1919: 100th Anniversary of Seattle General Strike

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LaborFest 2019

Conference Location

San Francisco, CA


This year is the 100th anniversary of the Seattle General Strike. Today, the call for general strikes has again been taken up by Sara Nelson, the leader of the CWA-AFA, and ATU VP Bruce Hamilton. The general strike in Seattle involved over 65,000 workers. The strike, which lasted for six day unlike the San Francisco General Strike, non-violent without attacks on striking workers. The strike movement began in the shipyards in January 1919, and on February 3, 2019, the Seattle Central Labor Council called for all unions to join in a general strike. The general strike started on Thursday, February 6, 2019. On February 7, US troops entered Seattle. That did not end the strike, but the strike did end before the strikers’ demands were met. Historians Robert Ovetz, educator and author of “When Workers Shot Back: Class Conflict from 1877 to 1921,” will be joined by Gifford Hartman, an adult educator and working class historian, will discuss the lessons of that strike and other mass working class actions, including the great steel strike in Ohio, the coal strike in Indiana County, and the Winnepeg general strike. Over 4 million workers participated in strikes during 1919.


Political Science