‘Organizing Hawaiian Workers’ by Seldom Fred from Industrial Worker. Vol. 5 No. 18. July 24, 1913.

‘Organizing Hawaiian Workers’ by Seldom Fred from Industrial Worker. Vol. 5 No. 18. July 24, 1913.

We are forging ahead here la the mid-Pacific. We are getting ready to hit the boss few stiff jolts in the near future. A.V. Roe has been elected provisional general secretary treasurer, with headquarters at Hilo. The locals in Hilo and Walluluka have elected their members to the Provisional G.E.B. The local at Honolulu Is being reorganized. The movement here is hampered to quite an extent by the lack of literature in the different languages, especially Spanish. Chinese, and Japanese. The Spaniards are begging for something in their own language. If we had some Spanish paper we could enroll these fellow workers by the scores. The new Spanish paper in Los Angeles will get a considerable portion of its support from these islands. More thorough plans to push the work of organizing are being considered.

I am holding meetings every day on different plantations. it Is fine to see how the workers take to One Big Union. I held meeting last week on the Wallu plantation, which is known as one of the worst slave driving outfits on the Islands. The bosses were on hand with the sheriff, several policemen, and a horde of patriotic spies. It was intended to break up the meeting, and to see if anyone joined the union. One of the bosses who was asking a whole lot of questions got hit in the jaw with a wooden shoe—the slaves here wear wooden shoes. He decided he had had enough, so he climbed into his stink wagon and beat It. The sheriff sized up my bicycle. I had no license tag on it. He thought that would fix me. The crowd just needed such a stimulus. Some of the men took out cards in front of the bosses, waved them triumphantly, and told the bosses to go as far as they liked. The Portuguese, who at first were helping the bosses to disturb the meeting, as soon as they saw how things were going, deserted the boss and took out cards too. That got the boss’s goat. He wanted to start firing, but did not know where to commence, as he stood a fine chance to lose his 2000 slaves. No one was fired. The boss asked one of the men if he had joined the I.W.W. “Sure,” was the reply, “here is my card. Want to fire me?” The workers stood solidly together, Japanese. Spaniards. Portuguese. Filipinos, Chinese. Koreans and all the others. It was fine. The workers here need One Big Union, and they know they need It. Watch grow In the Hawaiian Islands.


The Industrial Union Bulletin, and the Industrial Worker were newspapers published by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) from 1907 until 1913. First printed in Joliet, Illinois, IUB incorporated The Voice of Labor, the newspaper of the American Labor Union which had joined the IWW, and another IWW affiliate, International Metal Worker.The Trautmann-DeLeon faction issued its weekly from March 1907. Soon after, De Leon would be expelled and Trautmann would continue IUB until March 1909. It was edited by A. S. Edwards. 1909, production moved to Spokane, Washington and became The Industrial Worker, “the voice of revolutionary industrial unionism.”

PDF of full issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/pubs/industrialworker/iw/v5n18-w226-jul-24-1913-IW.pdf

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