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title: 'The Day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, December 16, 1913, Image 21',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL
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MINERS CALL DARK RUSSIA TAME COMPARED
WITIiCONDITIONS AT CALUMET, MICH.
"I've traveled through Russia and several other 'dark' countries, but
I've never faced the cruelty and slavery before that is practiced in the state
of Michigan, in your 'land of the free.' "
That's the opinion Joe Chultz has formed of our great United States
after experiencing atrocities committed by the gunmen in the employ of
the copper barons of Upper Michigan.
. Chultz went up to Painesdale, Mich., from the strikebreaking factory
at 412 Sherman street on Dec. 6 along with 52 others. He was promised
$2.50 a day. There was no mention of strikebreaking.
When the crowd got toPainesdale the work of disillusionment began.
They first were told it would cost them 20 a month f6r board. Then
they were forced to buy a complete outfit of clothing from the company's
store. Chultz was charged $8.30 for his outfit.
Bad meals were served the men. They were put Into the mines to do
the work of two of the strikers. A few days after Chultz landed three men
who had come back to Painesdale to work in the mines were killed.
The fate of those three men made several of the strikebreakrs "ponder.
"I think we ought to get out of here before we get killed," said Chultz.
"Life is too damned sweet to throw it away for $2.50 a day."
Schmidt, an armed guard, overheard him.
"Say, you don't think the strikers got those guys," he sneered, "be
cause if you do you're badly mistaken. Don't you know we fellows have
got to do something to hold our jobs. Why we wouldn't last a week unless
we kept trouble going; If the mine owners thought the strikers were going
to be peaceful we'd be yanked out of here in no time. No, sir, we got to
let 'em think there's Hell up here."
Back in the mines of Pennsylvania Ghultz had learned some of the
advantages of unionism. He began t6 talk about them to the other; strike
breakers. The gunmen overheard. He was threatened. "
"When the funeral of the three men was held we were all told we would
have to parade," said Chultz. "I didn't want to. A guard came to me and
said he's smash me over the head.
We were docked half a day for thai;.
"Then I tried to run away I was
tired of their cruelty and their dirty
grub. I went down to the station and
met two union men. I explained to
them that I was tired of being a scab.
They said they'd help me get free.
"While we were talking a deputy
sheriff and several gunmen came up.
With their guns they chased the
union men away". Then the deputy
turned to me.
" 'What the Hell are you doing?'
he asked. 'Don't you know you ain't
got any right to talk to those guys?' "
Joe, in spite of his few days' ex
perience In the mines, still clung to
His fond delusion about "the land of
" "This is a free country,' I answer
ed. 'I guess I can talk to whoever
I want to.'
"Then the deputy pointed a revol
ver at me.
" -Say, whataya doin',' he said,
'makin' one of those "give me liberty
or give me death" speeches. Whataya
got in your pockets?'
"Then they searched me and after
they had satisfied themselves I was
marched baok to the mines at the
point of a gun. I began talking to
the other strikebreakers about doing
that sort of work. I said it wa's wrong
to take the bread and butter out of
"One of the guards, a big Polish,
fellow,-started to talk to me. He
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