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Mine TownsBuildings for Workers in Michigan's Copper Country$
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Alison K. Hoagland

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665662

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665662.001.0001

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The Spaces of a Strike

The Spaces of a Strike

Company Buildings and Landscapes in a Time of Conflict

(p.55) 2 The Spaces of a Strike
Mine Towns

Alison K. Hoagland

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter details the unsuccessful struggle to obtain a union, marked by a long strike in 1913–14. Buildings were not ostensibly part of this negotiation, yet they played important roles. Eviction from company houses is always an implied threat, yet the lack of evictions during the strike complicates the paternalistic picture. Management used company houses and other products of its benevolence as weapons in a propaganda war. Other building types, such as boardinghouses and armories, found particular application during the strike. Much of the conflict played out in public space, revealing management’s and workers’ attitudes toward the landscape. The workers used the towns and public spaces outside of the companies’ control to forge union solidarity; the companies used their own housing as a propaganda tool to engender loyalty.

Keywords:   union, eviction, strike, management, company houses, propaganda, union solidarity

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