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TABLE No. 6.
For Twelve Months Ending September 30, 1910. This table presents a list of occupations, in connection: with which, trade or labor unions were organized during the twelve months covered by the record. The total number of these organizations, as will be seen by the table, is eight; four are located in the city of Trenton, and one each in East Orange, Elizabeth, Freehold and Jersey City. Of the four Trenton unions, one was formed by “trolley motormen and conductors,” another by “hodcarriers," another by "bakers," and still another by "moulders' helpers.'
The East Orange Union was formed by "washerwomen," and that of Jersey City, "laundry workers." The Elizabeth organization was formed by machinists, and that at Freehold, of carpenters.
Next to the year 1908, when only five unions were started, this is the lowest record of any twelve months in twenty years. In 1908, industry of all kinds throughout the State was suffering from the depression and confusion of the money stringency panic of 1907-08, the average activity being fully 33 per cent below normal; under such circumstances little or no thought is given to organization by workmen, either skilled or unskilled, their chief interest and purpose being to hold on to such employment as they may have. The year 1909 witnessed an improvement in general industrial conditions, which was reflected in the number of new unions organized, which was thirteen. This year the number has fallen to eight, and the natural inference is that the demand for labor is still very much below what it was three years ago, when during the year 1907 thirty-four new unions of workmen were formed.
TABLE No. 6.-Trade and Labor Unions Organized from October 1,
1909 to September 30, 1910.
NAME OF UNION ORGANIZED.
Where Union was
9. 20. 9.
Strikes and Lockouts in New Jersey For the Twelve Months Ending September 30th, 1910.
OCTOBER 15—Ninety girls and ten boys employed in the bottling department of the Chesebrough Mfg. Co. at Perth Amboy objected to a reduction of one and one-half cents per gross in the price allowed for packing a certain class of bottles and quit work accordingly. The manager of the department took the ground that certain improvements in the process of packing fully justified the cut in price. The matter was finally adjusted satisfactorily, and all resumed work on the 19th, having lost three working days, with wages amounting to $300.
OCTOBER 23—Thirty Polish laborers employed on the Central Railroad wharf at Elizabeth struck for an increase in wages, which was refused; within a few hours an entirely new gang was secured to take their places.
OCTOBER 27—Ten union carpenters employed on the new post office building at Dover, quit work because three non-union men on the job had refused to take out union cards. The strikers returned next day when the non-union men were discharged. The 'wage loss was $35.
The Hatters Strike.
In last year's report of the Bureau a full account was given of the general strike in the hat factories of the Orange Valley and Newark, from its commencement on January 15, 1909, until October 31st, of the same year. In closing the statistical record of the twelve months ending on the above date, the fact that the long continued strike was rapidly drawing to a close, and that a promising beginning had been made in the direction of a general settlement on lines which, while not a positive victory for either side, would in all probability be. finally agreed to by both, was duly set forth with a copy of the compromise agreement under which the strike was ended and work resumed in several of the largest shops. Ten factories in Newark and seven in the Orange Valley district, employing an aggregate of four thousand five hundred men and women were involved in the strike from first to last, and of this number, as indicated by last year's report of the Bureau, about twenty-eight hundred were still idle on October 31st, although practically all the conditions on which the entire body returned to work during the following month were at that time agreed upon.
On November 1, the firm of Austin, Drew & Co., reopened its shop; two days later the No Name Hat Company resumed work, followed by F. Berg & Co., and C. B. Rutan & Co., on November 8. One by one the other shops closed in consequence of the strike were reopened and before the end of November all were again running under modified union rules, excepting only the factory of Crow, Quinlan & Moore. In the settlement of the strike important concessions were made by the union in the matter of shop and working rules, and as a result the manufacturers claim to be in a position to operate their shops more satisfactorily, and with greater assurance that a shut down will not necessarily follow every trivial difference that may arise between them and their employees. The union on its part has succeeded in retaining the privilege of having its label placed in all hats as 'heretofore.
As an evidence of the pleasant relations now existing between the employers and union workmen in the Orange hatting district, the following letter from one of the largest firms in the trade, addressed to the Journeymens' Local is given as a proper ending to the narrative of this determinedly conducted but remarkably orderly strike, which extended over a period covering two annual reports of this Bureau.
“To the officers and members of Local No. 4, United Hatters of North America :
“We wish to express to you our sincere thanks and congratulations for the masterful manner in which the return of our old employees 'has been arranged, there being not the slightest trace of animosity or ill feeling displayed. This, considering the large number involved and the length of time they were idle, speaks well for the magnanimous spirit of the officers and members of Local No. 4.
“We, for our part, can assure you that the same spirit and good feeling exists toward the officers and members of your association, and we 'hope that in the future our relations shall be of the pleasantest, and the harmonious feeling which now exists will never be broken. Hoping that an era of prosperity awaits the hatting industry which will prove to our mutual advantage, we remain,
"F. BERG & CO.”
OCTOBER 23—Five 'hundred of the approximately 1,000 girls employed in the Hirschhorn, Mack & Co. cigar factory on Somerset street, New Brunswick, without, the firm says, giving any notice of their intention or assigning any reason for their action, quit work. Later, on a statement purporting to set forth their case, was issued on behalf of the strikers, from which it appeared that the girls objected to the stock they worked with, and also wanted an increase of from twenty-five to thirty-five cents per hundred for small cigars. Replying to the accusation of unfair dealing with its employees implied in these demands, the company on the third day of the strike made public the following statement :
“We wish to emphatically deny the numerous stories being circulated and alleged to be the demands of the striking cigarmakers. In the first place no Pennsylvania or Connecticut wrappers are used in any of our factories, as all of our cigars are covered by the choicest grades of Sumatra, as is well known by the trade.
"We fail to understand how our cigarmakers can judge the quality of leaves which we use, or the localities where they are grown, as our foremen do not know what tobaccos we use, and only experts can detect the peculiarities by which the various kinds are known. We do not hesitate to say that we pay the largest wages paid to female help in the State, and any girl in our employ can easily earn $10 per week.
"The statement that on pay day the girls frequently discover that they had been fined from $2 to $3 per week for work that had been rejected is ridiculous, as the cigars are inspected whenever a girl has made 150, and the imperfect ones thrown out; this is done to protect our reputation, the trade and the public—a man who pays five cents for a cigar expects it to smoke.
"Every cigar factory in existence does this and has to do it. We are not, anxious to throw away cigars, as it means a great loss to us, but we must have them made right. This practice does not appear on the pay envelope at all, as the girl immediately replaces cigars that have been rejected with good ones, and when a girl is credited with 150 cigars she is paid for that number.
"We regret that a majority of our employees must suffer on account of a few that are dissatisfied, as many have already petitioned to return to work, but the factory has been closed and will not be reopened until our whole force signify their intention to return to work for the old wages and under the same conditions.
NEW BRUNSWICK CIGAR CO.,
(Hirschhorn, Mack & Co.).
The firm's action closing the factory was decided upon when the strikers had, by repeated demonstrations of violence, prevented all but a very small number of the non-striking employees from entering the works. The strikers were practically all Hungarians, and those who took no voluntary part in the movement were Poles, Germans and Americans. Rioting about the factory and its immediate vicinity was quite frequent, and the strikers indulged in daily parades through the principal streets. Several arrests were made for disorderly conduct, but the prisoners were released on giving bonds for future good conduct.
The factory was reopened on November 2, the firm having received satisfactory assurance that a large majority of their idle employees wished to resume work, and when the doors were opened on the morning of that date, all but about 200 of the entire working force were back in their places; these kept up the agitation for a few days longer, but on November 10, the strike was completely abandoned. On Monday, November 15, after all the agitation and excitement incidental to the strike had subsided, the firm announced an increase of prices in the various departments of the factory ranging from 7 to 15 per cent. It was explained that this advance had been determined upon just before the outbreak of the strike for the purpose of rewarding the employees and encouraging others to enter the service of the firm.
The strike lasted three weeks, and the wage loss computed on the minimum earnings of $10 per week, as set forth in the company's statement quoted above, was not less than $30,000.
NOVEMBER 24Seventy-five employees in the moulding department of the Thomas Devlin Mfg. Co., at Burlington, went on strike to enforce a demand