- Holter, Darryl. “Labor Spies and Union-Busting in Wisconsin, 1890-1940”. Wisconsin Magazine of History. 1985 Summer; 68(4):-265.
Notes: In 1925 Wisconsin union leaders, after twenty years of effort, were able to get significant restrictions placed in state law on the union-harassing activities of employers, especially regarding labor spies; other states later followed Wisconsin’s lead and enacted similar legislation. Besides exploring the legislative and organizational tactics used from 1890 to 1940 by the Wisconsin labor movement to combat labor spying, this fascinating article discusses how labor spies actually operated, how detective agencies began offering this specialized service, and how the 1925 law affected the operation of detective agencies doing this type of work in Wisconsin.
The author provides an in-depth example of each of the two situations in which labor spies were used; the strike discussed is that against the Allen-A Hosiery company in Kenosha, Wisconsin from 1928 to 1930 by members of Branch 6 of the American Federation of Full Fashioned Hosiery Workers, United Textile Workers of America and, for the second situation, he uses the Western Paper Makers Association (a manufacturers’ association led by David Clark Everest) and their activities to suppress unions among paper mill workers in central Wisconsin along the Fox, Wisconsin, Marinette, Eau Claire and Peshtigo Rivers. The article also examines the helpful role of congressional hearings held from 1936 to 1940 by the U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Robert La Follette, Jr.
The State Historical Society of Wisconsin named this article as the winner of the annual William Best Hesseltine Award for the best article to be published in the Wisconsin Magazine of History during the year.
Also: Holter, Darryl O. Labor Spies and Union Busting in Wisconsin, 1890-1940. [Milwaukee? Wis.: D.O. Holter?, 1987?, c1985. 24 p. Article reprinted by permission from the Wisconsin Magazine of History, v. 68, no. 4 (Summer 1985).