Big Bills Battle

Big Bill's Battle
Gwynne McCauley
November 14, 2001
English 3-W
Big Bill Haywood (1869-1928) was one of the most radical, determined, and influential labor leaders of his time. He was sent by his mother to work in the mines at the mere age of nine, and thus started his life-long battle for the rights of miners. Haywood supported and donated his time and effort to many labor groups. Big Bill founded a chapter of the W.F.M (Western Federation of Miners) and later founded the largest union, the I.W.W (Industrial Workers of the World). He endured many hardships that came with his demanding covenant, jail time, death threats, and the continuous battles between the Pinkerton Detective Agency and the workers on strike. Nevertheless, he had a blind ambition to change the world of labor unions, and that he did.
Mining was a profession that was very popular in the late 1800s through the middle 1900s. It was a tough job with many serious injuries; little notice was taken of these injuries. Every year hundreds of men lost their lives to the dangerous work of mining. These deaths and injuries were not fussed over in any way; the risk came with the job. There were many who objected to this cold, un-feeling attitude, not to mention the lack of health care or safety precautions. Others took it as a fact and went on, some claimed to have no opinion, hoping that someday an organization would rise up and change the harsh conditions of mining work.
The process of ga…