A Mother Jones Birthday party will take place on Sunday 30th April from 3 – 5 pm at the Irish American Heritage Centre in Chicago.
It will feature Liz Carroll, (fiddle), Brendan and Siobhan Mc Kinney (pipes and Flute), Kathy Cowan, vocalist and Mother Jones, Brigid Duffy. In attendance also will be Sarah Keating, Vice Consul of Ireland in Chicago.
Karen White of the National Education Association will speak to issues of the exploitation of children on this the 120th Anniversary of the march of the Mill Children led by Mother Jones in 1903.
Fundraising is proceeding for the erection of the new Mother Jones Monument in Chicago.
Meanwhile about 250 miles further south in the town of Mt. Olive, the burial place of Mother Jones an International Mother Jones Festival takes place also on Sunday 30th April. It will be held at the Union Miners Cemetery beginning at 12 noon and continuing afterwards at the Mother Jones Museum on Main Street.
Speakers and artists include the Consul-General of Ireland in Chicago, Kevin Byrne. Tim Drea, President of the Illinois AFL/CIO and Brother Jerome Lewnard of the Viatorian Order. Music will be provided by Wildflower Conspiracy along with a number of other bands. Loretta Williams will participate as Mother Jones and historian, Dale Hawkins will also take part.
Further details call 618-659-8759.
Congratulations to all involved and best wishes from Cork for the May Day American Birthday celebrations for Mother Jones.
Note: The American celebrations have traditionally taken place around May Day which was the day, Mother Jones gave as her birthday, however her real birth date was probably 31st July 1837 as she was baptised at the North Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne in Cork on the 1st August of that year.
Photo 1: Kevin Byrne Consul General of Ireland, Chicago with Tim Drea, President of the AFL-CIO in Illinois at Mount Olive Cemetery on the 30th May 2023.
Photo 2: Rosemary Feurer of the Mother Jones Museum, Chicago making a presentation of a limited edition artwork by Lindsay Hand, “Chicago March 1915” to Karen White, speaker at the May Day Chicago Celebration of Mother Jones.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee is pleased to announce the dates for the 2023 Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
Our 12th Annual festival will be held in and around Shandon in Cork City from Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th July 2023. All are welcome.
Thanks to our sponsors, the festival remains open to all free of charge. We are promising a very interesting selection of speakers and topics. Further announcements will appear regularly on this website and on the festival Facebook pages.
Hope to see you all and thanks to everyone for your support for this very unique festival.
Terence V Powderly (1849-1924) started life as a 13 year old railroad worker where he worked as an apprentice in a machine shop. Born in Pennsylvania, Terence’s people were from Co Meath in Ireland.
Having joined the trade union movement, he became a moderate head of the Knights of Labor in 1879. This “Order” grew to having about three-quarters of a million members by the mid 1880s, but subsequently went into rapid decline due the growing radicalism and militancy of the new trade unions and the oppression of the growing industrial corporations which treated workers very badly.
Powderly, who originally lived in Scranton in Pennsylvania went on to hold a number of government posts until his death in 1924.
Mother Jones, although regarded as a radical became great friends with Terence and his wife Emma for several decades and stayed at their homes in Scranton and in Washington with them when visiting those cities.
On Wednesday, December 24th, Christmas Eve 1913, in Calumet, Michigan, seventy-three men, women, and children, mainly striking mine workers and their families, were crushed to death in a stampede in what became known as the Italian Hall Disaster.
At a crowded Christmas party organise for the children of copper miners, who had been on strike in the local mines since July 23rd of that year, someone shouted “fire” at the entrance to the hall. There was no fire!
Hundreds of people were in the second floor room at the Italian Hall enjoying the miners party. Toys were being distributed to the children by Santa. On hearing the shout from downstairs, there was a huge panic and a mass rush down a steep narrow stairs to the exit which caused multiple deaths, especially among the children.
The strike had earlier been called by the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) seeking union recognition and an improvement in wages and working conditions. Mother Jones had visited Calumet in early August to show her support for the workers, before she became embroiled in the Colorado Coal Wars.
The mine owners in Copper Country refused to talk to the union members and the long and bitter strike continued until March 1914 in spite of this tragedy. Later investigations failed to reveal exactly who had wrongly called out “fire” which started the panic. Mother Jones blamed an anti union “law and order crowd” in the Calumet region for the false fire call which led to the deaths and repeatedly mentioned this dreadful tragedy in later speeches.
The sad and harrowing scenes in the town of Calumet on Christmas Day and over the 1913 Christmas period as the bodies of over 60 children were brought back to their homes left a lasting mark on witnesses. Photos from the time show lines of wooden white caskets. The Red Jacket Town Hall became a morgue, while the massive funeral procession down snow covered Fifth Street to Lakeview Cemetery was heart-breaking. Following several speeches from the strike leaders, the deceased were laid to rest in two mass grave sites.
The disaster at the Italian Hall was memorialised by singer-songwriter Woody Guthrie when in 1940 he wrote the “1913 Massacre”, in which he blamed the copper mines bosses of the Copper Country for the deaths.
“The piano played a slow final tune, And the town was lit up by a cold Christmas moon, The parents they cried and the miners they moaned, “See what your greed for money has done””
Candles are lit each Christmas Eve at the local park in Calumet, let us remember them too!
Our thanks to Jeremiah Mason of the National Parks Service, Lake Superior Management Centre at Keweenaw National Historical Park at Calumet.
The right to hold the Soccer World Cup was awarded to Qatar by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) in 2010.
This desert country possessed little football infrastructure, so a $200 billion stadium construction programme commenced. Immediately reports from the country indicated that hundreds of migrant workers were dying in construction-related incidents.
David Joyce of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) spoke about the deaths of migrant workers in Qatar at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival 2014.
The 2022 World Cup competition is about to begin in Qatar so let’s look at what has happened to the migrant workers since?
The Guardian newspaper in February 2021 stated that some 6500 migrant workers from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka had died in Qatar since it had been awarded the World Cup in 2010. No figures for death were available for the workers from the Philippines and Kenya. The figures were supplied to the Guardian by the country’s embassies in Qatar. It remains unclear how many of these deaths were attributable directly to the World Cup infrastructural work as the Qatari authorities did not make the information available.
The Qatari government did not keep meaningful statistics but has admitted to 37 deaths of labourers between 2014 and 2020, of which 3 were “work-related”.
The United Nations Agency, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which signed an agreement with Qatar in 2017 to improve work conditions, stated in a 2021 report that “it is still not possible to present a categorical figure for the number of fatal occupational injuries in the country.” The ILO admitted that in 2021, 50 workers died, 500 were severely injured, and 37,500 suffered mild to moderate injuries. The Qatari government says workers have much-improved working conditions, and the kafala system, which binds workers to employers, has been abolished. Evidence from workers indicates otherwise.
Amnesty International stated bluntly that Qatar has failed to adequately investigate and certify thousands of migrant deaths, and to this day, those deaths remain unacknowledged by the Qatari state authorities. One-half of migrant workers’ deaths are attributed to “unknown causes”, “natural causes”, and “cardiovascular diseases”. While toiling for long hours in scorching summer heat conditions and living in poor conditions, many workers paid the ultimate price for their labour. Remember that the summer months in Qatar were deemed too hot for FIFA, the players and the fans; the World Cup was moved to November/December 2022 from its traditional June/July dates!)
In August 2022, Amnesty said that more than 15000 foreigners of all ages and occupations had died in Qatar between 2010 and 2019. Estimates put the total number of migrant workers, who have virtually no rights in Qatar, at between 1.5 million and 2 million, of which some 400,000 work on various construction projects.
Recently French journalists Sebastian Castelier and Quentin Muller, in their book “Les Esclaves de l’Homme Petrole” (“The Oil Man’s Slaves”), exposed the brutal working conditions of many migrants in Qatar supported by some 60 personal testimonies of the workers.
The failure of the Qatari government to produce clear and reliable statistics for the causes of the deaths is not acceptable, given its undoubted sophistication in other spheres. It represents a deliberate attempt to cover up the true position. It is fairly evident that Qatar’s World Cup became a graveyard for many migrant workers even as their bodies were flown back to their native countries. Issues such as the Qatari human rights record and its attitude to same-sex relations have also drawn much criticism.
New York based Human Rights Watch in an October 2022 report has condemned the Qatari rulers for their concerted attacks on the LGBTQ + Community. The report pointed out that even as Qatar prepared for the World Cup, the Interior Ministry was arbitrarily arresting, detaining and torturing LGBT people within the country.
“Mother Jones” magazine, in its November/December 2022 edition, contains a comprehensive and penetrating article by Tim Murphy, “Power Ball….How oligarchs, private equity, and petrostates took over soccer”, which detailed the sports-washing taking place in soccer, with particular emphasis on the scandals of the World Cup. The umbilical cord of enormous wealth passing between these entities and professional sports has now rotted the beautiful games.
The enormous level of arms purchases by Qatar from some countries whose FIFA executive members supported the original bid from the Emirate for the World Cup ($16 billion to France for fighter jets) and the corruption of this FIFA 22-man executive committee so well documented in FIFA Uncovered on Netflix is testament to scale of “one of the sleaziest, rottenest examples of corruption in the history of sport” (quoted from Malachy Clerkin in “The Irish Times” of 12th November 2022).
The sight of coffins arriving on airport trolleys in Kathmandu Airport and the funeral byres along the rivers in Nepal provide a jolting realisation of the human cost of the modern mass exploitation of migrant workers.
Not even the sponsored sports-washing and motorcycle videos of former soccer stars and influencers for Qatar can hide the reality that millions of sports followers worldwide will turn off or largely ignore this World Cup show in 2022. Thousands of migrant workers have died, and tens of thousands of these workers have been injured during the decade-long construction works to bring this World Cup to your televisions for the next few weeks.
Almost 100 years ago, Mother Jones wrote in her autobiography about the working conditions of the extractive fossil fuel industry of coal mining.
” I have been in West Virginia more or less for the past twenty-three years, taking part in the interminable conflicts that arose between the industrial slaves and their masters. The conflicts were always bitter. Mining is cruel work. Men are down in utter darkness hours on end. They have no life in the sun. They come up from the silence of the earth utterly wearied. Sleep and work, work and sleep. No time or strength for education, no money for books. No leisure for thought.” (The Autobiography of Mother Jones, C. H.Kerr 1925)
In a bitter and ironic twist of fate, at the Qatar World Cup, today’s workers are forced to endure long hours slaving under the harsh effects of the powerful sun to build football temples for their masters. The untold riches derived from to-day’s extractive polluting fossil fuel industry, an industry which may doom the entire planet are being wasted by the modern-day oil barons on sports washing vanity projects.
Pray for these migrant workers and fight like hell for the survivors of this sports scandal.
Today as one descends into the community from the high Castletownbere road, the beauty of Ballydonegan Bay and Allihies village on the Beara peninsula in West Cork remains stunning to the eye. Alive with tourists, music and life in the summertime, it slumbers gently during the wild winter months. The hills all around are dotted with the remains of mine sites, there is a busy Copper Mine Museum providing a focus point for information, study and relaxation in the linear village. One can walk the Allihies Copper Mine Trail, in the footsteps of the miners. The village’s past is bound up with the local mines and their impact, its future is to tell the miner’s story.
Mining began here in 1812 at Dooneen, established by John Puxley, the local landlord, followed in 1813 by the Mountain Mine and in 1818 by the Caminches Mine. Mines opened and closed, Dooneen in 1838, Caminches in the 1840s. Eventually mine shafts pockmarked the hills rising to the north of the village. By 1842, upwards of 1600 men and boys, some from Cornwall, worked underground and across the hilly landscape. The large Kealogue mine opened.
Working conditions were brutal, many died, and strikes were smashed in a ruthless manner. As the great Famine devastated West Cork (1845-1852), food was brought in by the Puxleys to keep the mines in operation. The emigration of some miners and their families began. The miners especially at the Kealogue mine were concerned by safety issues and went on strike in 1861.
Later in 1864, there was a confrontation with the local Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) when they marched on the Mountain Mine to demand better pay and conditions. Further strikes followed over low wages and resentment grew as the mine owners constructed extravagant additions to their Puxley Manor at nearby Dunboy Castle. Emigration continued as workforce was reduced, the mines were sold and finally closed in 1884. Sporadic attempts to reopen mines, including some exploration for base metals and uranium have taken place in the 1970s, but the old mines remain a silent testament to a difficult past.
Many miners and their families journeyed to the USA, using the infamous coffin ships, facing disease and exploitation upon arrival. They remained always transient, for ever journeying westwards to the copper mines of Butte, Montana and to Michigan, to Pennsylvania, and onwards to Leadville, high in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
Prospector Abe Lee struck gold at California Gulch in Colorado about 1860. Will Stevens followed around 1875 and when he discovered the silver-bearing carbonate of lead in the old diggings at an altitude of 10,000 feet, the miners quickly renamed the old town. Leadville immediately became a magnet for the silver rush of the mobile mining workforce arriving in the New World.
Originally a mining camp, Leadville prospered in the bonanza and developed a notorious reputation for gambling, brothels and drinking saloons as vividly described by the local DailyChronicle newspaper. However, it was not that unlike nearby mining towns such as Cripple Creek, or indeed Deadwood, or Butte. By 1890, Leadville had a population of 25,000 and six churches. And by 1896, Leadville was so wealthy that in a display of ostentatious civic pride it was able to construct an Ice Palace, costing $20,000 and covering some 5 acres. In the same year, there began a nine-month strike by the Cloud City Miners’ Union (local of the Western Federation of Miners WFM). The miners were seeking a daily rate of just $3.00, yet they were defeated and at least six miners died in the conflict.
Hundreds of Irish miners joined the rush to the tiny town. Research by Assistant Professor, James Walsh at the University of Colorado in Denver has identified hundreds of graves at the Catholic and paupers’ graveyards at Evergreen Cemetery in the town. Many contain remains of young Irish miners and their families, some from West Cork.
James Walsh estimates from his research in the Catholic parish records that 1400 people are buried in unmarked graves in the paupers’ section and up to 70% of them have Irish names. Their average age is just 23 years and half of them were children under 12. There could be up to 2500 Irish immigrants buried in the wider cemetery. A significant number can be linked back to Allihies.
Their brief lives underground were filled with dangers, sickness and back breaking work for very little money. The journey from Allihies to Leadville in many ways represents a further “trail of tears” * for the mining population of the Beara peninsula who now lie in often unmarked graves among the woods of the town.
Experiences of underground miners were captured by photographer, Timothy O’Sullivan, a young veteran of the American Civil War whose work down in the pits has preserved for ever this hell-like subterranean prison of the mining life. His images of ghostly and gaunt men with far away expressions working deep underground are matched in the work of Tom McGuinness, miner and artist who painted remarkable images of the silent and lonely coalminers in the mining tunnels of the North East of England almost a century later.
For those who have never mined in the mineral veins of the earth, it is hard to imagine the oppressive heat, the dirt and filth and the sheer loneliness of men and boys who rarely saw the daylight of the magnificent Rocky Mountains. It was the new world of many Irish and some did not survive for long in the horrific and dangerous working conditions of this snowbound town.
Some Irish prospered. In 1880, Thomas Francis Walsh, from Tipperary discovered a vein of quartz bearing silver at Leadville and made a huge fortune. James Doyle, James Burns and John Harnan made a fortune at Cripple Creek. The “Silver Kings” of Cornstock were four Irishmen, John Mackay, James Fair, James Flood and William O’Brien. So as miners and their families worked for a few dollars a day, the “Kings” flaunted their riches, building gigantic mansions, erecting marble columns, and commissioning pure silver candelabras.
The silver rush continued into the 1890s when most local mines closed, the remaining miners headed to Denver and the Colorado coalmines of John D. Rockefeller where they and their descendants’ joined unions at the urging of Cork born Mother Jones, and the United Mine Workers Union under John Mitchell in the early 1900s. Others later took part in the bitter West Virginia/Colorado Coal Wars of 1913/14, which culminated in the Ludlow Massacre.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in September 2022, Alan Grourke, President of the Irish Network in Colorado introduced a series of speakers to a crowd which had gathered to witness the emotional unveiling of a memorial to the Irish miners and their families who lie buried alongside. The memorial depicts “Liam” the miner as he sits, facing back to Ireland some 7000 kms. to Allihies with his miners pick and an Irish harp.
James Walsh speaking to Denver 7, a local TV station said as he walked near the unmarked graves among the trees stated.
“This is what class looks like in America, they were forgotten……instead of honouring the monarchy, we are honouring the poorest of the poor and that’s a radical thing to do, it changes perspectives, it changes dynamics and by honouring nineteen century workers, we honour 21st century immigrant workers too.”
Irish Consul, Micheal Smith, representing the Irish government which contributed financially paid tribute to the organising committee for their dedication to erecting the memorial, while the Mayor of Leadville, Greg Labbe provided an account of the harsh lives of the miners. Historian Kathleen Fitzsimmons pointed to the rounded stones forming the memorial and the pathway as a symbol of the spiral and urged people to visit this “sacred space” and leave the world better for their children. The Irish Miners’ Memorial is expected to be completed in 2023.
A blessing of the memorial then took place by Native American Cassandra Atencio, member of the Southern Ute Tribe on whose native lands the graveyard and memorial lies. The blessing provided further historical and symmetrical symbolic connections between the indigenous people of North America and the Irish.
The Choctaw Nation contributed funds to the town of Midleton in Co Cork during the Famine in 1847, despite being forced on their own ‘Trail of Tears’ during the ethnic cleansings of 1831-1833. Several thousand tribal members died on those marches.
The Ute people always lived in harmony with their wild environment and took care of Mother Earth.
An Ute prayer for the planet.
May the Earth teach you stillness as the grasses are stilled with light
May the Earth teach you suffering as old stone suffer with memory
May the Earth teach you humility as blossoms are humble with beginning
May the Earth teach you caring as the mother who serves her young
May the Earth teach you courage as the tree which stands you all alone
May the Earth teach you limitation as the ant which crawls on the ground.
May the Earth teach you freedom as the eagle which sores in the sky
May the Earth teach you resignation as the leaves which die in the fall
May the Earth teach you regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring.
May the Earth teach you to forget yourself as the melted snow forgets its life
May the Earth teach you to remember kindness as dry field weep with rain.
An appropriate monument and a fitting blessing for all those who lie in soil of Leadville.
*During the harsh winter of 1602/3 following defeat of the Irish at the Battle of Kinsale, Beara Chieftain, Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare had led a thousand people from his peninsula clan and home on a 500 kms. March north to Co. Leitrim to escape the English attacks…after a trail of tears……. just thirty-five reached safety among the O’Rourke clan in Leitrim!
The annual Durham Gala will take place on Saturday 9th July 2022 following a break of two years due to Covid-19. The Gala this year is “dedicated to the key workers”, who provided essential services in the UK during the recent pandemic.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee extend warm congratulations and solidarity to the Durham Miners Association and wish the DMA well for a fantastic parade and Big Meeting.
The parade itself features thousands of people of all ages from former mining communities across the north of England marching behind their colourful banners and colliery bands.
Dave Hopper, a former General Secretary of the DMA along with his committee were regular attenders at the Spirit of Mother Festivals. Dave spoke at the 2014 and 2015 Festivals, and he provided a first hand account of events at the battle of Orgreave as well as contributing to the general discussions.
He was awarded the 2016 Spirit of Mother Jones Award posthumously after his sudden death a few weeks before the festival in 2016.
The Durham Miner’s Association is based at Red Hills in Durham, which was opened in 1915.
The Red Hills contains the Miners Parliament where representatives of each of the lodges of county Durham once met to decide on union matters.
Mick Lynch, General Secretary of the RMT Union will speak at the Big Meeting on Saturday 9th July 2022. Mick, whose father was from Cork has led the recent rail strikes in Britain.
It is a huge honour to speak at the Big Meeting. This year is the 75th Anniversary of the death of Irish trade union leader, Jim Larkin, a founder of the ITGWU, (now SIPTU) and the Irish Citizen Army. In 1914, a few months after the end of the Dublin Lockout, Jim Larkin spoke at the Durham Gala and on the day argued for one union,
” if one section is out, you should be ready to bring out everyone of you”
As the miners’ banners were carried from the field in Durham on that day in July 1914, they were not to return for five years………….. just ten days later Britain was at war with Germany.
It is with very great sadness that we learned of the sudden death of Liam Cahill, journalist, author, civil servant and trade unionist.
Liam attended the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival in 2019 and spoke on the 100th anniversary celebrating the Limerick Soviet.
He appeared on Thursday Aug 1st along with his great friend Limerick Union man Mike McNamara, following a screening of the 2015 documentary, The Limerick Soviet in which he had participated.
His 2019 publication “Forgotten Revolution: The Limerick Soviet 1919, a threat to British Power in Ireland”, which was an updated, revised and enlarged edition of his original 1990 book on the soviet, formed the basis of Liam’s talk.
This important book unearthed the incredible story of revolutionary events in Limerick which lay almost undisturbed for almost 70 years and it quickly sold out its print run.
Liam claimed he wrote it originally to try to answer an important and still relevant question, “why were our grandmothers and grandfathers – even our great grandparents – more radical in their politics than my generation?” It is unclear if he found the answer but the Limerick Soviet is no longer forgotten.
Liam was extremely generous with his time and his advice to members of our committee and during his Cork talk he praised the role of Cobhman and trade union leader Jack Dowling, (long championed by Cork Mother Jones Committee member John Jefferies) who played a key role in the organisation of the Limerick Soviet.
Liam was a political correspondent with RTE and during 1990 worked in Brussels as Government press spokesperson for the Irish Presidency of the European Union. However his contribution to the Irish Trade Union movement was enormous. Apart from being a full-time official of the Federated Workers Union of Ireland, he spent time on the executive councils of the NUJ and the PSEU as well as chairperson of the RTE Trade Union Group. He wrote widely on Irish Labour history. He had a huge interest in sport, especially the Gaelic Athletic Association. His internet forum, An Fear Rua was legendary and original in the early 2000s before twitter and WhatsApp with wide ranging and often heated discussions taking place on the many issues around Gaelic games under the paternal hand of Liam. The trade union and Labour movement has lost a great friend in Liam.
The Cork Mother Jones Committee and friends wish to extend our deepest sympathy to Liam’s children, Susan and Eoin.
As 2022 signals a return to real festival events, we are happy to announce that Luke Dineen will once again speak at this year’s Spirit of Mother Jones Festival.
Labour and trade union historian Luke has appeared at many of our festivals and is one of the most popular contributors.
He brings to life the often forgotten history of the trade union movement in Cork and its proud contribution to bettering the lives of ordinary people.
Luke, who was awarded a PhD in labour history from UCC will speak on the “Cork General Lockout of 1923”.
The end of the Civil War in May 1923 encouraged the Cork Employers’ Federation (CEF) to demand wage reductions across a wide range of workplaces in the city. Discussions and negotiations with the unions failed to resolve the issues and by July 1923, the ITGWU dockers were on strike. The employers insisted on wage reductions of up to 25% and further reductions in workers allowances which the unions refused to accept.
On 20th August 1923, most businesses in Cork closed, the Cork Lockout had begun, over 6000 workers were on strike.
It was part of a wider effort by employers in other cities and towns across Ireland to bring about wage cuts.
Despite large marches, sackings, mass unemployment and growing signs of serious shortages of food and coal stocks, John Rearden, a solicitor and secretary of the CEF refused to compromise and the impasse dragged on in the city.
Recently elected TD and UCC Registrar Alfred O’Rahilly acted as arbitrator in the dispute and agreed a resolution with Trade Union leader Jim Hickey.
Most workers went back on reduced wages by mid November and while at the end of the day, both sides accepted compromises, the trade unions suffered most as the lockout used up much of their financial resources in strike pay, Payments to strikers by the ITGWU were almost 24,000 pounds representing 15% of all the union’s expenditure for 1923. (1919 was under 1%). Membership fell to a third of its 1923 level by 1928. Employers still retained the right to hire and fire at will.
Most employees were back at work by early November. 1923 was an annus horribilis for the Irish Trade union movement.
The new Free State government had signalled that they no longer needed to encourage the acquiescence and support of organised Labour in the struggle for independence.
The government instead aligned with the new State’s established business class, whose pragmatic rapprochement with the new political order reflected the inherent conservatism of the real victors in the Irish Civil War.
Luke Dineen will speak at the Shandon Maldron Hotel at 11.30 am on Saturday 30th July. All are welcome.
Article by Luke Dineen ‘Class War in Cork’: The Cork General Lockout of 1923′ in Saothar 46. (Journal of the Irish Labour History Society 2021).
Article by Francis Devine, The Irish Transport and General Workers’ Union in Cork City and County 1918-1930. (Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society Volume 124, 2019).
The May Day Party for Mother Jones will take place at the Irish American Heritage Centre at 4626 North Knox Avenue in Chicago from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Among those participating are:
Kevin Byrne, Ireland’s Consul General to Chicago and the Midwest.
Sara Nelson President of the Association of Flight Attendants CWA, AFLCIO.
Don Villar, Secretary Treasurer Chicago Federation of Labour.
Also participating are singers and artists such as Paddy Homan, Kathy Cowan and the SAG-AFTRA singers while artist Lindsay Hand will sign posters.
All proceeds will go towards the Chicago Statue Campaign.
There are very few monuments which commemorate women in Chicago and as with most cities everywhere none of working class women.
Why not assist the Chicago campaign to ensure that a beautiful statue is erected to honour Cork born Mary Harris who as Mother Jones worked ceaselessly to help immigrants of many nationalities to organise for decent wages and safe working conditions by joining the American trade union movement!.
A broad based fundraising committee in the City has been active in fundraising to bring the dream of the Mother Jones statue to reality.
With the help of the American trade unions and many others, the committee is close to achieving this ambition. Let’s put this iconic Irish immigrant refugee and a founder of the American Labour Movement–the Mother of the working class–on a statue in the city she called home.