Remembering the Mesabi Strike of 1907

One-hundred and five years ago this month the first major labor strike on the Mesabi Iron Range was busted by company strikebreakers. Finnish labor leaders were blacklisted from working in the mines.

As a great-grandson of Finns (and Norwegians, Swedes and Cornish mining stock), I sit out here typing on a computer in the woods of a one-time Finnish enclave where the blacklisted miners farmed and logged their way through those dark years. One of the things I’ve been writing about is the labor talks that have led to miners keeping a pension, upper middle class wages and health care coverage.

So we’ve come a long way. Let’s take a moment to remember those folks that were working without a net in 1907 and in the subsequent strikes and labor battles that would simmer throughout the 20th century.

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