OCR Interpretation


The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, August 30, 1912, Image 3

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1912-08-30/ed-1/seq-3/

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guest immigrant. He started
work as an operative in the New
England mills. In those days a
wool operative got a decent sal
ary, -Wood's rise was rapid and re
markable. When he became su
perintendent and active head of
several mills at Lawrence,, Wood
married the daughter of a man
who hadjmade millions out of a
patent medicine...
With his wife's money and his
own remarkable business craft he
forged rapidly ahead, until he at
last was' able to organize the
Wool Trust.
It was then he began his great
fight on unionism, which, culmin
ated in the strike at Lawrence
last winter. He began the fight
by refusing to recognize any
union, and by blacklisting any
mill worker known to be a union
man.
..He carried it on by importing
vast numbers of the poorest class
of Europeans, and. by using their
cheap labor forcing wages down
and down and down.
He used his millions to corrupt
congressmen and senators, to de
bauchi immigration officials and
to" hound down the unions.
Conditions in the textile indus-
K try became worse and worse.
Wages of skilled male operators
were forced as low as $10 a week;
wages ofwomen to $7 and even
$5 a week; wages of children to
a lew cents a week.
In the great mill towns like
Lawrence, even the youngest
eat. Their parents' wages would
not suffice.
At last Wood's cheap imported
labor rebelled. They walked out
on strike at Lawrence from near
ly every big mill.
Wood swore they would stay
out altogether or come back on
bended knees to accept his terms.
Before the strike had gone on
long, the mill owners were will
ing to grant a small increase in
wages, but Wood flatly refused.
This man who himself started
in as a wool operative was deter
mined to crush the workers from
Whose midst he had risen.
The outrages of police, militia
and courts at Lawrence were
damnable. Wood seemed to own
them all.
Strikers were shot down in the
street without provocation. Babes
were tornfrom their mothers'
arms; mothers were thrown in
jail Without warrant. The lead
ers of the strike were arrested on
a false charge of murder, and
thrown into jail without-bail.
.Wood was doing it all, and '
when the oher mill owners, fear
ing that some of the atrocities
might leak out, begged him to
quit, he refused.
Then came the finding of dyna
mite in the strikers' headquarters,
and in their homes. The strikers
swore the dynamite had been
planted.
But the Associated Press and
almost every big newspaper in the
country played the story of the
finding of the dynamite up with
scare headlines and said nothing
L children had to work in order to j of the charge of planting.
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