The Los Angeles County Hall of Records, which survived a 1910 bombing attempt, as it appeared during the realignment of Spring Street in 1929.
In the months leading up to the bombing of the Los Angeles Times by union agitators on Oct. 1, 1910, the city had endured several overlapping strikes. The first one was against local breweries, which began on May 19, 1910, and was followed by another against local foundries and ironworks on June 1.
Famous for its support of the open shop, The Times staunchly focused on companies’ efforts to continue operations rather than on labor’s demands, so there is far more information about employers than about what was being sought by unions.
The Times reported May 20, 1910: "The bottlers are asking $2 [$45.48 USD 2009] a man a week," said Secretary Kraemer of the Southern California Brewers' and Bottlers' Assn. "They are now getting $17 to $18 [$386.56- $409.30] a week as against $12 and $13 [$272.87-$295.60] a week in Eastern breweries. The drivers demand a raise of $3 [$68.22] a week. They are receiving $18 to $20 a week, and the scale in Eastern breweries is $16 to $18 [$363.82-$409.30] a week."
A June 2, 1910, story said that metalworkers wanted a minimum of $4 [$90.96 USD 2009] a day, an eight-hour day and double pay for working holidays. The average wage was 37 1/2 cents [$8.53] an hour and most employees worked a nine-hour day.
The Times seems to have been premature in declaring the brewery strike over, although the strike seems to have dissipated in about a month. The strike against the foundries and metal shops was fought with far more determination, and on Sept. 10, 1910, The Times reported a plot to dynamite the Hall of Records, which was then under construction, because it was being built with non-union steel.