|'34 strike commemoration event @ Arise||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Raphi Rechitsky (raphirechgmail.com)|
|Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 15:39:09 -0700 (PDT)|
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Arise Books 2441 Lyndale Ave S. Minneapolis, MN 55404 www.arisebookstore.org Phone– 612-817-7018 raphirech [at] gmail.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Raphi Rechitsky raphirech [at] gmail.com
Music, film, and discussion commemorate 1934 trucker strike anniversary.
Minneapolis, MN July 17, 2006 – Music, film, and discussion will commemorate the 72nd anniversary Minneapolis trucker strike at Arise Books on Thursday July 20th at 8pm. This event is free and open to the public, and co-sponsored by the Twin Cities branch of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Andy Gifford, a local folk musician, will get the evening started. Barb Kucera, professor in Labor Education Studies at the U of M will put the teamster strike in historical context, introducing Labor's Turning Point, a well-known documentary film about the events of 1934. The film will be followed by a discussion of the historic event and its contributions and lessons for today's labor movement. This strike, also known as the Minneapolis Teamsters' Strike, is arguably the most significant event in Minnesota's labor history to date. A non-union city, Minneapolis business leaders had successfully kept unions at bay through an organization called the Citizens Alliance. But by 1934, unions were gaining strength as advocates of workers for improved wages and better working conditions. By early May 1934, one of the worst years of the Great Depression, General Drivers Local 574 of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) had organized 3,000 transportation workers of the trucking industry into an industrial union. When employers refused to recognize the union, or its right to speak for all of its members, union leaders called a strike. Trucking operations in the city came to a halt. When police and National Guard were called in to guard trucks, and the Citizens Alliance activated the local militia, strike leaders countered with "flying squads" of pickets. To inform the public of the strike's aims, and to keep workers informed of developments, strike leaders published a daily newspaper. They sought farmers' cooperation. Conflict escalated daily throughout May and reached a peak late in the month, at the city market, where strikers clashed with police, who were trying to open it for farm produce to be brought in. The police force was increased for the battle. Many women strike supporters joined the strikers and were severely beaten. Hundreds of strikers were arrested. In support of the truckers, 35,000 building trades workers went on strike. The battle raged on violently for two days. The strike ended on May 25, when the union was recognized and their demands settled. Its toll: 200 injured; 4 dead. The strike marked a turning point in state and national labor history and legislation. The strike opened the way for enactment of laws acknowledging and protecting workers' rights. Arise is a collectively-run progressive bookstore and resource center located in Uptown Minneapolis. For further information, contact Raphi Rechitsky at raphirech [at] gmail.com
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