On July 23, 1913, some fifteen thousand Northern Michigan copper miners, about half of them members of the Western Federation of Miners, struck for an eight-hour day, an increase in wages, the abolition of the one-man drill, and union recognition. Refusing to negotiate, the employers, the largest of which was the Calumet and Hecla Mining Co., brought in nearly two thousand armed guards, including men supplied by the Waddell-Mahon Detective Agency. Michigan Governor Woodbridge Ferris also sent in some twenty-five hundred national guardsmen.
During the course of the strike, approximately six hundred strikers were arrested for inciting to riot, and five hundred more for violating an injunction against picketing, mass demonstrations, and interference at the mines.
Western Federation of Miners' President Charles Moyer and U.S. Department of Labor representative John Moffitt offered various proposals for settling the strike but were turned down by the mine owners. In late December Moyer was shot and beaten, dragged through the town of Hancock, Mich., and put on a train to Chicago with the warning that he would be killed if he came back. He returned in early January 1914, however, and the strike continued until Apr. 12, when the miners, facing the threat of eviction from company housing and with their strike fund almost gone, voted to return to work on the companies' terms.
Read: AFL Secretary Frank Morrison's letter and the AFL's fund-raising circular