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Zaengles Floor and Home Day in History – February 8th, 1939

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

Crossing the Picket Lines at Red River Lumber Company ~ From the Eastman’s Archive at UC Davis

Susanville Demands Government Help
Strikers vote not to work; NRLB flayed
Violence feared for Westwood area in the strike
February 8th, 1939

The Susanville Chamber of Commerce in a sharply worded telegram Wednesday night demanded that the National Labor Relations Board call a collective bargaining election to settle the labor disputes which threatened to result in a reign of violence at Westwood.

American Federation of Labor workers at the Red River Lumber Co. plant voted late Wednesday not to report for work at the plant pending further efforts to settle a collective-bargaining controversy.

Advised of the National Labor Relations Board offer to hold a plant election “in 60 days if a fair atmosphere can be assured” the AFL spokesman said that the proposal was not satisfactory. They demanded an immediate election, demanded the plant be kept closed and said they would refuse to work with Congress for Industrial Organization members.

Although it had been expected they would resume work at the conclusion of a 48-hour truce Thursday morning, the AFL decided to postpone the return to employment indefinitely.

There were between 1,500 and 2,000 men at the meeting.  As they represent a large majority of plant workers it was not likely the company would make any attempt to operate for the present.

The AFL group was undecided whether to post pickets of the plant gates to keep out CIO members and others who do not hold AFL cards. Pickets turned back about 130 workers Monday when the showdown demonstration started.

Then the AFL men themselves left the plant, forcing it to close except for operation of the power plant and of the crews engaged in maintenance work.

State observers were on the scene and ready to relay a call for national guardsmen if trouble develops. California Governor Colbert Olson has ordered six national guard companies in the Sacramento Valley to stand by in the event violence breaks out at the Westwood plant.


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