Trona Strike Threat Fades

A threatened walkout of employes at one of San Bernardino county’s largest industries, the vast American Potash & Chemical Co. plant at Trona, was apparently averted yesterday after all-day negotiations between union labor officers and the company executives. It was understood that local 414 of Alkaline Salt Workers union, a C.I.O. affiliate, representing a number of employes of the company, had threatened to call a strike yesterday [March 13, 1941] if a series of demands were not met by the company. The four major demands were apparently for a closed shop; increased and improved housing facilities; a new wage scale calling for $1.50 per hour for first class mechanics and $1 per hour for helpers; and the cooperation of the in securing water and government assistance for the development of nearby Argus townsite for the convenience of workers who prefered to build their own homes rather than live in company owned houses at Trona. The American Potash & Chemical Co. at Trona maintains a model community of air conditioned houses for employes. A spokesman for the company said last night that the New York office of American Potash & Chemical Co. had wired approval of a counter offer of $1.15 per hour for first class mechanics and 75 cents per hour for helpers, and had authorized the expenditure of $125,000 for additional housing unit for employes. The official also said would be will to cooperate in every way possible in the development of the Argus townsite, provided that really livable houses were built and no “shack colony” was allowed to develop. No information was forthcoming as to how the company officials and union leaders stood on the closed shop question at the conclusion of negotiations last night. San Bernardino County Sun March 14, 1941

The San Bernardino County Sun‘s headline on March 15, 1941 read, “Strike Closes Trona Potash Plant“. To read more about the 1941 strike go to: 1941 Strike

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