Rose Pesotta Bread upon the Waters CHAPTER 14 Early Champions of the Common Man TRADITION DOMINATED organized labor in Seattle, which was living largely on its past. The high point of its history seemed to be the great general strike in February, 1919, in which 60,000 men and women in 110 unions quit work. The city then had a population of 315,000. That strike was voted by the Central Labor Council, a unique body with a revolutionary background unknown in the rest of the States. The council was an open forum where any subject could get a hearing and a vote. Thus the general strike, as a class-war weapon, was discussed on the CLC floor as early as 1903, and the council had endorsed industrial unionism in 1909, its delegates being instructed to sponsor it on the floor of the A F of L national convention that year.