Friday, August 3

Wheatland hop riot

Wikipedia - "The Wheatland hop riot was a violent confrontation during a strike of agricultural workers demanding decent working conditions at the Durst Ranch in Wheatland, California, on August 3, 1913. The riot, which resulted in four deaths and numerous injuries, was subsequently blamed by local authorities, who were controlled by management, upon the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The Wheatland hop riot was among the first major farm labor confrontations in California and a harbinger of further such battles in the United States throughout the 20th century. Ralph H. Durst (March 28, 1865 – May 4, 1938) was a leading grower of hops in the Central Valley of California. The Durst Ranch, located on 640 acres (1 square mile (2.6 km2)) outside the town of Wheatland in Yuba County, California, was the largest single employer of agricultural labor in the state, requiring each summer the hiring of hundreds of seasonal workers to help bring in the harvest. The farm also dried and packaged the picked hops on site, before transporting them by train to San Francisco for export to England. In the summer of 1913 Durst advertised for temporary harvest workers as he had always done, promising ample work at high rates of pay. In one flier soliciting laborers, the Durst Ranch promised a job to every white hops picker who arrived on his farm by August 5. In this year, however, the number of willing workers far outstripped demand, with some 2800 men, women, and children flocking to the Durst Ranch to work as pickers in the fields. Jobs actually existed for only about 1500 workers daily, and pay rates were consequently slashed. ..."
Organizing Farm Workers: The Beginning (Audio)
YouTube: Part 4: "Not So Jazzy"

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