Labor Events Yearbook: 1936

This is a database of campaigns, strikes, and labor related events as recorded in the Washington State Labor News during 1936. It was researched by Caitlyn Hamilton with help from Katherine Edwards.

Highlights 1936 by Katherine Edwards

1936 was a year of intense labor activism with union campaigns waged in many industries across Washington. The battle to organize logging and sawmill companies continued and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters succeeded in their effort to organize drivers working for dairy companies, laundries, and oil companies. A wide array of workers ranging from printers, machinists, and newsboys organized and struck. In Seattle, waitresses picketed and dressmakers walked off the job. The most publicized strike of 1936 involved the Newspaper Guild and writers for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer who defeated publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. The year was also witness to political and judicial gains for labor. Executives for the Marinoff Northwest Brewing Company were found guilty in the killing of an unarmed picketer in the bloody 1935 brewery strike.

In January, organized labor received a blow when the Washington state legislature failed to pass a law that would require employers to install devices that minimized the risk of dust hazards in factories. Despite this initial setback, labor achieved substantial gains in April when the Superior Court upheld a minimum wage law that required a wage high enough for basic needs to be met. In June, an anti-picketing ordinance backed by the Auto Dealers’ Association failed in the legislature, sending a strong message of political support for organized labor.

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