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100 Years Ago in Spokane: Miners get more pay

Jesse TinsleyMay 20, 2019

Miners in the Coeur d’Alene mining district got a boost in pay from $4.25 to $4.75 per shift. The move was announced at a meeting of the principal operators in Wallace, Idaho. The principal mines of the district had resumed operations in March after a shutdown that started during the holidays.

But the mines had restarted with a wage scale that was $1 less per day than before the shutdown, which the companies attributed to low metal prices. Some of the mine operators explained that the $1 cutback would not have a great impact, but the increase in wages came after the operators realized their wages were below the cost of living.

Spokane unions not in favor of general strikes

The Spokane Central Labor Council would not be easily pushed into endorsing general strikes. A request came from the San Francisco Central Labor Council to join in intermittent five-day strikes starting July 3 to protest the arrest of socialist Tom Mooney, one of two labor activists eventually convicted of bombing a parade in July 1916.

Two labor activists from the west side of the state attempted to speak in favor of the request at the meeting last night but were shut down for being outsiders.

At the same meeting, members of the unions representing barbers, culinary workers, engineers, painters exhorted the central labor council to work with the carpenters’ union to build a labor temple where all unions could meet.

Taxi strike continues

A strike continued in which taxi drivers demanded a 10-hour work day and $3.50 per day in pay. The drivers were receiving $3 per day. The owners and managers of the Seven Seven company and the Five Hundred company continued to operate their cars.

On the entertainment beat

The Spokane Chronicle called the Cohan and Harris musical “Going Up,” playing at the Auditorium Theater, “highly amusing fare, embellished with tuneful music, bright color, lively dancing and pretty girls.”

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