Google+ Georgia On My Mind: A Few Remarks Regarding Labor for Labor Day

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Few Remarks Regarding Labor for Labor Day

It seems appropriate this close to Labor Day to remember a few labor disputes in Atlanta surrounding the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill.

In August, 1887 a strike occurred when the owners of the mill decided to hire 25 black women to work alongside whites. Over 200 women and 400 men walked out. The strike lasted five days and even the New York Times took notice.

During the 1880s hundreds of women and children arrived at the doors of mills across the state asking for work because mill owners provided decent housing….something that was sorely lacking in Georgia at the time. By 1890, the New Georgia Encyclopedia states of the total of mill employees across the state 39 percent were men, 37 percent were women, and 24 percent were children.

Another more serious strike occurred in 1934 when various mills all over Georgia experienced walk outs. This strike is normally referred to in Georgia history as the General Textile Strike of 1934 or the Uprising of ’34. It wasn’t just a Georgia strike but included workers in the North as well as across the South. Approximately 44,000 workers walked out in Georgia. New Georgia Encyclopedia reports violence was scattered throughout the state including the towns of Cedartown, Columbus, Macon, and Porterdale. There were deaths in Trion and Augusta.

You can find an archive of historical images and information at the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill Digital Collection managed by the Georgia Tech Archives and Record Management.

Today, the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mills now houses loft apartments for folks who want to live in Atlanta…..It’s nice to see historic locations preserved and used for more than just another museum as this video shows:

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