Bill Haywood's Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood

By William D. Haywood | Go to book overview
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THE convention was held at Oddfellows Hall on Champa street. Rumors were current that Butte Miners' Union Number 1 had made some complaint about the finances of the organization. Boyce, much to the amusement of all the other delegates, put all seven members of the delegation of Number 1 on the auditing committee, which had to audit the books of the year's work. It was a hard job at any time, but that year it was exceptionally so because of the receipts and disbursements in connection with the Cœur d'Alenes strike. The committee was expected to attend all the sessions of the convention, and to do the work on the books in between times. They brought in a satisfactory report, but none of them had any time to junket around the city.

Representatives of the American Federation of Labor were received at this convention. The warden announced their presence, Boyce appointed an escort, and when the silk-hat brigade entered he gave three sharp raps of the gavel. We all stood up until they reached the platform and sat down. Three raps, and we sat down. The orators were introduced one after the other. One told of the good work that was being done by the Western Federation of Miners for the striking teamsters in San Francisco, not only with financial help, but also in that the western mining camps had successfully boycotted goods from San Francisco. We were glad to help the teamsters in their strike, but many of us, I know, were thinking about what the American Federation of Labor executive board had not done for us in like circumstances.

When the speaking was finished, three raps of the gavel and we stood as the trade unionists filed out. They had received an attentive hearing. Not a word had been spoken except from the platform, not a murmur of applause, no vote of thanks. When the door closed, smiles spread over the faces of the delegates, and many of them burst out laughing. Then we quieted down to the business of the day.


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Bill Haywood's Book: The Autobiography of William D. Haywood


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