Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1789-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: Ohio Historical Society, Columbus, OH
Newspaper Page Text
8ATUBDAY, NOV. 6, 1920.
My Own Shop
Reznor Gas Stores and
By One Who
The plant of the Reznor Mfg. Co. is located in
a Mttle out-of-the-way place called Mercer, Pa.
Bit there is nothing slow about the way they
play the game of getting lots of work out of a
small number of people for little money. They
have a modern, well-equipped plant and turn out
an enormous product for the number of workers
employed. Only about 150, all told, work here;
many of them are girls. Yet they produce yearly
nearly 300,000 of the famous Reznor Gas Stoves;
the kind you see in the magazine advertisements
heating up a cheerful room.
You might think the Reznor Company is
proud of this record of exploitation, and no doubt
they are; but that does not mean that they are
satisfied. Like all labor skinners they want still
more work out of the exploited slaves without
apying increased wages and they are using an up-to-date
"soft soap" method to get the workers in
to the right frame of mind.
Some Company Propaganda.
With our last pay checks they handed U6 each
a neatly printed booklet entitled "Your Share Of
The Money". It is a clear attempt to convince the
workers who produce the 300,000 stoves per year
that a hand-to-mouth existence is all they are en
titled to, and that they really are lucky to get that.
The booklet depicts a dialogue between work
men, one of whom is a "Red". He is quoted as
saving that money in the country ought to be
"divided up". A Company stool relerred to in
the pamphlet as "having a level head" eomes
back with the statement that if the money was
all divided up there would be only about $100
apiece. This is supposed to settle the argument
and to convince the workers that they should be
satisfied to slave their lives away for the benefit
of a few parasites who own the land, factories,
railroads and natural resources of the country, to
say nothing of money which is only a symbol of
value and is the smallest part of their wealth.
They wind up twelve pages of this sort of
stuff with the argument that increased wages will
not solve the problem of the high cost of living.
The solution, they say, lies in increased produc-
tion. This, remember, to 150 workers who produce
nearly 300,000 stoves per year and get in return
barely enough to enable them to keep alive. Such
is their estimate of the intelligence of the great
majority of their slaves. 1
Open Shop Conditions.
The entire plant of the Reznor Company :s
run on the "open shop" basis with the exception
of our department Polishers and Buffers. Here
we have maintained union wages and the eight
hour day. As for the rest well, it is the open
shop, and you know what that means, piece-work,
speeding up, long and uncertain hours and small
wages. The workers are at the merey of the bosd
es ; they have no representation and no redress for
any grievance no matter how pressing it may be.
The press department is called the "Butcher
Shop." This is because of the many fingers of the
workers that are chopped off on account of the
speeding up to meet the bosses' piece rate. It is
easy to tell an old-timer in this department ; near
ly every one of them has the Reznor Trade Mark
upon him a mangled hand.
But, after all, it is a good sign when, in such
a small back-woods place, the bosses, are forced to
talk economics an . ; adopt welfare measures to
counteract the effect of radical propaganda They
used to play prohibition and Sunday School stuff,
but now they are compelled to go into the in
dustrial argument, and that's their finish.
The union is not strong enough to protect me,
so please do not use my name. Some of these days
I hope to be able to report that the Reznor plant
is organized from top to bottom, all the workers,
in one union. I also hope to see the day when the
workers will take over the plant not to "divide
up", but to run it oo-operatively for the benefit
of the workers only.
The fourth section of the Lever act has been
declared unconstitutional by Judge W. H. S.
Thompson in the States District Court at Pitts
Three rail workers who took part in the recent
vacation of the raihnen, and had been indicted un
der the Lever act, were ordered released.