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Workmen's advocate. (New Haven, Conn.) 1883-1891, February 21, 1891, Image 1

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J Tnf LiobaidTEly
JkucntU Seat, 8
gcn Soth, .Saturday, Fcbvnavy 21, 1891
xUt 3 (EettU
I '
mWA f' with the barbarous
Organized Labor Aroused lmiiieiis
Mass Meetings at Cooper 1'nioii
and Everett Hall Sweaters Have
Sown the Wind and Will Heap
t he Windstorm.
An immense meeting of the clothing
trades was held last Saturday, Feb.
14, at the Cooper Union. The hull,
the platform and the lobbies were
packed to suffocation and more peo
ple than had been able to enter the
building could gain no admittance.
In spite of the enormous pressure exert
ed by the outsiders upon the insiders the
vast assemblage was good-natured and
orderly. The small force of police in
attendance concluded that it was best
to let well enough alone and created no
The occasion of this great gathering
was the lockout of the Buttonhole
Makers, Tailors and kindred organiza
tions by the contractors, or "sweaters."
Its object was to begin an energetic
campaign against the system with a
view to its complete eradication from
the trades involved. By thus rashly
provoking organized labor, the contrac
tors will lind that they have started a
movement which will not down untd
they have been annihilated as they
should be.
The speakers were Lucien Sanial, J.
Barondess, Mrs. Greie, Simon Gompers
and A. Gahan. Their utterances were
received with enthusiastic cheers and
the following resolutions were unani
mously adopted by a viva voce vote ihat
shook the building and startled the
passers-by in the adjoining streets:
Whereas, A certain class of parasites,
calling themselves contractors but right
ly knoivn abroad under the opprobrious
name of "sweaters", have reduced to
the utmost misery and degradation the
workers in the manufacture of clothing,
-compelling them to toil in filthy, ill
ventilnted and overcrowded tenements
from 14 to 18 hours per day at rates of
wages which yield only from rive to
eight dollars per week; and
Whkkeas, Those so-called contrac
tors or "sweaters", standing as they do
between capital snd labor, relieve the
capitalists of all responsibility as to the
treatment of the people who by their
labor and abstinence make them
wealthy, and thus act in our present
competitive system of production a more
ignominious part than was ever acted
under previous social systems by the
most brutal slavp-driver; therefore be it
Resolved, 1 That the "sweating sys
tem'' is a disgrace to modern civilization
and must be wiped out;
2 That we, working people of New
York, in mass meeting assembled, pledge
our utmost support to the toilers en
gaged in the clothing industry in all
flieir present and future struggles
against the contractors, with a view to
the complete annihilation of tho?e vam
pires; 3 That we demand of the Legislature
a btrict law forbidding all factory work
in tenement houses, as productive of
pestilence, physical and moral.
4 That until such a law is enacted
we demand of the Board of Health a
thorough inspection, every three months,
of all tenements where such work is car
ried on.
5 That, in the name of humanity and
justice we call upon all good citizens
and upon the press throughout the coun
try, regardless of party politics or eco
nomic opinions, to assist us in stamp
ing out this barbarous system, through
which thousands of men, women and
children are annually sent to a prema
ture grave.
On the following day another crowded
meeting of the same trades was held at
Everett Hall and was addressed by other
speakers, including Alexander Jonas.
As may be seen in our report of the
C. L. F. -elsewhere, the organized labor
of this city has taken in hand the cause
of these trades and will give them all
the aid in its power.
The Sweating System.
For the purpose of ascertaining as
exactly as possible the conditions of the
tailoring trade, the earnings of workers,
and the profits of contractors under the
"sweating system", the editor of the
Workmen's Advocaie interviewed an
educated, well informed ami highly in
telligent button hole maker, who lias
worked in this city for the past twenty
years, and the following statement was
obtained from him.
It is assumed by contractors that a
week's work of an operator is 78 summer
sack coats. In fact, however, by begin
ning work at 5 a. m. and working stea
dily until 10 p. m., (with intervals of
only 30 minutes each for dinner ami
supper), an operator can only make (15
coats, for which he receiver $15, This
requires also the work of a baster, who
cannot baste mure than the operator
makes, and receives $13. 33 for hasting
(15 coats. Again, it requires a finisher,
who is said to receive $9 per week for
finishing 78 coats, but who actually
loses one day through the inabi
lity of the operator to turn out
more than 05 coats, and therefore earns
only 7.50 per week. Lastly, these 05
coats require 200 button holes, which are
paiil at the rate of 75 cents per 100, or a
total of 1.95. We must add $3 for
sewing buttons, busheling, and other
minor work.
"We may now find the actual cost of
those 05 coats, as follows :
Hn er
St-wiujf buttons, Ac
Total, Waves.
Hunt of one machine
t oul ami gas. . .
. IX :
. T..VI
. 1 ifi
. 81X1
Total cost.
... ' ?4.1H
"For these 05 coats the contractor,
or "sweater," receives at the rate of 12
shillings per coat 07.50, and therefore
makes a net prolit of 49.32 per week on
the work of one machine and of a num
ber of people whose total earnings on
the said coats are 45.78. .
"Mny of the contractors have live,
six and seven machines running on this
plan for about eight months of the year,
during which the season lasts. Their
business requires a total investment of
one month rent, in advance, of the shop
in which the work is done, and 15 in
lumber to fix up that shop. They can
hire Singer machines or pay for them
by monthly installments. That they get
rich while their 'hands' remain in the
most abject misery, goes without saying.
A certain Goldstein, for instance, has
amassed 75,000, all squeezed out of his
overworked and underfed workers."
Hume Rule, "Pure and .Simple," DUous
eil by Socialist Speakers Without
Socialism, It Means the Kule of Irish
I'arnierg, Publicans, Clergymen and
Party Politicians over Labor and at
it Expense Ireland Needs What Kng
land and Scottland Need, and Ihat is
They have a Socialist Union in Dublin
and it is doing good work. At its weekly
meeting on January Mr. King lectured
on "Home Kule as a Social Panacea."
He thought that though it was just that
Ireland should struggle for Home Kule,
and that under it some of the present
suffering would disappear, yet the same
class tyianny would continue, the mas
ses would still be coerced into bondage
and it would only alleviate the sufferings
of a few and place them in the ranks of
the classes, leaving the great body of the
people groaning under the same servi
tude as before. England enjoyed Home
Kule, yet every twentieth person was a
pauper. He concluded by stating that
the nearer a nation progressed towards
Socialism the greater was the happiness
of the people.
Mr. J, C. Collier said that the Irish
people were only flying from the evils
they knew to those they knew not of.
Mr. O'Gorman contended that Home
Kule, pure and simple, meant the rule
of the farmer, the publican, the clergy
man, and the party politician; each of
these classes looked at Home Kule from
their own point of view. Tbe farmer
hoped to be able to get absolute posses
sion of the land, and then ignore the
claims of labor with the assistance of the
other classes he had just mentioned,
who, he said, were the most conserva
tive classes in the community and would
draw the people after them. The publi
can would be a strong factor in a home
parliament. The clergy, who as a rule,
sprung from the classes and imbibed
class prejudices from their youth up
wards, would alsoibe enemies of pro
gress. Mr. Fitzpatrick thought until the
power of the priests was broken, it
would be dangeious to introduce Home
Kule into Ireland. They were always
the upholders of tyranny, and the ene
mies of progress.
On the 22 1 of January a lecture on the
"Obstacles to Progress' was delivered
by J. C. Burn, The discussions of this
society are attracting widespread atten
Australia and Europe Joining Hands
John Fitzgerald, v;io was sent to
Europe by the labor organizations of
Australia for the purpose of studying
the conditions of the movement in the
old world, and establishing relations 1
tween the organized labor of the two
continent, is now in Germany, where
he received a hearty welcome. He will
next go to trance.
An Emphatic Protest against the Em
ployment of Scabs Thousands of
Hungry Men (Jetting Desperate
Italian Laborers Driveu away by
an Angry Mob.
The Directors of the World's Fair were
denounced in unmeasured terms at the
last meeting of the Trades and Lalnir
Assembly for violating their assurances
that union labor would be given the pre
ference in World's Fair work. Presi
dent James O'Connell offered the follow
ing :
Whekkas, When it was first proposed
to hold a World's Columbian Exposition
in Chicago organized labor was appealed
to by the promoters of that institution to
assist in securing legislation and other
influence in favor of Chicago, and
Whekkas, The members of the various
trades unions and labor organizations of
Chicago have subscribed liberally to the
stock of said Exposition, and
Whereas, Implied inducements were
held out by tbe promoters of said Expo
sition to the working people of Chicago
that in all work done on the buildmirs of
said Exposition union labor should be
recognized and have a preference over
scab labor, and
Whereas, The present directory of
said Exposition indicates an intention of
refusing to recognize union labor, but
threatens to employ indiscriminately
mm union labor, thereby Hooding the
labor mark t of Cnioago, with the ulti
mate design of destroying the trades
unions. Therefore be it
Resolved, That we, as union men, pro
test against this treacherous action of the
directors of the World's Columbian Ex
position, ard nnV". immodiuri wtion la
taken by that body to redeem its implied
pledgee given in regard to union labor
that we shall deem it our duty to oppose
in every way any further legislation.
either municipal, State or National, in
tavor ot said World s Columbian Exposi
tion ; and we hereby recommend all
workingmen who have subscribed for
said stock to decline to pay any further
assessments until proper assurances are
given by the directors that said implied
pledges win ne Kept. And be it further
Resolved, Ihat unless satisfactory as
surances are given by the directors
that their indicated action will be
changed, we shall deem it our duty to
ask the co-operation of every body of
organized labor throughout the country
to assist us in making our protest em
phatic. In an instant a dozen men were on the
floor, but Mr, Morgan, being recognized
by the Chairman, spoke at some length
in favor of the resolution. He accused
Robert Nelson of not doing bis duty to
Organized Labor, whose vote it was
that elected In in a member of the Hoard
of Directors, in not taking a determined
stand against the employment of scabs.
nut not only had Mr. Nelson failed to do
what he had promised but when the
first meeting was held and preliminary
steps taken to secure the Word's Fair in
Chicago the promoters of the enterprise
had asked for the assistance of the trades
unions and had pledged themselves then
to recognize Organized Labor.
Mr. O'Connel said that committees had
been appointed by the Central Union,
Carpenters' Council, and Builders, to
take steps in this matter and he moved
that a committee of three lie appointed
to act in conjunction with the other
committees. P. J. Minniter, T. J. Mor
gan, and James Mankin were appointed.
At the regular meeting of the Knights
of Lalor held on the same day, John
Wolful, Harry Canevin, and Charles
Hank were appointed a committee of
three to act in conjunction with com
mittees of other labor organizations to
wait upon the Mayor and Director
General of tbe World's Fair, and requeii
them to issue a proclamation to the
public as follows :
Whereas, The labor market of Chi
cago is overcrowded and people are
actually starving in the streets : and
Whekeas, The impression has goiten
abroad that work has begun on the
World's Fair buildings and grounds ami
that work is plenty and help scarce ; we
therefore desire to correct the impres
sion and to state most jiositively that
there are more men here now in all de
partments of trade than can possibly
find employment. We feel that a know
ledge of this state of affairs will prevent
many from leaving their homes to find
work in this city, only to increase the
army of destitute ones whose presence
on our streets we deplore.
On the 12th inst. all the joint com
mittees met together. Theorganizations
represented were tlie Trade and Labor
Assembly, the Central Labor Union, the
Building Trades' Council, the Knights of
Labor, the United Carpenters' Council,
and the Bricklayers. The resolutions
passed on the previous Sunday by the
Trade and Labor Assembly were read
and a three hours' discussion ensued,
Some advocated that in case their
demand le refused the Fair be an
tagonized in every way in preventing
exhibitors from sending goods and in
preventing attendance at the Fair. It
was finally decided to make an equitable
request, wait until an investigation
could be made and an answer returned
and considered carefully by all the sub
ordinate bodies, so as to obtain a full
sentiment of all union men, then decide
on what action was liest. A powerful
appeal was made by a Trades Assembly
delegate on the line of making a clear
ens? of the justice of their demands be
fore any action for or against the Fair
was taken, This turned the tide, and a
committee of three was appointed to
select committeemen to present the
demands to the World's Fair Managers.
The committee includes P. J, Milliter,
Trade and Labor Assembly ; ( J. E.
Carter, Plasterers' Union ; A. W, Simp
son, United Carpenters' Council ; T. J.
Morgan, Trade and Labor Assembly ; J.
G. Ogden, Knights of Labor ; ami J. M.
Ballou, President Cornicemakers' Union.
P. J. Miniler was selected to call on the
Fair managers and ascertain at what
time the committee would be given an
audience and then call the committee
together for a meeting with the Fair re
presentatives. The demands they will
make will bo for the employment of
union and home labor.
The sentiment, in case the reply is un
favorable, was unanimously on the side
of taking a decided stand, for it is con
sidered by both radicals and con
servatives that after all that union men
have done for the Fair if it is ignored in
the construction it will be a death-blow
to organized labor.
J'it it wsa at the meetinir of the
Uuited Carpenter' Council held on the
same day with closed doors that the
ignoring of union labor on World's Fair
work was most signilicently denounced.
The attendance there included delegates
from every one of the twenty-seven
subordinate unions in the city. Mem
bers were present from Pullman, Austin,
and every portion of the city. The
unions were called by number. All
delegates without exception advised
making a desperate fight on the Fair un
less union labor were recognized.
Last Friday an angry mob of un
employed laliorers, armed with sticks
and determined looking, appeared on
the Jackson park site of the Fair. The
news of their coining had spread among
the Italians employedthere at $1.2.') per
day and the latter had wisely vanished.
There was not a park policeman in
sight. The impression is that if the
Italians return and police protection is
afforded thiim, there will be bloodshed.
Nothing, of course, would better please
the World's Fair directors in particular
and the Chicago capitalists in general
than a big riot, provided it could be
quelled with terrible slaughter. Presi
dent Gage, therefore, immediately called
upon Mayor Cregier for a large police
force. To the utter astonishment and
discomfiture of scab employers the
Mayor, after holding a consultation with
the Corporation Counsel, answered that
he could not interfere; that if the report
was true that tbe workmen employed on
World's Fair work were aliens they
were not entitled to police protec
tion, as under an act passed by the
State Legislature in lNfjy, it is made un
lawful for any board, commission, offi
cer or contractor acting for or under
any municipality to employ aliens. This
unexpected action of Mayor Cregier was
evidently induced by the fear that tbe
independent political movement started
by the Socialists of Chicago might re
ceive considerab'e impetus from any
open connivance of the municipal autho
rities with the world's Fair directors in
the capitalistic scheme to destroy organ
ized labor. We trust that our fellow
wage-slaves of that city will keep this in
view, recognize hat this movement has
already done for them and vote the so
cialist ticket at the next election.
Chicago Socialists.
A grand mass-meeting of the Chicago
Socialists will I held at Aurora Turner
Hall, corner Milwaukee Ave. and Huron
street, on Sunday, February 22, at two
o'clock p. m. Addresses will be made
in English, German, and Scandinavian.
A. Caban will deliver a lecture before
the American Section of Boston next
Sunday, Feb. 22. Subject: "Man's
struggle for Life."
The receipt of a sample copy of this
paper is an invitation to subscribe,
TION. Two More Talons Added to the Roll
Many Conflicts between Capital
and Labor Standing by the Tai
lors in their Struggle Tor the
Abolition of the Sweating Sys
temSailors Demanding their
Rights-ltefnrp You Buy a Singer
Sewing Much! no, Ask Hip Agent
for his I'n Ion Card.
A delegate of Cigarmakers' Union No.
110 waa in the chair at the largely at
tended meeting of the C. L. F. last Sun
day, while a delegate of the Piano
Varuishers was vice chairman.
Credentials were received from two
new unions, the International Amal
gamated Sailors and Firemen and the
Jewish Tinsmiths' Union. A change of
delegates was reported from Paperhan
gers No. 1S2, Bakers' Union No. 1)3, and
United Coat Operators and Firemen's
Union No. 1. They were all admitted.
The former C. L. U, of Hudson Co.,
N. J., informed the body that it had
changed its name and would now be
known as tbe Hudson Co'. Central Labor
Federation. It has elected three delega
tes to the General Executive Board of
the United Federations,
Cabinetmaker's No. 7 invited the body
to attend its ball on Feb. 21, at the
Maennerchor Hall.
Baker's No. 0;i also sent complimentary
tickets for ita ball at Wendell's Assembly
lUxims, as did the uk Kibbou Weavers'
Progressive Union for its ball on Feb,
The General Council of Laborers voted
$5 for the Piano Varuishers and $5 for
the Alabama miners.
The United Brotherhood of Tailors
gave a lenghty report of the present,
light against the contractors. A con
spiracy existed between the manufactu
rers and contractors to annihilate the
journeymen's union. The fueling of
solidarity among the men was strong and
a number of contractors had nlready
capitulated. The light, however, wan a
hot one and all possible assistance that
organized labor could now render would
be welcome. A delegate of the Socialist
Labor party said that it was of the ut
most importance to light the contract
system here and now and all the power
of the C. L. F. should be brought to
bear upon this struggle with a view to
tbe question involved. A committee of
ten was then appointed to devise imme
diate means fur the utmost support of
the locked-out men. All organizations
will be asked to help the tailors finan
cially as well as morally.
A delegate of the Architectural Iron
Workers then stated that, for strategical
reasons, they had decided to withdraw
from the C. L. F. They would remain
progressively independent and not amal
gamate with the K. of L. Ilousesmiths
as rumorod. Circumstances had forced
them in a position where they were
unable to combat the whole K. of L.
Building Trades. Some delegates ob
served that when the C. L. F, was reor
ganized this union was given the privi
lege to retain its delegates in the C. L. U.
for just the same reaaons. In tbe con
tinued attack of the K. of L. it should
have exhausted the power of its affilia
tions with both the C. L. F. and the
American Federation of Iabor. It
hoisted tbe white flag when the tirst gun
challenged its courage.
Tbe Advance Association of Bookbind
ers rersirted that three of its members
were discharged in Vernon's blank book
factory, North 10th street, Brooklyn,
because they declined to renounce tbe
union. Frank Uarth had leen the insti
gator of this nefarious conspiracy, the
same lofty individual who had received
a majority of votes in the opularity
contest introduced by a sensational New
York paper. This Harth forced bis work
people to buy copies of the said paper
ari l to vote for him. Steps bad been
taken to bring Mr. Harth to his senses.
A large number of memU'rs had been
Tbe Socialist Liedertafel notified the
body that it had nothing to do with the
bill of $0.01 presented last Sunday
for expenses incurred at the Minira' be
nefit perfo mance.
The Miners Relief Committee reported
that the receipts of the late benefit were
I'lIW.tls, tke expenses $331.61 and the
net balance $ 2(17.25.
The "Arbeiter Buebne" of Brooklyn
sent a committee which stated that they
as a Iwdy knew nothing of the bill of
jfSO.01. They would institute a strict
investigation and the guilty parties
would be summarily dealt with. They
bad already boycotted the costumer,
whose charges were exorbitant.
Beer Drivers' Union No. 1 remitted
$5.50 for the Alabama Miners.
Barbers' Union No. 1 reported the
shop of Chus. Kraus, 31th street and 9th
-1X-. ns a scan piaco ami also r red.
Umber's shop, Florence Building, 1st
street and 2d Ave. Organized Labor
should boycott both.
Eccentric Engineers No. i! reported
having changed their name to New York
United Engineers' Union No. 1, and
that they would meet at 314 East 03d
Tbe Cloakmakers reported that only
30 contractors were still lighting them,
and that the lock-out was practically
Members of Organized Labor are urged
to always ask for the union card of sa
lesmen and collectors of conger's sewing
machines. The card must be that of the
Singer Mutual It. and P. Association.
It was resolved not to allow unions
hereafter to collect expenses from bosses
upon the settlement of a strike, etc.
The Vestmakers' Union refused to per
form work for contractor H. Jacob, 00
Canal st., so as to aid the Tailors. Thirty
of their members stopped work at con
tractors Kraemer Bros., because scab
Leihesdorf furnished the buttonholes.
The Sailors and Firemen reported that
their North River branch had 750 mem
bers, 150 of whom were employed on
the Morgan line of steamers. This
company had resolved to get rid of Its
union men by requiring them to do work
which they did not require from the
scabs they had engaged. From the'
steamers Elmar, Eldorado and El Hoi
their men had been dismissed and scabs
engaged to fill their places. These were
taken from Hoboken through the instru
mentality of two boarding house keepers,
N. Smith of 187 Hlonniflnld PtrA, .
Ferd. Cassens, 121 Park Ave., In that
city. On request the C. L. F. of Hudson
County will be notified of this action.
A special committee was appointed to
help the sailors in their present struggle.
The Children's Jacket-makers will hold
a mass-meeuiig on Feb. 21, at 85 East
4 th street, and the Brass-workers one
on the same day at 221 and 233 East 83rd
Typographia No. 7 reported that Fred.
Schaeri s East Side Union Printing Co.,
was no longer n union otllce, having
violated their contract with the union.
On recommendation of the Arbitration
Committee a boycott was placed upon
the baker boss Adler, at 1.401 Second
Ave., for obstinately refusing to employ
union men.
The Plush cap makers have two strikes
on hand against linns that refuse to em
ploy union men.
The meeting adjourned at 7.30 p. ni.
after a very busy session.
Tli Orgnnlnd I,nlor of France, MwlUer
IhimI, (inrmiiiiy, Aiintrla, Hungary,
Spain, 1'orliiKnI and Itiily Preparing
fur tin, 1st, of May.
The eight-hour movement is assuming
formidable proportions on tbe European
In the French capital a joint meetinir
of the delegates to the Congresses of
Lille, Calais and Paris wan held on the
3rd inst., to take measures looking to
the great manifestation of the 1st of
May. An appeal was issued calling
upon every labor organization in France
to send delegates to a general meeting
to be held In Paris this week, and at
which the final arrangements will be
In Switzerland a Congress of the La
bor Syndical Chambers was held at
Zurich, with 175 delegates present. The
following resolution was adopted : "The
organized proletariat of Switzerland
declares the 1st of May a labor holiday.
Workingmen in every shop and factory
shall duly notify their employers to this
effect. The morning of that day shall
be devoted to meetings and the evening
to festivals."
In Germany, Austria, Hungary, Spain,
Portugal ami Italy, preparations are
iieing made in accordance with resolu
tions passed by the various National Con
gresses. Another Socialist Congress is
to be held soon in Italy.
A Russian Section S. L. V. Formed
in Hartford.
A Russian Section of the S. L. P. was
formed on Sunday, Feb. 15, iu this city
with a memliership of 20 and we expect
that it w ill increase to 30 before the next
The sectijn is composed of active,
energetic men, and we hope to accomp
lish much as soon as we settle down.
Correspondence solicited.
Joseph G. Raboovitch, Bec'y
15 Capitol Ave., Hartford, Conn.
1 1

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