In 1944, thousands affected by lumber strikes at AFL and IWA plants

  • Fri May 24th, 2019 11:47am
  • Life

75 years ago

May 23, 1944

The number of Harbor sawmill workers off the job reached about 1,000 today as the result of further walkouts in both AFL and IWA (CIO) plants and union leaders remained noncommittal on the possible duration of the lumber strike which thus far has been tied up for more than 40 plants in the Pacific Northwest.

Only one AFL sawmill, the White Star Lumber company, at Whites, continued to operate.

The threat of draft hung over “vacationing” lumber and sawmill workers today as Col. Walter J. DeLong, Washington state selective service director warned that the walkout of 13,000 to 15,000 men automatically changes the draft status of some men.

Colonel DeLong said that men deferred because of their occupations are not entitled to deferments when they leave their jobs. “If a man is not working, he naturally will be classified 1-A, if he is otherwise qualified,” Colonel DeLong said.

May 24, 1944

More than 2,000 Grays Harbor lumber workers were off their jobs today and only one of the timber district’s 12 major sawmills still held out against spreading walkouts protesting national war labor board wage increase denials.

An estimated 20,000 already are idle in the Pacific Northwest billion-dollar lumber industry.

50 years ago

May 23, 1969

Westport has shown the highest percentage of population growth among incorporated Twin Harbors cities in the years 1940 to 1968, according to a book, “Growth of Cities and Towns, State of Washington,” just released by the State Planning and Community Affairs Agency.

Population of Grays Harbor’s best-established fishing and resort area grew from 443 in 1960 to 1,100 in 1968, according to agency figures, growth of 148.3 percent.

Westport’s growth percentage compares with a growth of 58.8 per cent in Elma during the same period (from 1,370 to 2,175).

May 24, 1969

Saturday, no newspaper published

25 years ago

May 23, 1994

Elma Lanes captured the Brunswick World Team Challenge bowling tournament Sunday at Earl Anthony Lanes in Dublin, Calif.

Harborites Henry Dawson, Frank DeRemer and Curtis Messer, plus longtime Northwest tour standouts Matt Surina and Bob Davidson, shared the $3,200 top prize and qualified for the $125,000 World Team Challenge Grand Championship in June in Reno.

May 24, 1994

• A new walkway and safe trails created by high school students should be open along the Hoquiam River and through Elton Bennett Park by late summer.

The 1994 Hoquiam Service Team plans to restore dilapidated bridges at the park and build a community walkway along Riverside Avenue for its “Summer of Safety” project.

The teens also will replace locks and windows for some elderly and low-income families. Police Chief Scott Finlayson will help the young people find Hoquiamites who need help with safety measures in their homes.

Eighteen boys and girls will be hired to work from June 17 to Aug. 25. They will earn $150 a week, one semester credit and receive a $1,000 post secondary education scholarship of they complete the program.

• The league president will have a piece of the action when professional baseball returns to Grays Harbor next year.

Western League founder and president Bruce Engel identified himself as part of a five-man ownership group for the as-yet unnamed Grays Harbor franchise at a presentation ceremony-news conference Monday at the Nordic Inn.

The independent league is scheduled to open play with at least eight teams in May of 1995.

Compiled from the archives of The Daily World by Karen Barkstrom.