Trotskyists and Teamsters: Socialist Strategy in the Minneapolis General Strike of 1934

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

In 1934, there were three key militant strikes that provided the spark that set off the greatest conflagration of labor struggle in U.S. history: the San Francisco General Strike, the Toledo Auto-lite strike, and the Minneapolis Teamsters’ strike. This talk will tell the story of the Minneapolis truck drivers, who, led by Trotskyists, organized a series of three strikes for union recognition of Teamsters Local 574. The strike was characterized by militant mass picketing, democratic decision-making, and creative tactics like the flying picket, as well as mass rallies. Battling police, hired strikebreakers, and troops enforcing martial law, the workers eventually won their demands for a closed shop, shorter hours, pay increases, and higher pay for overtime.

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