Labor: 1930

Union leaders in the Imperial Valley are convicted of violating the Criminal Syndicalism Act, the first time that the act is used against farm labor organizers.

Labor: 1933

18,000 cotton pickers strike throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Vigilante ranchers shoot and kill two strikers in a Pixley union hall. The governor calls the National Guard which rounds up hundreds of strikers and holds them in the Tulare County Fair grounds, effectively ending the strike.

Labor: 1934

Imperial County vigilantes kidnap and beat ACLU attorney A.L. Wirin before abandoning him in the desert. Wirin was assisting lettuce strikers against growers’ violence.

Labor: July 5, 1934

Killed WorkersKilled WorkersSan Francisco police shoot and kill two union members near the Embarcadero on what comes to be called “Bloody Thursday.”

Labor: July 14, 1934

Workers throughout San Francisco stage a four-day general strike which shuts down the city. Police and vigilantes respond by attacking offices and meeting places of left-wing organizations throughout the Bay area. ACLU of Northern California formed in response to civil liberties violations.

Labor: May 3, 1934

37,000 longshoremen on the west coast strike for $1.00/hour, a 30-hour work week, and fair hiring practices.

See a documentary excerpt about the 1934 longshoremen’s strike:

Watch an excerpt from a 1934 newsreel about the strike.

Labor: Oct. 12, 1934

Longshoremen and dock employers sign an arbitration settlement. Longshoremen secure a union hiring hall, contracts guaranteeing a 30-hour week, and a six-hour day.

Labor: May 1935

More than 200 striking lumberjacks erect a barrier to the Holmes-Eureka Mill (Humboldt County). Police retaliate with tear gas, and strikers throw rocks at police. Vigilantes raid strikers’ homes and strike soup kitchens. Three lumber mill workers are killed, eight are wounded and 150 strikers are jailed.

Labor: July 13, 1938

Armed vigilantes attack strikers at the Red River Lumber Company in Westwood (Lassen County). National Labor Relations Board orders Red River Lumber to stop organizing vigilante groups and to discourage violations of its employees’ and their families’ civil rights.

Labor: 1938

Mooney PardonMooney PardonGovernor Culbert Olsen pardons Tom Mooney.

Court of Appeals upholds the right to picket as an expression of free speech, thereby invalidating anti-picketing ordinances throughout the state. Agribusinesses convince voters to pass a statewide anti-picketing ordinance.

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