Herndon in Fairfax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Rail Strike of 1916
The increasing dissatisfaction of the workers coincided with a campaign by the Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railroad Employees to unionize area rail workers. In the spring of 1916 many W&OD employees joined the union, and, on April 5, they called a strike.
Demands included recognition of the union, adoption of a 10-hour work day with overtime, and a wage increase for conductors and motormen from $3 to $4 a day. Negotiations involved such prominent figures as American Federation of Labor President Samuel Gompers and legendary labor organizer Mary Harris "Mother" Jones.
Union members were fired. Rail cars were vandalized and derailed (see below). W&OD owners hired armed private detectives to protect company property. By the end of the year the strike was called off, but labor troubles plagued the railroad for many years to come.
Credits: Background photograph – Courtesy Thomas Underwood. Photograph upper right – Courtesy Milton Riley Family. Exhibit planning and design – Jane Hanna,
Erected by Washington and Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park and The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad marker series.
Location. 38° 58.172′ N, 77° 23.079′ W. Marker is in Herndon, Virginia, in Fairfax County. Marker is on Elden Street (County Route 606), on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Located along the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Trail, just to the south of the street crossing. Marker is in this post office area: Herndon VA 20170, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Mosby’s Herndon Station Raid (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Herndon Station (about 500 feet away); Tracks Into History (about 500 feet away); Acetylene Gas Generating Station (about 700 feet away); Laura Ratcliffe (approx. 1.2 miles away); Sunset Hills Station Train Wrecks (approx. 2.1 miles away); Mosby’s Rock (approx. 2.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Herndon.
More about this marker. The background of the marker is a photo of "W&OD cars derailed, April 1916." An inset photo shows "The W&OD workforce in 1916 included this crew, shown in Rossyln with friends.
Also see . . .
1. The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad. Book by Ames Williams available on Amazon.com (Submitted on May 7, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
2. Rails to the Blue Ridge: The Washington and Old Dominion Railroad, 1847 - 1968. Book by Herbert Harwood available on Amazon.com (Submitted on May 7, 2008, by Tom Fuchs of Greenbelt, Maryland.)
Categories. • Labor Unions • Railroads & Streetcars •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,898 times since then and 4 times this year. Last updated on , by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.