The Lawrence Strike
The strike at the Lawrence textile involved immigrant employees in Lawrence, in 1912, that was spearheaded by the industrial employees of the world. The strike took place after mill owners threatened to lower wages of its workers after the passage of a bill that shortened the work week. This strike is mostly known as the “bread and the roses” strike.
The account of the Lawrence Strike that I find to be the most credible is the Watson’s account. This is because, this account explains all the parties that took place, not just explaining about the employees. The author of this account looks forward in understanding wood, who was the chief representative of the owners of the Mill, of the Woolen Company of American.
Whilst Wood lauded for his rags to the story of riches, flatters in the account of Watson when ends up failing to remember the origin of his own employee. The most sympathetic account of Watson of the opposition of employees is that that entails many soldiers assigned to Lawrence to maintain peace and order. During the early stages of the strike, the militia that were called, was just bullies mixture, especially during the times that tension was too high, and workers sources of sympathy. The huge number of militia, that Watson asserts faced much boredom cold that was much bitter, and being used resent, caused the demoralization. (Bruce 115). This account also presents facts of the strike. In addition, Watson ties up such like experience into a larger aspect of the American dream. The workers went on strike because of a reduction in wage pay.
However, Watson’s account has been much criticized, as much of his conclusions are based on newspaper account. For instance, much of the sources he has used for the characterization of anti-owner, were exactly from labor papers. Whilst such like sources might be accurate for facts, they are sometimes biased, or just an interpretation of the act. On the other hand, Watson with little criticism takes these accounts, or even questioning their viewpoint. Whilst his sympathy is on the side of employees, his inclusion of a fuller image of their opposes, like for instance mill owners and the militia, on top of struggles between officials of the city and the employees to get a solution to the strike brings both Bread and Roses back to life.
According to Vorse account on during the Lawrence Strike, she explains that after women realized that their employers had reduced their salaries by 32 cents, they all stopped working and got out of the mill shouting about their little pay. Then in the next day, workers from other mills joined the strike, in only one week, over 20,000 employees were on strike. The response of the city to the strike was by ringing the bell, which made history as it was the first time since. The company of local militia was ordered by the mayor to patrol the streets. The response of strikers was by picketing. Then owners of the mill turned fire hoses towards then, workers then responded by ice throwing towards the plant hence breaking some windows, on this ground many workers were jailed. During the strike also, women marched together and even sung in unison.
Haywood send by IWW participated in the strike by setting out for other England textile town to raise funds for those striking in Lawrence. The union provided basic facilities like medical care to strikers, and also arranged on how to take children to home supporters during the times of the strike.
Her attitudes towards the strikers were positive as according to her arguments, he supported the strike. After reading the paper, she “made up my mind I’d find out what was behind the keeping back of the children.” (Vorse Par 20). She describes the unison of workers as something which was good. In addition, she left her friends to assist the strikers. This means that she was concerned about the children of the strikers. On the other hand, her attitude towards the police and mill owners was very negative. When describing how police were guarding the gates she says “We looked at each other and we did not speak” (Vorse par 24). This signifies that she was not in good mood with them. When describing the conditions after the strikes, she calls the employers who are the owners of the millers as greedy. This she based on calling on gangs to deal with striking workers.
Her account was also much credible and really trustworthy. This was because; she used the first person pronoun in explaining the events. This shows that she was explaining the events that took place in the presence of her own naked eyes. This shows that in one way or the other, she participated in the strike; as a result, she gave trusted information. However, her account can also be criticized basing on the fact that, she might have been biased in his narration. This is because, the way she explains, it means she was supporting the strikers, hence can favor the strikers.
There are some similarities between what has been explained in Vorse’s account and the descriptions made in the testimony of Camilla Teoli. The two explains that those involved in the strike were the immigrant workers, who stopped working and walked out of Lawrence mills. They describe that the strike started as a result of poor pay. In the two stories, women and children were being paid less, even after working for longer hours. The workers were leaving in pathetic conditions, even though they earned per week. They also describe the situation in which children were being saved. Though the description in the testimony, explains that, the “children who were trying to go away”, (testimony line 156), while the description in Vorse’s account was that the children were being transferred to supporters’ homes. Going with the leading questions that Miss Teoli was being asked about women being beaten, and some even being injured, resembles to what has been explained in Vorse’s account, when describing the conditions and events during the strike.
The resource explaining Camella Toeli Testimony about the Lawrence textile strick in 1912, explains the exact story of what happened in the Toeli testimony before a hearing congressional. Examining the Bread and Roses too, we see the similarity between the resource and the story of Toeli. The two talks about bad conditions that make young children to stop going to school. This is because their family members do not earn enough to support them. In the two, winter is the worst season, as in Toeli, her father does not work full time per week, meaning less pay.
This resource together with Vorse’s account, both explains that power that people who have similar difficulties have in helping each other in times of problems. Both Vorse’s account, Toeli and the Bread and Roses, Too, explains similar conditions that happened during the strike. For instance, the deployment of militia companies by the city mayor. In addition, they all explain the transfer of strikers children to they cities like the New York City to be taken care of by the supporters of the strike.
The only difference that comes out is the issue of gender equity in the resource “Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim” (History connected, par 13). This resource differs with other resources in including the issue of feminism as a reason for striking. Other sources just explains the issues of better pay good working conditions, however, this resource wants women empowerment too. In addition, the resource does not only fight for better pay for only women as presented in other resources due to the pay cut due to reduction on the number of working days per week. The resource also fights for men’s pay as well. In addition, this case together with” Mass Moments: Bread and Roses Strike Begins”, have been presented both in both written an audio.
The removal of the children from Lawrence becomes a political act because of the reason that Father Reilly didn’t like the idea of strikers’ children going into socialist homes. As a result, he instructed Colonel Sweetser, the militia commanding officer to stop them. This act became political as it did not only arouse the employees but also media. This issue symbolized the hatred between the socialists and capitalists. Even the children themselves were portrayed as politicized as they were paraded with banners before being taken to supporters homes. At the incident that happened at the train station tarnished the police the mayor’s name and other government officials. As a result this issue of children parading and transfer did one of its duties to publicize and win public opinion for the benefit of striking employees from Lawrence.
The action was gendered as feminism as the violence that took place at the train station was to violate the rights of women and children. Throughout the reading also, these who started the strike were women, hence the whole strike involved women in most cases.