Volume 1, Issue 3

Volume 1, Issue 3, Page 1

(English Only) (Newspaper Headline and Adverts not included)

Published: 6/1/1910


Our Next Move in the Cloak and Skirt Trade of New York.

There is no trade in this world in which the worker is compelled to wage so fierce and relentless a struggle for the few dollars he earns as in the cloak and skirt trade. In other trades, whether the system in vogue is piece work or day work, the employee has a more or less definite idea of a reward for his toil and can anticipate his earnings. But in our trade the conditions are altogether different. The cloak maker has to fight for his life every day of the week, contesting every inch of the ground. Not only does he suffer from the arduous and unremitting nature of the work itself, but has to wage a daily, nay hourly warfare, now with the boss or designer about prices, which are constantly changing, and now with the foreman about the class of work allotted him. This everlasting strife often makes the cloak maker despair of the future; and the moment he gives up the battle, he is apt to sink into a lower and more hopeless condition. On joining this organization, the individual cloak maker becomes conscious of his strength, and is able to strike a better bargain with the employer, but far from this causing the struggle to subside it becomes more acute and accentuated. So that, whether he fights his way single handed, or with the aid of his union, the continual disputes must sooner or later lead to his utter exhaustion. This explains why cloak makers are badly organized, and why the union is not as strong as it might **- Even the knowledge that his organization enables him more than those in other trades to wrest from the employer an increase of wages, is powerless to overcome his weariness and disappointments. If we were to study the history of the Cloak Makers’ Union and inquire closely into the causes of the frequent strikes prevailing during the twenty odd years of its existence, the reason why it is ever necessary to start afresh will become quite clear, namely: That never has a battle been fought for something definite and tangible, for something calculated to give the employee a substantial and lasting benefit. In one instance, as happened in the case of Indick and Burk, a strike was called to secure the dismissal of an examiner or foreman and ended in disaster to the union. In another a lockout was protracted for sixteen weeks because the union sought to deprive the employer of the right to discharge an employee — a demand which is unheard of in the biggest and best organized American or English unions and is not insisted on even in “label” shops. How much vital force was dissipated, how many years have members languished in prison for Trade Agreements which the bosses have broken at the first opportunity. The more stringent the agreement the greater the temptation to break it How enormous was the cost in money and energy to obtain security notes from the bosses? And when we succeeded in obtaining them what was the net result to us? How many notes did we collect from the bosses for breaking these agreements? We fought for the recognition by the boss of the union without perceiving the fact that where the employees themselves recognize the union, and are loyal to the organization, there the recognition of the union by the employer must follow as a matter of course; and where the employees are determined to have a closed shop and refuse to work alongside of non-union men. there is no necessity to demand of the boss to act as the organizer, for the union. Even where we fought for and won an increase, say of 25 per cent, on a certain garment, the advantage •so gained was more apparent than real for the very next day we must needs renew the conflict on a new garment, with a new shape, style or design. Thus, it becomes clear why we have ever been compelled to begin anew; why the result of all our battles was nil; why, despite the fact that in this trade more than in any other it is possible for the organized employee to raise the prices, our position has not improved and our forces are scattered, divided and demoralized. And now, after years of defeat demoralization, pessimism and stagnation a new wave of enthusiasm for organization has arisen. The masses of cloak and skirt makers are all eager for the strength which only the union can give them. This is not surprising, in view of the tendency for the cost of living to rise higher and for earnings to sink lower. And the question arises: What is to prevent this constant lowering of wages, and what is to be done to raise the trade to that degree which should assure to the employees the possibility of earning a decent livelihood? “A Strike, a General Striker That is the universal reply. All those who come in contact with the mass of employees in the cloak and skirt trade feel instinctively that this is inevitable. It is as possible to escape such a conflict as it was possible to escape it in the case of the Shirt Waist Makers. There, the leaders and officers, though originally opposed to strike, were finally compelled to declare it against their wish. But what is to be the salient demand, the dominant issue of the strike? The masses desire an improvement in their condition. But how is this desire to be interpreted? What form should it assume to render the outcome satisfactory? Shall we again present those ancient demands which experience ha« shown to be useless and mistaken fruits of victory? ‘Shall we learn nothing from past failures? Ought we not to endeavor to avoid the pitfalls of former years? Yes, the inevitable forthcoming conflict must find us prepared to achieve results more definite and tangible, results which should prove lasting and beneficial. We must prepare to fight for a Normal Right Hours Day, with no home work and no more seven days work a week. As long as our day’s work remains indefinite and unlimited, so long will our earnings remain precarious and uncertain; as long as we are content to work any number of hours per day, so long will the employee never be in a position to know the precise amount of his earnings, or the exact price he is to obtain for a given garment. If, on the other band, the. hours are limited to eight per day the jacket operator or tailor will know that he ought to earn at least $40c a day, or 50c an hour. This will determine the exact price of the garment. “But Is this possible?” some people will ask who are themselves ultra-revolutionists, and believe that three or four hours’ work a day is sufficient. “Will immigrant tailors, cloak and skirt makers be content to work eight hours a day only?” “Impossibilities do not exist,” says a Russian proverb. If it was possible to introduce an eight hours working day for the bituminous coal miners, who are composed of the lowest and most ignorant strata of the various European populations, it is also possible to introduce It in our trade, the work people of which are much better educated and intelligent. True, the Jewish workers were always taught to strike not for definite results, but rather with the object *of experimenting in revolt and revolution, in other words, to fight for the mere glory of the battle. They have however, since opened their eyes to the folly of this nonsensical proposition. As yet. it is not too late to revise our methods of warfare. The time has now arrived to launch an agitation among the employees for a normal eight hours working day. They must be taught to see in this their salvation. We are convinced that the masses of employees will before long perceive this in their mind and heart. There is indeed, no solution more important, or more calculated to improve the deplorable condition of the trade. We feel sure that on submitting to the masses so simple a proposition as this, and so clear and truthful as to make every one understand its meaning, we shall carry them with us and obtain “their confidence and loyalty. There is no mistaking the point, and there is no possibility of their being misled. The masses must be made to understand that their present precarious and fluctuating earnings are the result of their unlimited working hours. Long hours means small pay and short seasons. Experience proves that every movement in which the issue has been simple, clear and easily understood by the masses has ultimately been crowned with success. We are often told that a system of piecework precludes the possibility of a normal working day. This is sheer nonsense. The strongest unions have a system of piece work. The bottle blowers work by the piece six hours a day. The cigarmakers are piece workers, and for the last thirty years have worked eight hours a day. The coal miners work by the piece eight hours a day, even though the price per ton varies in every mine. This is also true of the hat makers, and according to the investigations of Sidney Webb, the majority of the English unions are piece workers. The demand for an eight hours day will, in our case, be a novel and revolutionary demand. But it is none the less practical, and when the novel, the revolutionary and the practical are combined victory is certain. Let us therefore adopt the eight hours working day as the solution of a long standing problem. We have no other solution and must discard all old fashioned demands. Let us make this our watchword, our article of belief, our prayer. It will inspire the masses and urge them on to victory. The cutters have now rejoined our International Union and are equally prepared to put forward this demand. They control three fourths of the cloak trade. Ranged with them in battle array our victory will be assured. Long live the eight hours working day.  -J. A. DYCHE.


What Are Living Wage. A living wage ought to be sufficient to secure for every able-bodied, right minded, sober and industrious working man: Enough to keep not only himself, but also a family, in a healthy state of mind and body. 2. Enough to permit all his children to take advantage of the public school system. 3. Enough to enable him to acquire a home of his own. 4 Enough to permit him to accumulate a bank account sufficient to furnish some security against sickness and old age. Is there any one prepared to say any working man. no matter how humble his work may be, ought to be content with less? Can we boast of our American freedom if we know that there are not only a few men, but millions of them, whose wage is so meager that it is an absolute impossibility for them to have a home or educate a family? — The Electrical Worker.


Every man, union or non-union, who is now at work is knowingly or unknowingly benefited by the union movement, past and present, for there is not a single industry in civilized existence where wages and conditions are not better because organized labor has existed and fought than they would have been if union had existed. “So the man who remains aloof is, nevertheless indebted to the anion struggles that have taken place for some portion of the wages he receives. “And the ‘independent union’ it also indebted to the past and consequent present standing of organised labor in general for any success it may achieve or any recognition it may gain. “The division of labor into unions, independent unions and ‘independent’ workmen is another element of postponement of the day when labor wrongs may be righted.”—Editor Blaine Shoe Workers’ Journal


“Attacked and denounced as scarcely any other institution ever has been, the unions Have thriven and grown in the face of opposition. This healthy vitality has been due to the fact that they were a genuine product of social needs —indispensable as a protest and a struggle against the abuses of industrial government and inevitable as a consequence of that consciousness of strength inspired by the concentration of numbers under the new conditions of industry. They have been, as is now admitted by almost all candid minds, instruments of progress. Not to speak of the material advantages they have gained for working men, they have developed powerful sympathies among’ them, and taught them the lesson of self-sacrifice in the interest of their brethren, and, still, more, of their successors. They have infused a new spirit of independence and self-respect. They have brought some of the best men to the front, and given them the ascendancy due to their personal qualities and desirable in the interests of society.”—John K. Ingram, LL.D.


“For ten years,” said Potter Palmer, of Chicago, “I made as desperate a fight against organized labor as was ever made by mortal man .It cost me considerably more than a million dollars to learn that there is no labor so skilled, so intelligent, so faithful, as that which is governed by an organization whose officials are well balanced, level-headed men. I now employ none but organized labor, and never have the least trouble, each believe that the one has no right to oppress the other.”— The Potters’ Herald.


What influence first demanded and then secured the Australian ballot? The trade unions. What influence has done more to eradicate the trade unionist. Who forced legislation safeguarding life and limb in mills, mines and factories? The trade unions. What barrier stands between the greed of conscienceless employers and the weak and helpless toilers? The trade unions. Who fa it that practices more than he preaches the gospel of mutual helpfulness, brotherhood, love and kindness? The trade unions. Who forced the eight hour work day which permits a breadwinner to have a few waking hours to devote to reservation and communion with his wife and babies?’ The* trade union. Who takes the child from the null and mine, and put* him into school and receive the training that will make him a useful and patriotic citizen? The trade unions. Who bears the burden of expense to secure and maintain these better conditions, which are enjoyed by all workers alike? The trade unions in every good work that tends toward the uplift of humanity, the tare and protection of the weak and the help the cultivation of patriotism and gain citizenship, the trade union* lake front rank. —Musical Instrument Workers’ Journal


“Our court, our judges and our whole machinery of law are for property a good deal more than for the manhood side of things. Corporations too often count for more with those whose business it is to make and minister our laws than human souls. Man is outweighed by dollars. People are outweighed by possessions.”—Dr. K.F. Coyle.


“Every grain of freedom is more precious than radium, and the nation that throws it away is the most wanton of prodigals.”—David Lloyd George.


The question has often been asked, “What is a scab?” A scab is to the trade what a traitor is to his country, and though both may be useful in troublesome times, they are detested by him when peace returns; so when help is needed a scab is the last to contribute assistance and the first to grasp a benefit he never labored to procure. He carta only for himself. He sees not beyond the extent of a day, and for a momentary approbation he would betray friends, family and country. In short, he is a traitor on a small scale, who first sells the journeymen, and is himself afterward sold in his turn by his employer, until at last he is despised by both and deserted by all. He is an enemy to himself, to the present age and to posterity. —Amalgamated Journal


King Edward VII was a firm believer in the union labor. When he was yet to eradicate the evil of child labor? When he was yet the Prince of Wales he sympathized with the cause of unionism. Since he has became King he has allowed no work to be performed for his household this not done by union labor, and he has informed the Lord Chamberlain if any case was brought to his notice where any firm serving the royal household had declined to recognize trade unionism and refused to pay the union scale, the Lord Chamberlain should take step at one to so or transfer the royal household business to firms that are favorable to union labor. If this is what is called “monarch government,” give us a little “monarchy” in the United States. – Potters’ Herald.


Women Now in All Occupations. They even act as pilots, baggage men, brakemen, conductors, hack drivers, carpenters and blacksmiths. “Women at work in the United States” is the subject of one of the reports of the Census Bureau, based on the returns of 1900. We shall soon have another census report and it will be interesting to compare it with this one. Before 1900 in Continental United States which excludes Alaska, Hawaii and other outlying possessions, the total number of women 16 years of age and more was 23,485,559 while those at work numbered 4,833,630. Most of the women at work were young, 68.4 per cent, being under 35 years of age, 44.2 per cent, under 25 and 25.6 per cent, had not reached the age of 21; 15.9 per cent were married, 17.7 percent were widows and 1.3 per cent, were divorced. The number of divorced women returned by the census, the report says, is probably deficient, because the fact of divorce is not always admitted. But it is significant that of the number reported divorced 55.3 per cent, were supporting themselves wholly or in part. The total number of women at work includes 1,771,966 native white women whose parents also were natives, 1,090,744 native white women one or both of whose parent: were immigrants, 840,011 white women, who were themselves immigrants, 1,119,621 negro women and 11,288 Indian and Mongolian women. The number of women at work more than doubled in the twenty years from 1880 to 1900, and there was a noticeable increase of breadwinners among married women in all but 9 of the 303 occupations in which bread-winners of the country were engaged. There returns showed among other things that 5 females were employed as pilots on steam railroads 10 were employed as baggagemen, 31 as brakemen, 7 as conductors, 45 as engine drivers and firemen and 2 watchmen, yardman and flagman, 43 were carriage and hach drivers, 6 were reported as ship carpenters, and 2 as roofers and slaters. 185 were returned as blacksmiths. and 508 as machinists; 8 were boilermakers, 31 were charcoal, coke and lime burners, and 11 were well borers. Two women were reported as “motormen.” Almost one-fourth of the total number of women at work were servants. 456,405 were farm laborers, 96.8 per cent, of whom were from the Southern States, and 361,804 were negresses. Then were 338,144 dressmakers, 328,925 teachers, 328,935 laundresses. 307. 706 farmers, 231,458 textile mill operatives and 146,929 housekeepers and stewardesses.


The Woman’s Trade Union League, although only six years old. already has branches in seven States, with headquarters in Chicago, Boston, New York, Milwaukee. St. Louis, Cleveland and San Francisco. A new branch ha« just been organized in Philadelphia. The lack of direct political influence constitutes a powerful reason why women’s wages have been kept at a minimum.—Carroll D. Wright, exCommisoner of Labor. In Australia, where women vote the child of a poor widowed mother, instead of being taken from her and placed in an institution, is boarded with its mother at the expense of the State. The number of boys in the high schools of the country in 1905-06 was 305.308; of girls, 417.384. Yet there are those who say “that the ballot for women would but increase the ignorant vote.” According to an Ohio report for 1909, 6.920 women in the three largest cities earned $483 a week worked 57 1-2 hours and paid $2.44 for 1.060 persons depending on them for support. According to the last national statistics the average wage of the working woman is $272.04 a year A most excellent object-lesson as to the feasibility of carrying on business successfully under a system of regulated hours is to be had over the line in Michigan. The sister State has a 54-hour week for its women workers. It carried out in the department stores, whose managers adopt its provisions to the requirements of their customers by opening somewhat later than before, at 9 A.M.


The Results of Organisation.

One of the bulletins of the Bureau of Labor contains some interesting figures. A study is made of wages and the hours of labor, giving the average wages and hours of labor for 903 and 1904 by occupational and geographical divisions Where men and women work at the same, division of trade side by side the figures of .both arc given The paper cutters in the pulp mill- (male) work forty-eight hours a week at 22 cents an hour, while the women work fifty-nine hours at c, cents an hour—that is. the men work ten hours less for 13 cents more an hour, doing the same work. The packers in the tobacco. industry, taking the United States as a whole, work fifty-four hours a week, the men receiving an average wage of 50 cents an hour and tin women 12 cents. In the cotton factories of the North Atlantic States, where the operators arc organized, the weavers, men and women, work fifty-eight hours, and the men get 14 cents and the women 13. Again, among the silk ribbon weavers the conditions are more equal where the difference of one cent an hour is offset by a difference of two hours a week in the matter of work. The practical effects of organization are most clearly seen by these figures.


If you were to ask a cloak maker whether he was born to enjoy his life, or simply with the object of, finishing cloaks. I feel certain that he would lie puzzled how to answer the query. Could they really be in doubt that they were born to act like men? Yet, they appear as if they exist for the sole purpose of finishing cloaks. If any work people have even been brought down to a low degree and practically enslaved, they are the cloak finisher, they work in the factory to long as its door are open, and when its doors are closed, the finisher turns “bundle” bearer. He comes home and continues working, and if God has blessed him with a wife she too assists him in the work until that “bundle” has been disposed of. In the morning the cloak finisher again becomes a “bundle” bearer. Some finishers are. however, cleverer in their art. The “bundle” brought home is left for the manipulation by the wife or friends, while they are at work in the shop. Then there are those who possess yet greater ingenuity. Far from being contented with cloak finishing and “bundle” bearing they also become contractors. They, in their turn, employ several “hands,” and toil day and night. In the end they earn no more than were they to work normal hours, for they work at smaller prices. The cloak finishers also suffer most, not only at the hands of the boss and foreman, but also at the hands of the other employees. Time was, it is said, when as soon as the cloak finisher got hold of the “bundle” there was already money in his possession. This way a sufficient inducement to make« him run head over heels for those precious “bundles,” forgetting to ask for money in his hot haste, until it came to |>ass. when he added up the results of the week’s work “bundle” bearing and all. there was not enough to live off even in season, to say nothing of the slack season. The cloak finishers are so absorbed in their work that they have no time to think of their own life. During the last season cloak finishers were even scarcer than precious stones. Bosses offered as much as S5 for the mere procuration of a cloak finisher. Yet. those, at work were unable to make a decent living. This is also true of the present season. For men run hither and thither in search of finishers, and they cannot find as many as they require. Could the finishers realize their own value and unite they might easily bring about an improvement in their position; fewer hours and greater earnings, enough and to spare for the slack season. The Cloak and Skirt Makers Union has been making vigorous efforts to organize the cloak finishers. Many shop meetings were called with this object. The finishers, however, surrounded by their “bundles” and absorbed in their work, did not stir. But come now, dear finishers and let us reason together. What is the net result to you of all this hard toil? Does not your blood boil when you look at your pay for seven days a week and overtime? Do not you perceive that union is strength, and that being united in a strong union is the only way of securing a normal working day and earning as much in a day as you now can in a week? Cannot you profit by the example of the workers at other trades? Remember, that the only way to work and live like men is to form a strong union. MORRIS DEITCH.


In these days, we hear much of that best friend of the capitalist the non-union worker. life is pictured by college presidents, popular preachers and perfect lady philanthropists as a hero upholding the sacred American principle for individual liberty. Union workers who refuse to associate with him in “open shops ” are considered narrow and bigoted- Those who, during strikes, call him “scab ” and attempt to prevent him from taking the job of a striker, are condemned as inhuman tyrants. Let us try to explain to your remote fellow-citizens of the Upper Ten just why it is that this here of the press and public, is not regarded as a hero by us, the plain people. Here is an illustration, which we believe should prove sufficient. The scab who threatens established trade union standards in industrial relations takes the same position a s the “affinity,” who threatens established domestic relations. Marriage is a “closed shop,” maintained for the purposes of protecting women and children; but where are the preachers and professors who advocated the “open shop ” in domestic affairs? Where Are the philanthropists who uphold the “affinity” as a heroine standing for the sacred principle of individual liberty? Where is the wife who does not greet her rival with worse names than that of “scab”: This is a fair analogy, though few of the Upper Ten will admit it In shaping our own lives, we sacrifice abstract theories when confronted with present, practical needs and conditions; while in judging others, we build up Sunday school maxims and’ brand those who compromise, as sinful indeed. We pat ourselves on the back if we do the “best possible the circumstances,” but we point with scorn at our neighbor who does not exemplify in every act of his life the “eternal verities and harmonies.” ‘ Marriage is not ideal. To force two people, by law, to live together as husband and wife is not consistent with our theories of individual liberty; yet few of its argue for the abolition of the marriage laws, before we shall have devised some other safeguard for women and children. The closed shop is not ideal. But so long as the competitive system exists, and business is “a free fight for all and devil take the hindmost,” it is necessary to establish these practical trade union closed shops for the protection of the individual worker, who is helpless before the employer of labor. Under present circumstances, the non-union worker, as well as the light woman who breaks up a home, is not only an enemy to society— but also an enemy to his own best interests. Both are weakening the safeguards which have been devised to protect themselves, as well as others who need protection. Therefore, until we have established a more ideal social and economic system, it is well to continue to look with disfavor upon the “affinity’ and the “Scab.”


Under this stone lies old Bill Moon; The Devil got him none too soon. He robbed the rich and starved the poor: Satan should have had him long before. In sweet repose here lies Tom Horn; He cursed the day that he was born; Of no complaint he finally died; Everybody is perfectly satisfied. L. L. Ball.


After a thorough investigation of the expenses and income of the Ladies’ Waist-Makers’ Union, Local 25, for the time during which the general strike took place: considering all the circumstances under which the strike was called and conducted; there having been no preparation for such a big strike, the scanty office space, the lack of assistants to attend to the tens of thousands of workers and the rush of the first few weeks—we, who were ourselves present throughout the strike, herewith declare that errors were unavoidable, and that was the cause which made it possible that the expenditure should In: mere than the income. SH. HORWITZ, S. BADUCHIN. B. PUDIN, Investigating Committee. A. GOLDSTEIN. A. SILVER.: D. BOYARSKY. Executive Board Committee. New York, May 13, 1910.


After the Investigating Committee had completed their work, I, personally and through assistants, have examined the books and have found that the expenses during the strike have exceeded the income by $2,120.71, as may be seen from my financial report enclosed herewith. Were the figures reversed—were monies missing—the matter would be very serious. As the figures stand, they show that not having been prepared for a general strike, the leaders have lost their heads. It is to be hoped that with its new office system the Ladies’ Waist-Maker.” Union will never again have a similar experience. M. WINCHEWSKY New York, May 12, 1910.


Mr. Winchesky’s statement that ‘ union leaders lost their heads, show for he has not been made acquainted with the situation which the leaders had to’ face the first few days of this remarkable movement and which proved to ‘ a much greater affair than a general strike. From 10,000 to 20,000 girls more than the leaders expected and new preparations for, left their employee and rushed to the union headquarters join. Before an adequate staff of volant clerks (mostly members of the Worm’ Trade Union League) could be collect organized and trained to do this considerable sum of money was elected in initiation fees and turned over to Bro. Schindler, which has not been entered into the union books. Hence this excess of expenditure over the income.


“He says he courts the fullest investment ration possible. He has nothing whoever to fear.” “Actually, that so?” “Yes, and he’s hired three of the earnest lawyers in town to prove it.” Detroit Free Press.


The alarm clock struck 6 in the morning. Simon awoke and rubbed his eyeballs, and as the world of reality gradually replaced dreamed he stared at the clock and continually pressed his hand to his draw, habitual with him when in temporary embarrassment. Usually Simon jumps out of l>ed to stop the alarm from waking the little ones. That morning, however, he dreamily sat up in bed, muzzled and undecided. One thing he couldn’t quite recollect. Did he. before retiring last night, put the clock on to wake him. or not? The question was a serious one and naught with consequences. In reality it meant: Did he, last night decide to go to work or not? The alarm indicated an affirmative answer; hut by what process of reasoning did he arrive at such a conclusion? Slowly, after a strong centile effort, he at last recalled that he left the serious question that agitated him the previous evening in abeyance. For how could he, Simon, known for many years as an intelligent and loyal union man, hastily decide to turn a scab? The strong temptation which lured him to betray his fellow numbers was not easily to be sidetracked. Here was an offer of steady work and high wages—an opportunity which knocked at a man’s door only once in life. It was that that rendered him at variance with himself, and the only conclusion he could come to was to put the clock on as usual and posted his decision till the morning. Now that morning came he must needs decide one way or another. But, he found the situation unhanged. No new fact had arisen to turn the scale, and the time was quickly passing, “Shall I or shall I not go to work?” The question surged up in its mind with renewed intensity. I must get up,” he finally deed. “This is really a chance.” it does not altogether mean scabbing,” said the tempter within” “It is an offer of a foreman’s job permanent work and high pay easier and more comfortable, a nicer house uptown and better luck for the children. As for Bella, hasn’t she suffered enough all these years? And isn’t it my time to have a change?” “And the union?” said the still nail voice. “What will your comrades think!” said the tempter, “there is sure to be a hullabaloo at first, but it will blow over, no doubt. Soon after the strike you will try and make amends. You will show that you are a better man than they thought you. As a foreman you will treat your hands with consideration and good feeling, and your action will soon be forgotten.” “Hut to be a scab. Simon!” warned the still small voice. “Think of it! Are you quite ready to be remembered as Simon, the scab, who has ruined many families and broke up the union? Think of the time when you led the strike in the past, and picketed the shop, and declaimed against the bosses, and denounced the traitors. And now when everyone is prepared to suffer in the only hope that unable to find scabs the employers will have to give in—now, at this critical moment, a man like you is about to act the scab!” “You will lie a big fool,” urged the tempter, ‘to let slip an offer of an agreement, stipulating almost double the pay. Others will quickly seize it if you don’t. How can you hesitate? You want to throw away good fortune, as if it meant nothing to you in your present poverty? Poor stupid fool! When may you expect such an offer again?” Thus, urged on Simon got out of bed, but instead of dressing he remained in a sitting posture and again fell into a reverie. This was too much for Bella, who was early astir as usual; and while going about her work in the kitchen she threw occasional glances at her husband. He was in the habit of confiding in her and naturally she guessed his inner conflict. Bella belonged to the type of women who move within the routine of daily wants and therefore could not understand her husband’s prevarication. Simon was so preoccupied that he did not notice his wife approaching. Bella reminded him that breakfast was on the table, but as he did not stir, she thought it her duty to interfere: “What’s de matter wi’ you to-day Simon? It’s that biassed unyer that’s got in yer ‘ed. I’d like to know now vot de unyer ‘as dong fer’ ye. ‘Member last vinter ven ve ‘ad no bread?” This was a rude awakening. Simon listened intently, half wishing she would say something to bring him to a decision. But what she said seemed to him the veriest nonsense and he flared up: “What should the union do when there is no work?” But Bella failed to understand and pursued her argument: “Look ‘ere, Simon, you’re alvis bedderof fore y’ blong to de unyer. You ‘ad stiddy voik you ad. De pay vor small, dat’s true and hours longer, but der vos no slack, der vosn’t.” “I wasn’t the only one to have slack, and it isn’t the union’* fault either,” Simon replied in a milder tone, sympathizing with his wife. “The union would like the seasons to last all the year round—Who is the union—do you think, foolish woman? The union is not merely an office or a meeting room. The union means all of us together, all the workers united; and if we could only help to make the seasons longer, I assure you we would.” Simon offered this explanation, feeling bitterly all the while that his wife, though she might be silenced by his superior mind, yet would remain unconvinced. She certainly had a right to urge him on to work and provide for the family. His defense of the union indicated the direction in which he was being impelled. But the worried look of his wife and the unpleasant aspect of the poverty visible in every part of the house deprived him of the courage to give expression to the feeling; and the picture of a better life in all its alluring possibilities again returned to trouble his mental vision. Hella took advantage of his perplexity to press a vital point: Don’ forget, Simon, that you’re not like ’em. Ven other people strike their children Voik an’ bring ‘ome somding, but ven you strike, de whole ‘ouse vill strike. Your children vouldn’t voik if the father strikes, vould ‘cy? An’ who vill gie us for to live? The unyer gie us three dollars a vrkr vonce an’ vee necly died of starvation. Bella’s contention filled him with sadness. Leaving it unanswered he partook of a meager breakfast and hastily left the house.  While Simon was tossed by hesitation anil doubt, his two employers pothered about the shop and repeatedly looked out of the window, as if in tip-toe of expectation “If we get Simon and his sons we shall be all right,” observed the junior. “Simon’s name will draw others, too.” “Simon with his boys and a few greeners,’ rejoined the senior, with a rougish twinkle in his eyes, “that vill be good. They can then strike all the «1—n season. I guess ve sliall lern the d—n union a less’n tc be d—n impident. But verr is your Simon? Vy don’ee come? As ee reely promise to c*me?” “Sure, he has! ” replied the junior with surprise. ” I plainly offered to sign an agreement with him and his sons and promised to put htm up as foreman. You think he is such a d— n fool to refuse .the offer?” When Simon left the house he went hurriedly, hut without zest, irt the direction of the shop. But as he approached its vicinity his pace slackened. He felt his pulse heat violently and was bathed in cold perspiration. He thought he was being watched and repeatedly looked behind him. Everyone in front might lie one of the strikers, or members of the union. He even fancied that some one laid a hand on his shoulders. He thought he heard familiar voices calling out: “Simon, a scab I Simon, a strikebreaker! Simon, a traitor!” These words were well known to him. He often heard them, nay, he used them himself, with force of conviction, and they now seemed to fall on his head like so many blows. He felt a weakness in his knees and came to a spontaneous standstill, but only for a few seconds; “A steady job, with big wages.” whispered the tempter, and a mysterious impulse urged him on. When he took a momentary respite again he noticed with dismay that he was now in front tit the shop and saw that the boss perceived him through the window. Simon could not retrace his steps and felt very uncomfortable, but he put on courage and entered the shop. “You here, Mr. Simon! That’s good,” exclaimed the junior, beaming with satisfaction. , “An’ tlic boyes, they coming, too? That’s the style! You’ll be satisfied, Simon. My void ferit,” the senior added carelessly. Simon stood motionless as if suddenly deprived of speech. The senior continued: “We’ll lenn ‘cm a less’n, a d—n good less’n fer to strike fer nothing,” and his face relaxed into a peculiar smile, accompanied by a rougish twinkle in his eyes. Simon suddenly felt a cold shiver creeping over him. That smiley and that twinkle were not unfamiliar to his eye. Each time when the boss cut down prices, or imposed intolerable conditions on his hands, his face evinced that expression. This time it was even bolder and more pronounced. To Simon this always signified cowardice, meanness and a desire to ride rough-shod over his subdued slaves. Simon’s hesitation vanished and he felt conscious of new strength. That expression imparted to the argument of “a steady job and big wages” a different meaning. He was seized with the desire to turn that smile into grinning disappointment. This desire was always present with him, but he was powerless to carry it out, Now the opportunity came and he determined to make full use of it. Simon felt intensely relieved. A calm sense of triumph now replaced his mental agitation, and facing his employers in an unusually erect attitude he firmly said: “I have come to inform you that my sons have joined the strikers; and as for me, I will certainly not betray my fellow-workers.”


How it works in Philadelphia Organizer Charles L. Fromer writes in effect: One very conspicuous feature of the recent ladies’ waist-makers’ strike in Philadelphia is that the settlement has produced results which arc certainly more beneficial than even the workers themselves originally anticipated. At the time the settlement was arrived at opinion varied as to whether it signified victory or defeat. Since arbitration was forced on and reluctantly accepted by the leaders of the union, some of the strikers and others imagined this as nothing short of failure. But judging from the manner in which arbitration is working now, five months after the strike, the Philadelphia waist-makers may congratulate themselves upon the test. The settlement provided for a standing Board of Arbitration to adjust difficulties and misunderstandings which are bound to arise even when complete victory is attained. In many cases, even where a closed union shop is conceded, it is often necessary to enforce the agreement by a renewed strike. In Philadelphia, however, such troubles are adjusted without much difficulty. A representative of the union and a representative of the Employers’ Association frequently meet and manage to smooth over all difficulties to the satisfaction of both parties concerned. It should be stated that there is hardly a shirt waist factory here where prices have not been raised and conditions improved. Where the committee referred to failed, the Board of Arbitration was called together and succeeded in adjusting everything in a satisfactory manner. From this we may safely conclude that next to a sweeping victory in the full sense of the word, an arrangement such as we have introduced in Philadelphia is the best under the circumstances. There IS yet this further result to be put on record; that today, we have ten closed shops in Philadelphia, and an organization of a thousand paying members in the Shirt Waist Union. Local 15. There is a growing spirit of appreciation, on the part of the members, of what has been accomplished thus far, the membership is constantly increasing and the outlook for the future is bright and promising.


A brief review of the history of the international union will illustrate the splendid and helpful effect of a substantial chain of benefits upon the stability of the membership. During the period in the history of the Cigar Maker*’ International Union, when the constitution only provided for strike benefits, we had:

1860— 5,800 members.

1873—(Panic) 1.771 members.

1874—(Stagnation) 2,167 members.

1875—(Stagnation) 1,604 members.

1877—(Stagnation) 1,016 members.

1870—Revival)’ 1,250 members.

From 1873 to 1879 the Cigar Makers International Union could not pay the strike benefits provided for in the constitution, because it had no permanent sinking fund; hence wages were reduced to a starvation point. In 1870 the convention, held in the city of Buffalo. N.Y. adopted 3 uniform initiation fees and dues, and a permanent sinking fund, ft provided for a strike fund and the traveling loaning system. Every dollar promised then has been paid in full. In 1880, at the convention held in the city of Chicago, III., sick and death benefits were embodied in the constitution, and the weekly dues raised accordingly. The following shows the effect of benefits on the membership: 1

880—3,870 members.

1881—12,400 members.

882—11,430 members.

1883—13,214 members.

In 1889, at the convention held in the city of New York, another benefit was embodied in the constitution. It provided for an out-of-work benefit of $3 weekly, for a limited time and under certain conditions. The effect of the out-of-work benefit in the stability of membership follows: 1889—17,555 members

1890—-24624 members.

1893—(Panic) 26,788 members.

1894—(Stagnation) 27,826 members.

1899—(Revival) 28,944 members.

1004—(Normal) 41,536 members.

Since the adoption of the benevolent and protective features, we have paid the following benefits:

Strike Benefits: $1.134839.58

Sick Benefits: 2,364.172.25

Death Benefits: 1,700,040.16

Traveling loans: 1,042,428.19

Out-of-work benefits 1,069,777.11

Total benefits: $7,313,572. 9

The cash balance increased in 27 years from $124.55 to $71,506,140. The foregoing shows that during the period of stagnation during the 70’s, when we had no funds or benefits, we set heavily in membership and that during the stagnation in the 90’s, when we had a substantial fund and a chain of benefits, we did not lose a member. G W. PERKINS, President.


“Pa,” said little George, “I’ve chopped down your favorite cherry tree.” “That’s a good start toward the Presidency, son.” responded wise Mr. Washington. “No * split it into rails.”— Washington Herald.


A modern Rip Van Winkle Woke up the other day, rubbed his hand across his face, was overhead to say, “Methinks I’ll shave this beard and get a good, square meal, with perhaps a drink or two, so that I better feel.” He went to a restaurant; Hut prices were so high. He hunted up a grocer, to see what he might buy. He made a memorandum of the things he desired. The clerk, after reading it. Respectfully inquired: “To whom shall I charge it, sir?” Said Rip, “Here’s the money,” The clerk looked at him, and laughing, seemed to think it funny, “Send it out to my address,” “Oh my, but you are droll, or out of date,” said the clerk, “That’s the price of a roll!” “Prices are going higher,” “Where’ will they stop?” thought Rip, “Everything ascending. They’ve even got an airship!” When he went to get a drink. He only got a smell. As he went to sleep again. He simply said, “Oh, H!” B. Whittlesey in Commercial Telegraphists Journal.


More men are killed by accidents every year in the United States dun were killed during any one year of the civil war. Last year’s death toll totaled 35,000.

Lady—You look robust. Are you equal to the task of sawing wood? Tramp—Equal isn’t the word, mum, I’m superior to it. Good morning – Wasp

Manufacturers using our label on shirt-waists: H. Frank. 33 W: 17th St. A. Friedman 81-95 University PI., New York City.

There is no excuse for you wearing a Non-Union Waist. Sig. Klein of 50 Third Ave N. Y. City, sells Union Label Waists.

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