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1913 Ipswich Mills strike

1913 labor strike in Ipswich, Massachusetts / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The 1913 Ipswich Mills strike was a labor strike involving textile workers in Ipswich, Massachusetts, United States. The strike began on April 22 and ended in defeat for the strikers by the end of July.

1913 Ipswich Mills strike
A meeting of strikers at a local Greek churchyard
DateApril 22 – July 31, 1913[note 1]
(3 months, 1 week and 2 days)
Ipswich, Massachusetts, United States
Goals20 percent wage increase
Resulted in
  • "Bloody Tuesday": Police fire into a large group of strikers, killing one and injuring several others
  • Strike collapses after strike leaders are arrested and workers begin to be evicted from their company-owned houses
Ipswich Mills

The strike was organized by the Industrial Workers of the World, a labor union that had begun organizing the workers of the Ipswich Mills, a hosiery mill, in 1912. By 1913, many immigrant workers of the mill, primarily Greek and Polish people, began to demand an increase in wages, and on April 22, a walkout of a majority of the plant's workers (as many as 1,500) caused the mill to temporarily close. Town officials responded to the strike by bringing in additional police officers from nearby municipalities, and local media disparaged the strikers. On June 10, in an event known locally as "Bloody Tuesday", police opened fire on a group of strikers near the gates of the mill, killing one bystander and injuring several others. Afterwards, several union leaders were arrested, and the company began to evict striking workers from their company-owned homes. By the end of July, the strike had collapsed, and an October article in The Quincy Daily Ledger stated that by that time, many of the strikers had left Ipswich. Despite attracting national attention at the time, the strike ultimately fell into obscurity in Ipswich. However, since the 2010s, there has been increased interest in the historical event, which have included a presentation on the strike at the Ipswich Museum in 2013 (the 100th anniversary of the strike) and the installation of a memorial plaque for the strike and "Bloody Tuesday" in 2022.