Owl Drug union issues 1903

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ASSOCIATED DRUG CLERKS EXPLAIN THEIR POSITION. Controversy Between the Owl Drug Company and Union Hen Letters are Given out. The San Francisco Drug Clerks' Association Association has issued this statement o the public: "It may not be generally known, but it is true, that on March 31st eleven irug clerks walked out of the Owl Irug store in this city. Eight of .hem were union clerks, the others A-ere A-ere A-ere ejmpathizers. The walkout was lue to the determination of the union of drug clerks, Local 472, to manifest ts displeasure with the anti-union anti-union anti-union tac-;lcs tac-;lcs tac-;lcs of the Owl Drug Company and to persuaJde that concern to give its employes employes the benefit of good-faith good-faith good-faith friend-.iness friend-.iness friend-.iness for unionism. "A boycott was promptly levied by the Drug Clerks' Union, and also by JSan Francisco Typographical Union, No. 2L and the boycott was indorsed unanimously by the San Francisco La bor Council. The campaign against ihe Owl Company is being pressed with vigor, and already more than seventy- seventy- dve unions have imposed fines upon members found entering the Owl drug store fines ranging. from $5 to $10 for every offense. Every union in the State wil be notified of the boycott, and the facts in the case wjll be brought as rapidly as may be to the notice of all Callfomlans. "The Owl Company has never been friendly to the union of drug clerks. The union was organized two years ago to bring about better conditions within the profession, and especially to make the work day for 6. drug clerk sufficiently sufficiently short to insure his thorough xlertness and freshness in the discharge discharge of duties calling for a high decree decree of those qualities. Every drug tore in the city, except the Owl, has given support to the union and become v union store, and th Owl has no Justification Justification for remaining as it is, "unfair." "unfair." "When the union was organized the Owl Company discharged Eeveral clerks, assigning no reason for the dismissals. dismissals. The significant fact in the case was this, that the dismissed men were members of the union. Subsequently Subsequently a number of the Owl clerks Joined the union, but in numerous, ways the company has manifested hostility hostility to the organization for instance, by ordering out of its store the collectors collectors calling for dues of union men. "The union has been one of the most useful labor bodies in the State. It has had an ordinance passed by the Supervisors limiting the hours of labor labor to 138 for two weeks; it has obtained obtained employment for clerks out of positions; it has expended much money for charitable purposes; and in a general general way It has striven to raise the standard of the profession dealt with. For the Owl Company to fight or discourage discourage the organization has appeared indefensible, especially considering the attitude of all its competitors. "In the case of the printers the further further grievance is that the Owl Company Company has seen fit to take a stand with the Los Angeles 'Times,' a newspaper printed and conducted on a distinctly j non-union non-union non-union basis and a bitter foe of all labor unions. The Association of Drug Clerks appeals appeals to all friends of organized labor to aid the union in its efforts to overcome overcome the Owl Company's opposition to unionism, This aid can be given-by given-by given-by observing the boycott. f COMPANY'S STATEMENT. The Owl Drug Co. issuesnhe following statement in reply: "The Owl Drug Co. has no desire to enter into a controversy with the unions, for we have always been on the most friendly terms with them and hope to continue so. "It Is unfortunate that the labor organizations organizations of this city are unwittingly lending their assistance to a combination combination of local druggists for the sole purpose purpose of putting The Owl Drug Co. out of business or else force them to obey the rules and regulations of this combination combination of druggists. "In the San Francisco 'Chronicle' of February 15th there appeared an article in regard to the organization of the San Francisco Druggists' Exchange, which plainly stated that the purpose of the exchange exchange was to bring about a general advance advance in prices, and further stated that every drug store In San Francisco, except except one large cut-rate cut-rate cut-rate store on Market street, had Joined this organization, and they soon hoped to secure the co-operation co-operation co-operation co-operation of this store. "The Owl Drug Co. vigorously denied its intention of Joining, which was the beginning beginning of a serious fight to compel us to do so. Representatives of drug manufactures, manufactures, of wholesale bouses, and of retail retail drug stores, were repeatedly sent to us for the purpose of effecting the combination combination to raise prices. Every possible pressure was brought to bear upon us and to make us withdraw from the stand we had taken. "Suddenly, without notice, without any demands having been made upon us, without any request from the Drug Clerks' Union, the union clerks working for The Owl Drug Co. were called out. We were at that time (March 31) employing employing more union clerks than any other drug store In San Francisco. These union union clerks, who had never made a complaint complaint in regard to hours or wages, who had previously stated that The Owl was the best store they had ever worked for and paid them the largest salaries, left us without giving us even- even- a moment's notice. notice. FOUND OTHER EMPLOYMENT. "Upon investigation we understand that these men were met with op'en arms by members of the drug combination and placed in various drug stores in this city, and we have positive proof that the retail druggists of San Francisco and Oakland Oakland were assessed $5 each for the purpose purpose of paying the difference between the present salaries and those we paid to the men who left us. "The proprietor of the drug store most prominent in forming the drug combination.' combination.' empJ-jys empJ-jys empJ-jys the organizer of the Drug Clerks' Union In his store, and we have every reason to believe that a collusion between the retail druggists of San Fran-jisco Fran-jisco Fran-jisco and the Retail Drug Clerks' Union Union is very clear, as the following ; "In the statement issued by the Retail Drug Clerks' Union there Is no argument, argument, no reason, no sentence, which gives any specific reason that The Owl Drug Co. has ever been unfriendly to organized organized labor or antagonistic to them In any way. "Insinuations and innuendos are depended depended upon to create this impression. Our attitude toward the Drug Clerks' Union Union is very clear, which the following letter will show: "E. R. Hanlon. Secretary San Francisco Francisco Drag Clerks' Association. 201 Gough street, city Dear Sir: Your communication of December 6th, ad- ad- dressed to the Board of Directors The Owl Drug Co., came duly to hand, In reply to same will say we have objection whatever to any of our em ployees joining any organization they fdeem fit, providing it does not inter fere or unfit them for the duties we require of them. At the present mo ment we understand that many of our clerks belong to your association; this we would encourage rather than dls courage, for. as a rule all good organizations organizations tend to elevate rather than lower them. "We hardly think it would be the wisest course to pursue on our part, request, as you suggest, any employee to act contrary to his own wishes inclinations in his social, political religious views or ideas. As long as the clerics we employ are thoroughly com petent and gentlemanly in their de portment and give us (rood service, for wnicn we pay liberally, we tbink, we should leave to themselves their pri vate lire, their liberty and their pur suits of happiness, to enjoy as they see ni, rather than to be arbitrary. "Taking it for granted that your or ganization Is founded on these broad and liberal lines, should not Its maenet be strong enough to draw them, rather tnan for us to direct them In the course they think they should pursue? li it is your pleasure and desire 'We any cards with us for the bene frt of your organization, you can feel at perfept liberty to do so. Very respectfully respectfully yours. "THE OWL DRUG CO., "Incorporated." LETTER TO SECRETARY. The following letter to Mr. E. R. Hanlon was in reply to a letter of December December 15th, asking us what time the Secretary of the Drug Clerks Union might interview our clerks: "December 20, 1902. "San .Francisco Drug Clerks' Association Association (E. R. Hanlon, M. D., Secretary), 201 Gough street, city Gentlemen: Replying to yours of the 15th inst., will stated that your Secretary may call and interview our clerks any day before before 10 a. m. "We would suggest that he had better delay calling on them until after Christmas (five days away,) as you know this is our very busy season, season, and we are certain that he will get very little attention from the clerks next week. Yours very truly, "THE OWL DRUG CO., "Incorporated." "A careful review of what The Owl Drug Co. has done for the drug" and medicine buyers in San Francisco in the way of saving them money; our opposition to drug trusts, combinations to raise prices; the legitimate manner In which jwe have conducted our business business and a careful study of the facta In regard to this present fight with this drug trust, cannot help but impress all cair-mmaea cair-mmaea cair-mmaea union men that in lendinar assistance to the drug combination of ban Francisco they are not only doing us out. inemseives a great injustice. "The Owl Drug Company has had to fight for Its existence ever since the organization of its bus'noss and we have had to fight simply because we would not bow down to the dictation of the other druggists who ..were unable to meet the Owl Drug Company's prices. '. CLERKS' REQUIREMENTS. "The Owl Drug Company has never aiscnaged a clerk because of his belonging belonging to a union. There are four things that we require of our employes. They cannot remain In our employ unless unless they possess certain qualities, which are sobriety, honesty, competency competency and gentlemanllness, and every employe employe who' has been dismissed from the Owl Drug Company has been discharged discharged because he did not possess one or more of these qualifications. "The hours required of Owl drug clerks are less than the schedule required required by the Drug Clerks' Union. The wages paid the Owl drug clerks ore higher than wages paid to any other drug clerks on the Pacific Coast. "In the case of the Typographical Union referred to as 'pi inters,' we will state that the 'Labor News' of Los Angeles Angeles has always carried the Owl Drug Company's advertisement, has always been friendly to the Owi. The labor unions of Los Angiles have always been friendly to us avd have no grievance grievance against the Owl irug Company. "The Owl's competitors in Loa Angeles Angeles advertise their business extensively extensively in the Los Angelos 'Times,' and the Owl Drug Company is compelled In order to maintain its business there to use the columns of this same paper. Furthermore, our advertising contracts with the Los Angeles 'Times' are etlll in force, and we could not withdraw our patronage from this paper without repudiating these contracts and subjecting subjecting ourselves to law suits and permanent permanent loss of business in that city. "It seems to us tha' as long as the Los Angeles union3 do no- no- see fit to boycott the Owl Drug Company in their own -city, -city, the unions in this city are over-reaching over-reaching over-reaching themselves in endeavoring endeavoring to iise this as a reason for the boycott boycott here." HONOR EIOHYOF A meeting of the Memorial Day Committee Committee of the 'G. A. R, was held last night in the rooms of the Board of Trade, where plans were discussed relative to the observance of Decoration day in this city. It was announced that the day and night program is almost complete, and It has been decided that Rev. T. A. Boyer will deliver the address at the cemetery. Memorial services will be held irk the First Congregational Church. Dr. C. E. Lancaster has been selected president of the day committee, and A. S. Ormsby of the evening :ommittee. The details have not yet been decided upon, but it is probable .that the apprentices' apprentices' marine band from Goat Island will be in the Memorial Day parade, and the secretary will communicate with the superintendent superintendent of the Masonic Home at De-coto De-coto De-coto in an effort to have the Boys' De-coto De-coto De-coto Band in the parade. j The committee has received an invitation invitation from the Rev. C. R. Brown to attend attend the Memorial Sunday services at the First Congregational Church, on May 26. SOLDIERS

Clipped from
  1. Oakland Tribune,
  2. 23 Apr 1903, Thu,
  3. Page 12

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  • Owl Drug union issues 1903

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