Last updated on: 7/10/2013 | Author:

Aug. 28, 1939 – Dairy Farmers Union Strike

Dairy farmers in the countryside outside New York City were hit hard by the Great Depression.

Milk prices in New York City fell so low that the milk distributors were paying farmers less for their milk than it cost them to produce it.

As things got desperate, dairy farmers organized the Dairy Farmers Union (DFU). Led by Archie Wright, a former organizer for the radical Industrial Workers of the World, the DFU went on strike in 1939.

During the strike, DFU members blocked roads and halted market-bound trucks. They confiscated milk and spilled it out on the roadsides. In some cases they threw bottles of kerosene on trucks that did not stop. The picketers fought non-strikers who tried to cross their lines, and State troopers who intervened.