Labor Events Yearbook: 1932

This is a database of campaigns, strikes, and labor related events as recorded in the Washington State Labor News during 1932. It was researched by Raevynn Leach with help from Magic Demirel. Start by reading the labor highlights report. Below that is the database. Click the links to read the articles.

Highlights 1932 by Raevynn Leach

The Washington State Labor News had much to write about in 1932 but there were few signs of labor activism in that year as unemployment rates surged above 25 percent and those workers who were employed clung desperately to their jobs.  The newspaper mentioned around 20 strikes, most of them out of state and as far away as England.  Closer to home there were numerous reports about wage cuts and articles discussing how long the work week should be in economy that was producing too few jobs.  One local struggle was well covered throughout the year as union workers urged a boycott of movie houses in Seattle owned by the Jensen-Von Herberg Firm. The WSLN encouraged readers to not attend these particular theatres.


January saw four strikes, two of which were reportedly going on as the New Year was rung in.  “Klumac Mills Strikers Win Wage Concessions” reported that in Salisbury, North Carolina, weavers in the mill were angry about a seventeen percent wage cut.  The weavers walked out along with the loom fixers, whose wages were not cut, but they sympathized with the weavers.  The factory gave the workers back most of their wages, but there was still a 1.5 percent cut.  The second strike on New Year’s Day was in Tampa.  “Federal Injunction Stops Tampa Strike” reported that Federal Judge Alexander Akerman issued an injunction to stop a strike of 7,000 cigar makers in the Latin Section of Tampa.  Cigar makers were accused of reading “Red influenced literature”[1] and the police allegedly found $700 worth of “radical literature”[2] when they raided an industrial union headquarters.  Another strike was reported on January 8 in “New Jersey Judge Hits Strike with Injunction.”  Vice Chancellar Alonzo Church issued an injunction that prohibited the members of the American Full-Fashioned Hosiery Workers’ Union from continuing their strike at the Brilliant Silk Hosiery Co, Inc.  The injunction also banned any strike meetings or even the mention of the strike.  Despite the setback, the New Jersey and New York district council of hosiery workers decided to ignore Akerman’s orders and continue with their strike. 

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