First local of U.S. War Department's Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen forms on November 30, 1917.

  • By Ross Reider and the HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 6/21/2005
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 7355
On November 30, 1917, the first local of the U.S. War Department's Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen forms. The Loyal Legion is the government's effort to increase Northwest spruce-log production during World War I. During the summer of 1917, a statewide strike for better conditions and the eight-hour day halted the industry. When the strike, led by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW, also known as Wobblies) and an AFL timber union ended without success, IWW loggers returned to work, but continued to hinder the industry as best they could using obstruction and sabotage (slowdowns, mass quitting, destroying filthy bunkhouses, and the like). The War Department attempts to persuade employers to institute the eight-hour day and improve conditions, and ultimately brings in soldiers to log the spruce forests for the duration of the war. Airplanes required for the war effort are made of Sitka spruce, available only in the Pacific Northwest.

Sources: Robert L. Tyler, Rebels of the Woods: The I.W.W. in the Pacific Northwest (Eugene: University of Oregon, 1967), 98-115.

Related Topics:   Industry | Labor

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