William Green, Labor LeaderA native of Coshocton County, William Green (1870-1932) began his working life as a coal miner at age 16 and rose rapidly in the leadership of the United Mine Workers of America. Twice elected to the Ohio Senate, Green served as president pro tempore during his second term. He was instrumental in enacting Ohio's first worker's compensation law in 1912, at a time when progressive-era ideals conflicted with an impersonal industrial system where workers enjoyed few rights and little security. Green, one of the outstanding American trade union leaders of the twentieth century, served as president of the American Federation of Labor from 1924 until his death in 1952.
The Columbus Streetcar Strike, 1910In one of the most violent strikes against a public utility in the United States, members of the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees (AASERE) struck the Columbus Railway and Light Company for higher wages and union recognition on April 29, 1910. Violence flared after the company fired several union employees, and escalated with the arrival of 450 guards and strikebreakers from Cleveland. For ten weeks, more than 200 streetcars were idled and 24 were destroyed. More than 100 strikebreakers were injured. In July, the National Guard restored peace, but the strike did not subside until October 18, without recognition for the union. Streetcar strikes were common in many cities from 1890 until World War I; other strikes had occurred in Columbus in 1890 and 1892.