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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Labor Events Yearbook: 1939

This is a database of campaigns, strikes, and labor related events as recorded in the Washington New Dealer published by the Washington Commonwealth Federation during 1939. It was researched, digitized, and compiled by Brittany Barrett. Click the links to read the articles.

Highlights 1939

The year saw few major strikes but important campaigns by ferry boat workers, longshoremen, cannery workers, machinists, miners, meat packers, and others. The strength of the labor movement was evident both in the agreements reached with employers and in the push to unionize new industries and sectors, including fishermen and farmers. Upholsterers formed a new union and the newspaper reported on the successful campaign of the Cracker Workers Union to organize Seattle cracker making companies. On the other hand, one of the major concerns of CIO unions and the Washington Commonwealth Federation was defending Longshore Union leader Harry Bridges who was threatened with deportation. The New Dealer also supported the Workers Alliance in its attempt to protect jobs for WPA workers as Congress and the state government, led by Governor Clarence Martin reduced funding.