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Congressional Report on the Copper Strike



“To the striking miners we say: Return to your work with a firm determining to do your full duty to your employer, an honest days work for the compensation agreed upon. Give him full value of service, but do not permit yourselves to sink down into dumb indifference…,”

Miner’s Bulletin, April 14, 1914

After the tragic events at Italian Hall, the strike took on a gloomy character. The tide was turned and mining companies began to foresee an end to the strike. A gang of Citizens’ Alliance members forcibly removed WFM President Charles Moyer at gunpoint from his Hancock hotel and dumped him on a train to Chicago. The union attempted to rescue the strike, calling for and getting a Congressional investigation on conditions in the Copper Country, but by then the strike was essentially broken. Mining companies did not recognize the WFM and widely implemented the one-man drill. Some concessions were later given in wages, hours, and working conditions, but many historians argue that these were inevitable Progressive Era reforms. The WFM was also “broke” – it sank millions of dollars into organizing Michigan copper workers, but was chased out of the Copper Country. In 1916, it sought distance from these failures by renaming itself the International Union of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers.
Scott Hotel

Hancock’s Scott Hotel, site of the beating, shooting, and “deportation” of WFM President Charles Moyer for statements made about Italian Hall. Moyer’s bodyguard Charles Tanner was deported as well.

The Congressional Committee of men chosen to investigate conditions in the Copper Country. Despite asking many questions and producing a lengthy report, nothing came of the investigation.

Congressional Committee
anti-union group After Italian Hall and encouraged by Moyer’s deportation, anti-union groups began to call for the removal of WFM organizers and “agitators” from the Copper Country.

Though holding out for more than three months after Italian Hall, the strike lost much of its momentum and by early April of 1914, after 9 months of conflict, the strike was called off.

Last striker's parade