The Strike Ends, A Legacy is Born

Big Bill Haywood on Lawrence Common, Lawrence, Mass., March 14, 1912.

William Wood and the American Woolen Company agreed to most of the strikers’ demands on March 12, 1912. Other manufacturers followed by the end of the month and many textile companies throughout New England, anxious to avoid a similar confrontation, followed suit.

At the end of the strike, I.W.W. leader William ‘Big Bill’ Haywood addressed the strikers on the Lawrence Common on March 14:  "…You are the heart and soul of the working class. Single-handed you are helpless but united you can win everything. You have won over the opposed power of the city, state, and national administrations, against the opposition of the combined forces of capitalism, in face of the armed forces. You have won by your solidarity and brains and muscle."   “I want to say that this is the first time in the history of the American labor movement that a strike has been conducted as this one has. You, the strikers of Lawrence, have won the most signal victory of any organized body of working men in the world. You have demonstrated that there is a common interest in the working class that can bring all its members together.”

Eugene Debs, founder of the American Railway Union and four-time presidential candidate on the Socialist Party ticket said this about Lawrence strike. “The victory at Lawrence, one of the most decisive and far-reaching ever won by organized workers, demonstrated the power and invincibility of industrial unity backed by political solidarity."