July 1917

[page 3]


“Bisbee, Ariz., July 6, --- With practically all workmen except a few Mexican surface workers and the professional I.W.W. pickets returned to work today, the strike here is virtually at an end today. Confession that they are beaten, and abandonment of local strike agitation is seen in the order issued by I.W.W. agitators late yesterday from their strike headquarters that no more relief funds or provisions would be issued to strikers.”

The above would appear to mark the ending of the miners’ strike called in Bisbee, Arizona, by the so-called Industrial Workers of the World, and leaves another wreck to the credit of these union wreckers. The International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers offered the miners of Bisbee a place in the bona fide labor movement, and it hasn’t been but a short time when there were more than 800 members enrolled on the books of the Bisbee Local 106. Then come the buzzards; they thought to find the picking that they did as through their usual tactics of misrepresentation. They succeeded in poisoning the minds of the members of 106 to the extent that men were placed in office who were well known to be active I.W.Ws. The result being that they secured control of the local and used it in advancing their own interests. When the Jerome strike came on circulars were sent out bearing the signatures of the representatives of the I.W.W. and the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers.  With the seal of both organizations attached these circulars condemned the effort of the Jerome Miners’ Union to secure recognition with the time agreement and the check off. Although the International by a referendum vote of its membership had adopted this system of dealing with their employers. Money was collected by Local 106 for many months in the way of dues and assessments but not forwarded to headquarters. This continued until July 5th, when the following telegram was sent to Bisbee by International President Chas. II Moyer:

“Denver, Colo. July 5th, 1917. 

“Chas. Tannehill, secretary of Bisbee Miners Union No. 106, of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, Bisbee, Arizona:

“This is to officially advise you that acting under the power vested in me by Article 4, Section 1 of the constitution of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, I have and do hereby revoke the charter of the Bisbee Miners’ Union No. 106 of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers on the ground of violation of the constitution of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers and satisfactory proof of treachery on the part of said Local 106 to the principles of the International, and you are hereby instructed to immediately forward to 403 Denham Building, Denver, Colorado, the charter, seal, books and effects of the said Local 106 of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers.


 “Pres. I. U. of M., M. and S. W.”

The strike is over in Bisbee and not satisfied with the destruction of Bisbee Miners’ Union, the wrecking crew has moved to Jerome and regardless of the fact that as a result of a strike settlement there a short time ago the men received a substantial increase in wages and recognition of their grievance committee, a telegram has been received at headquarters. That the followers of this rule or ruin aggregation has taken a vote to declare a strike at Jerome. The organization at Bisbee responsible for the strike was known as the Metal Mine Workers Union. It is significant to say the least to know that this is the same name as that given the Butte Union. The conditions calling the strike were very similar; Butte came first, followed by Bisbee. The story has been written in Bisbee, and let us see what effect it will have on Butte.

When we witness the continuous trimming of the miners by this irresponsible element we sometimes doubt the old saying that you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time, as it looks like most of the people in the mining industry are failing for their game; and the harder they fall the better they seem to like it. But the miners of Bisbee have been taught a good lesson. Let us hope that they may profit by it. This is their second attempt during the past two years to organize a dual independent union. Let us wait and see if they try it a third time.

In the meantime all local unions will take official notice that the charter of Local No. 106 has been revoked, and give it no recognition until differently advised.

The miners at Clifton, Morenci and Metcalf, Ariz., are on strike, having been called out, as we are informed, by John L. Donnelly, president of the Arizona State Federation of Labor.

The demands being, as we understand, the Miami scale. Had the operators in that district recognized the bona fide organization of labor in the settlement of the last strike there, the present walkout would have been avoided.