[Poster] Your Wages Up or Down!

Pittsburgh: National Miners Relief Committee, n.d. [but 1928]. Strike poster issued by the Communist-backed National Miners Relief Committee, formed in response to a 16 month-long strike which left 150,000 miners in Ohio and Pennsylvania unemployed. The strike began after the workers in the bituminous coal fields experienced signifiant wage cuts in 1928. When the UMWA failed to support its members, the National Miners Relief Committee was formed, gaining notoriety after collaborating with Hollywood film director Sam Burke in the making of the propagandistic silent film documentary "The Miners' Strike" (1928).

The present poster apparently issued early in the strike, warning readers that "If the Miners Union is destroyed the open shopper will next attack other organized trades" and "the American Labor movement will suffer a fatal blow and wages of organized as well as unorganized workers will go down." Members of the labor classes were thus encouraged to "Enlist at once in the Biggest Campaign for Strikers Relief ever undertaken by the Workers of America by buying and selling Solidarity Certificates for Miners Relief," the money being used for food and tents to feed and shelter the families of the striking miners. We find no copies catalogued in OCLC as of August, 2017. For some background on the strike (and the suppressed documentary based upon it) see M. Keith Booker. Film and the American Left (1999), p. 21. Original lithographed poster (63.5x48.5cm.) printed in brown on thin white stock. Text in single column beneath headline and photographic illustration. Faint horizontal fold-lines, brief split into upper margin; a few shallow chips to extremities, still a Very Good and sound example of a rather fragile poster.

Price: $650.00

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