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Strike bulletin. : (Clinton, Ill.) 1913-1915
Place of publication:
Clinton, Ill.
Geographic coverage:
  • Clinton, De Witt County, Illinois  |  View more titles from this: City County, State
Illinois Central System Federation
Dates of publication:
  • -v. 3, no. 19 (May 12, 1915).
  • Began in 1913?
  • English
  • Clinton (Ill.)--Newspapers.
  • Illinois--Clinton.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01217731
  • Illinois.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01205143
  • Labor unions--Illinois--Clinton--Newspapers.
  • Labor unions.--fast--(OCoLC)fst00990260
  • Railroads--Employees--Labor unions--Illinois--Newspapers.
  • Railroads--Employees--Labor unions.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01088916
  • Railroads--Labor unions--Illinois--Newspapers.
  • Archived issues are available in digital format from the Library of Congress Chronicling America online collection.
  • Description based on: Vol. 1, no. 15 (Apr. 9, 1913).
  • Issues for Jan. 13, 1914-May 12, 1915 called also Con. no. 55-124.
sn 90054490
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Strike bulletin. April 9, 1913 , Image 1


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Strike bulletin

The Clinton (IL) Strike Bulletin began publication in April 1913. The Strike Bulletin was a weekly paper marketed to labor unionists in the railroad industry. It was published from Clinton, Illinois for the entirety of its run. The Strike Bulletin was the creation of a labor organization called the Illinois Central System Foundation, and Carl E. Person, an affiliate of the Industrial Workers of the World, edited it. The Illinois Central System Foundation organized laborers who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad.

The Illinois Central Railroad, the company which was the focus of most of the paper's ire, was notorious among union organizers of the period for its violent crackdowns on labor unionists. The ICR stretched from Chicago to New Orleans, making it one of the longest railroad corridors in the world and vital to the country's economy. The ICR was also known for buying smaller railroads. Devoted to the company's workers and their ongoing collective bargaining attempts, the Strike Bulletin had a wide reach. It centered around a multi-year strike against the Illinois Central Railroad that had begun in 1911, known as the Illinois Central Shopmen's Strike. The Bulletin's content consisted of covering different geographical areas of the strike such as Mattoon, Clinton, and Paducah. There were also articles predicting the imminent rise of organized railroad workers, such as an April 9, 1913 article titled, "Union of All Employees." Other articles discussed pressing issues of safety, for example an April 28, 1915 article on "The Car Limit Law."

After years of unsuccessful efforts, the Shopmen's Strike ended in June 1915. The Strike Bulletin, which had been created to cover the strike, predeceased the labor action that created it. On December 30, 1913, Person, editor of the Strike Bulletin, was attacked by a former police officer who was acting as a strikebreaker. Person shot and killed the man in self-defense. His ongoing legal battles negatively impacted the paper's output. The Strike Bulletin's already uneven publication schedule became difficult to continue.

The May 5, 1915 edition of the Strike Bulletin included a notice explaining that the ongoing legal action by the Illinois Central Railroad had impeded their work on the previous week's edition. Person wrote, "The boycott placed on the Industrial Relations Commission … has handicapped us to such an extent we were unable to publish same this week. However, every effort is being made to have this edition ready for circulation next week."

Despite Person's efforts, the paper's days were numbered. The railroad used violence, intimidation, harassment, strike breakers, and unrelenting legal pressure to crush the resolve of both the labor union and its newspaper. Additionally, bitter internal rivalries within the union arose. On May 12, 1915, Strike Bulletin published its last edition. However, in October 1915, the defunct Strike Bulletin was succeeded by the National News, a new labor paper out of Chicago edited by Carl E. Person, that hoped to have a national reach.

Provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL