First Advisor

David Horowitz

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History




Industrial Workers of the World, Oregon Packing Company Strike. Portland Oregon (1913), Strikes and lockouts -- Canneries -- Oregon -- Portland



Physical Description

1 online resource (118 p.)


This study builds upon the notion of a Wobbly 'sensibility' established by Salvatore Salemo and relates it to John Townsend's analysis of conflict between that group's adherents and western Progressives. The latter scholar, by concentrating on middle-class economic anxiety, failed to deal with the virtual unanimity of opposition to the IWW in western towns. Salerno's assertion that a 'sensibility' within the IWW was more binding than ideology raises the possibility that individuals and organizations of varying beliefs could be similarly united within a single cultural sphere with a directed purpose. Such an analysis can apply to factions of Progressivism and radical labor alike. The first chapter begins with a brief account of the historical context, origins, and organizational history of the IWW. This second section discusses the internal dynamic of the IWW, particularly the relationship between the leadership and rank-and-file. The third section briefly explicates the purpose of the thesis. The second chapter recounts important episodes of IWW activity that occurred on the West Coast concurrently with the strike in order to set the regional context of the conflict. The third chapter begins with a section discussing the development of Progressivism and urbanization in a national context and emphasizes cultural conflict. The second section is a brief survey of Progressive era Portland, Oregon. The third and fourth sections discuss the cultural repercussions of women entering industrial life on a mass scale. The chapter concludes with a brief demographic survey of cannery women. The fourth chapter is a chronological narrative of the strike, and is followed by a concluding fifth chapter of analysis. The first section suggests a Progressive 'sensibility' arrayed specifically against radical labor, while the next section discusses a radical 'sensibility' hostile to varying aspects of the cultural norms of Progressivism. The final section asserts the importance of analysis of cultural values, above even notions of class, in addition to economic analysis in order to obtain a more useful synthesis of Wobbly conflict than now exists.


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