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Newspaper Page Text
WELFARE WORK IN PLACE OF INCREASED
WAGES DOES MORE HARM THAN GOOD
Welfare work, supplied by the
bosses in place of increased wages,
shorter hours and better working
conditions, is destroying the man
hood and womanhood of the work
ers, Sidney Hillman, international
president of the Amalgamated Cloth
ing Workers of America, told nearly
two thousand tailors in Hod Carriers'
hall last night.
The audience that crowded the hall
to the gallery even to standing room
had listendd to an address by Jacob
Panken, idol of the lower East Side
of New York, in which he told them
that the efficiency system of the
manufacturers had split a tailor into
more than fifty parts and he would
have to be put together again before
he would be a man.
"The employers have not only split
you into fifty parts," Hillman said,
"they have taken away your man
hood and womanhood by the welfare
work with which they silence your
demand for better wages, shorter
hours and better working conditions.
They give you a cheap place in which
to dance and you haven't 10 cents to
pay admission to the dance hall. They
have a couple of nurses to let you
know when you are sick after you
have worked yourself into sickness.
"I know of no industry in no city
where conditions have become as in
tolerable as in the clothing industry
in the city of Chicago. If. conditions
are permitted to go along as they are
we shall become slaves. In 1913 we
started a movement to organize, and
after four months of agitation the
employers reduced 2 hours and in
creased 4 per cent and gave many
individual increases and the tailors
said: 'Why do we need a union?
But where is that 4 per cent today?
That and more has been taken away
from'you and is being taken away.
"Charity the employers give you,
the employers who have a blackball
system in Medinah Temple and paid
spies in this hall to report back to
"There may be help for reductions
and long hours, but what the employ
ers are attempting to do bytheirchar
ity is to kill the spirit of the men and
women in the industry. They are not
satisfied that they have made from
men and women tailors, they want to
make from the tailors beggars.
"Chicago has become the scab
market of the country. We have
started this campaign to change con
ditions and will stay here until condi
tions change. We will not leave the
city until the city is organized. This
campaign is country-wide. We will
organize the industry from New York
to San Francisco, and if it is neces
sary to call a strike it will be a country-wide
Panken declared that, the ten or
more different nationalities in the in
dustry do not divide it because they
have a common brotherhood as work--ertf.
"Twenty-five years ago," he said,
"in order to become a tailor you were
apprenticed to a tailor, but after you
served your apprenticeship you made
the garment from the cutting to the
pressing. Commercial development
changed this. It takes about 50 men
to make one suit of clothes now.
They have taken the tailor and brok
en him up into small pieces and have
taken from him the protection of
skill. But they cannot make him a
machine, for he has a mind.".
Miss Rose Schneiderman, who or
ganized women in the craft in New
York, commented on the fact that in
every language the three words that
can be always understood are "cap
italism," "organization" and "strike "
She stated the reason capital has the
power it has is because the workers
do not know their business.
"We send our girl into the work
and we have grown used to the fact
that she shall be paid $3 and $5 and