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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Labor Events Yearbook: 1931

This is a database of campaigns, strikes, and labor related events as recorded in the Washington State Labor News during 1931. It was researched by Brandon Letsinger with help from Nicolette Flannery. Start by reading the labor highlights report. Below that is the database.

Highlights 1931 by Brandon Letsinger

1931 was a complicated year for the labor movement in the Pacific Northwest. With unemployment surging and employers cutting jobs and cutting wages, Labor was mostly on the defensive, although a few unions did report successes. The movement turned to politics, launching a Charter amendment initiative in Seattle to achieve the five-day work week and pushing Congress for worker friendly laws. Neither effort was fully successful. But the movement continued to display energy and creativity, using a variety of tools such as such as radio broadcasts, boycotts, newspaper publications, literature drives, and house to house canvassing. In this survey of the Washington State Labor News important aspects of the culture of unionism become apparent. Labor strategies, actions, and attitudes of union members towards workers of other races, ethnicities, and political backgrounds come into a clear focus.

[read full report/ close report]