Workers’ Rights, Immigrant Voices: Flames of Discontent

Hometown Focus

Flames of Discontent (Gary Kaunonen)On June 2, 1916, forty mostly immigrant mine workers from the St. James Mine in Aurora, Minnesota, walked off the job. This seemingly small labor disturbance would mushroom into one of the region’s, if not the nation’s, most contentious and significant battles between organized labor and management in the early twentieth century. By mid- June, the forty disgruntled mine workers had turned into a hundred, then a thousand, and by July, ten to fifteen thousand mine workers on Minnesota’s three iron ranges were idled. The strike had been waged against one of the most powerful and wealthiest corporations in the United States—the Oliver Iron Mining Company (OIMC, or “the Oliver”), a subsidiary of the United States Steel Corporation—as well as several independent mining operations.

Read the book's introduction: Workers' Rights, Immigrant Voices.

Read the book's preface: Kitchen Table Politics.