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The toiler. (Cleveland, Ohio) 1919-1922, October 23, 1920, Image 12

Image and text provided by Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88078683/1920-10-23/ed-1/seq-12/

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PAGE 12
THE TOILEK
SATURDAY, OCT. 23rd, 1920
A Story That Does Not Rhyme
By H. N. Garner.
In a capitalist daily paper I read these head
lines: OPERATORS TO TRY TO BREAK MINERS
STRIKE.
Many Men Recruited From Rubber Plants To
Take Places of Strikers.
Then the articles goes on to say that one
hundred and twenty-five men, recruited from the
factories of Akron and other points in Ohio have
arrived in West Virginia to be used as strike
breakers. It is thought (the article states) the
moners will use every effort to keep the strike
breakers out; but the authorities are taking no
chances and increased numbers of troops have been
placed about the railroad station and other danger
points.
Strikers Live In Tents.
The article states that 107 men, women and
-children are housed in tents, and preparations are
being made to put floors of boards in the tents
to be prepared to carry the strike into the winter.
Food is being cooked on stoves made of rocks and
mud. None of the children wear more than one
garment. Men and women are shabby, food is
socarce and of poor quality
High up on the bluffs (The article continues)
across the river are the W. S. Leckie collieries,
working under normal capacity because of the
labor shortage. Around the mines are empty
houses, comportable dwellings. The company stores
are stocked with food and clothing, and awaiting
the strikers are jobs which, according to mine
operators, would pay each man an average of three
hundred dollars per month. In the face of this the
miners refuse to go to work and they freely give
their reason. It is a desire to affiliate with bro
ther coal miners throughout the country.
Now you have read the tosses' story, the
story that does not rhyme. What do you think of
it?
Let's look it over again. The big rubber
plants in Akron laid off thousands of workers ill
an effort to reduce wages. The workers cannot
live on the wage.; they could get by going back.
They are probably hungry ; most all workers would
be if out of work for a few weeks. 125 men are
going to the coal fields of West Virginia. I doubt
if they know they are to be used as strike-breakers;
but it's a safe bet, once they arrive in the
strike zone, there will be no escape for them ex
cept at the risk of their lives.
Troops To Protect Scabs
Miners will use every effort to keep strike
breakers away. And why not? Increased troops
have been placed around the station and other
points. Troops are soldiers used to protect strike
breakers. Oh, yes! the same soldiers who enlisted
to protect "the flag of freedom" now used to pro
tect those who scab on the workers who are
striking for freedom and justice.
One hundred men, women and children are
now housed in tents and preparing to live, or
rather stay in tents up into the winter. Think of
littb children staying in tents, wearing only one
garment in cold winter weather. Good jobs await
ing these men which would pay three hundred
dollars a month what a joke! How many of you
were ever in a coal mining district? I have been,
not in the district dealt with in this article, but
elsewhere, and conditions and wages are pretty
much the same, except where miners are organ
ized strong enough to force better conditions.
How The Miners Live.
Taking the year around the miner makes
what could hardly be called an existence, much
less a living. Moreover here is another place
where the story does not rhyme. Think this over:
If the miner makes 300 dollars a month we all
know his children would have more than one
garment to wear. He hasn't been on strike so long
that his children would have worn out all their
clothes. He would have some household goods,
stoves at least. What do you think, good com
fortable company houses how many of you
have ever seen a company house in a mining
camp? If you never saw one, then just imag
ine a farmer's cow shed after it gets to leaking
so badly that he does not keep the cow in it
any longer, and you have a pretty good picture of
a company house. They stand on legs on a hill-

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