(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved. Contact us for information about using this image.
The era of the Great Depression was marked by strikes, labor violence, and the growing power of unions. The national textile strike of 1934, which received extensive coverage in the Greenfield Daily Recorder-Gazette, was part of this trend. The strike centered in cotton textile mills in southern New England and the south but, as this article shows, silk mills in Holyoke were also affected. The company owned by the influential Skinner family, the largest silk manufacturer in the world, was shut down. The textile strike, although unsuccessful in unionizing the industry in the south, helped create pressure for federal legislation. In 1935 Congress passed the National Labor Relations Act which gave rights to workers organizing unions.