OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, May 03, 1916, NOON EDITION, Image 10

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

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-05-03/ed-1/seq-10/

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What's behind that Harvester
strike? Why now in four days have
2,500 men and women slowly by hun
dreds and hundreds, grown to an
army of strikers nflmbering over
7,000? And why does this rich and
powerful monopoly, with monopoly
patents, with J. P. Morgan & Co. of
New York as fiscal agents, and before
the war handing down undivided
profits ranging from $7,000,000 to
$10,000,000 a year why do these big
shops have a walkout of 7,000 men
and women, hardly a wheel turning
in acres and acres of shops. Here's
part of the answer:
Immigration stopped. Used to be
millions of workers coming over here
from the countries now at war. Now
hardly any coming over. Hard to get
scabs and strikebreakers. With im
migration like it used to be Harvester
trust probably would have put strike
breakers on the job already, as old
Cyrus H. McCormick did in 1886
when men were killed at the McCor
mick plant.
Rotten high finance. The Morgan
crowd loaded capitalization of the
corporations to the limit When the
war came the Czar in Russia and the
Kaiser in Germany grabbed the Har
vester plants and they are now mak
ing rifles and saddles instead of reap
ers and binders. Trade shot to pieces.
Profits squeezed down close to bank
ruptcy point. On a physical valuation
basis the corporation could pay
Henry Ford $5 a day wage to its
workers. Cyrus and Harold McCor
mick, George Perkins, Edgar A. Ban
croft and other Harvester directors
are "Progressives" and- Roosevelt
Republicans. Perkins was Roosevelt
main tiacker in 1912. Bancroft start
ed original Roosevelt-for-President
clubs in 1898. Now they have to
stand by and either pay higher wages,
cut down profits, or fool the workers.
Will they fool 'em?
Movies, show windows, advertising.
All these things are making the for
eigners who comes to this country
want more and more of the good
things of life. They see clothes,
jewels, furniture in the Marshall
Field & Co. windows. They see pic
tures in papers and on billboards of
good things to eat and wear. And
sometimes the whole load of what
they want gets too heavy. Then an
army of workers get restless and
reckless, stop work and walk out.
At the University club Monday a
man who knows many inside work
ings of the Harvester trust, said this:
"If old Cyrus McCormick and old
man Deering had been as wise as
Henry Ford they would have kept the
bankers and wildcats of Wall street
off their properties. They would have
doubled the wages of their men and
set an example for employes. From
what I know about the son, Cyrus H.
McCormick, I think he would like to
follow the Ford tactics. But he's all
tied up. Wall street has him in a
hole. Either he's got to find some
way of making higher profits so as to
pay higher wages to the strikers or
else he's got to trick his working peo
ple into taking some -small wage
raise that won't stop another strike
from coming later."
With the walkout of several hun
dred more employes in the fight for
a living wage, the McCormick Har
vester plant at 26th and Blue Island
was forced to shut down Tuesday.
. The men who went out were most
ly from the woodworking dep't and
raised the toltal number of strikers
up to approximately 6,000 The com
pany seems to be having trouble get
ting strikebreakers and it is rumored
that some may be shipped in from
other cities.
Leo J. Wienecke, chairman of the
state board of arbitration, visited the
plant here and said an effort would
be made to bring the two sides to-
gether. He will talk to the company
agents and strike leaders this afternoon.
All sides of the big plant were
thronged by the strikers 'and their

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