On July 24th, Minnesota unionists and other social justice activists held a day-long celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the 1934 Minneapolis Teamsters Strike.
In the summer of 1934, truck drivers demanding that employers recognize and bargain with their union shut down all freight and delivery traffic in and out of Minneapolis for weeks. “Flying squads” of picketers patrolled the streets, stopping all non-union deliveries.
Business, supported by the local police, cracked down violently. Two strikers were killed, and sixty-seven were wounded, when police opened fire on picketers. But the workers held strong, and the employers were finally forced to recognize and sign a contract with the union.
The 1934 strike made Minneapolis a union town. It was also the start of wide-scale national Teamster freight organizing. The leaders of the Minneapolis strike used their base there to start organizing outward to other cities.
The July 24th anniversary commemoration was held at the location where striking Teamsters resisted attacks by the police 70 years before. The celebration included music and speeches as well as a historical display provided by members of Minnesota TDU.