Tag Archives: 1911 furniture workers strike

New print looks at the 1911 Grand Rapids Furniture Workers Strike

The 1911 furniture workers strike in Grand Rapids was/is critical to our understanding of both the power of organized labor in this community and the ruthlessness of the capitalist class. We have written several pieces about the 1911 furniture workers … Continue reading

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10,000 March in Labor Day Parade in 1911

According to the September 4 issue of the Grand Rapids Herald, 10,000 people planned on marching in the 1911 Labor Day Parade. According to the Herald, fifty-two unions participated in the march, which began at 10:00am on Bridge street, making … Continue reading

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The 8 Hour Work Day Battle and May Day in Grand Rapids

It is easy for us in the present to take for granted the 8 hour work day. However, organized labor spent decades fighting this battle all around the world, in the US and right here in Grand Rapids. The Knights … Continue reading

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The 1916 City Charter change in Grand Rapids was nothing short of Class Warfare

During the 1911 Furniture Workers Strike and its aftermath, the business community and leading industrialist, began to develop a plan that would significantly alter the way electoral politics was done in Grand Rapids.  The 1911 Furniture Workers Strike revealed several … Continue reading

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When Grand Rapids Saw Red: Early Grand Rapids Labor History Part II

(This is Part II of a two part series by local labor historian Michael Johnston. Click here for Part I) It didn’t matter that he was dressed in his army uniform, medals for heroism pinned to his front shirt pocket. … Continue reading

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