverage over the year included both in-state and national events: the Centralia strike in the early part of the year, the Everett timber workers strike, the King County road workers strikes, and the eastern Ohio coal workers strike that lasted through the first half of 1915.[read full report/close report]