The Tribune from Scranton, Pennsylvania on September 30, 1916 · Page 43
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The Tribune from Scranton, Pennsylvania · Page 43

Scranton, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 30, 1916
Page 43
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THE SCRANTON REPUBLICAN SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 1916 LABOR'S GREAT PART IN PROGRESS OF CITY; GREAT LEADERS HERE Former Mayor Powderly, a Pioneer Among American Labor , Chieftains Historic Movements Which Centered in This City. ON the field of organized labor Scran - ton has for many years occupied a leading position and today there are few cities In the country where the workingmen are as well organised. Most of these local labor bodies are also affiliated with the Central Labor union of Scranton and vicinity, an or - ganlzation made up of delegates from the sub - bodies. i It was in Scranton that the Knights of Labor attained its greatest influence in the latter part of the last century, when Terrence V. Powderly, of Scranton, was head of that great organization of workingmen. Here in Scranton, too, the present great union of mine workers In the anthracite fields, had its real inception in 1899 when John Mitchell came to organise the men of the mines. So, too, In the building and metal trades, the textile Industry and all forms of labor, Scranton was a fertile field once the work of organization started. Yearly tne city nas seen great demonstrations by the union men and women on Labor Day and other labor holidays. In the early days of Scranton there were no labor organizations because the population was mainly agricultural. Up to the time of the incorporation of the city, in 18S6, the only industries here that employed large numbers of men were the mines and the steel mills and the mines were still in a largely experimental state. It was not until after the city was Incorporated that the men of the mines began to organize for better conditions, and the organization with which they enlisted was the Working - men's Benevolent association. In 1869 times were hard and the cost of living was very high. The mine workers j found it hard to live on the wages they were limning ttiiu nuer a nuniuer OI meetings they demanded a wage increase of ten cents on a car of coal. The Delaware and Hudson and the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western companies refused to grant the demand and a strike was called on May 25, 1869. Every colliery of the two companies, except the Roaring Brook mine of the D., L. and W. was tied up. The Pennsylvania Coal company was not affected. Its wage rate being higher than the other companies. After several months, during which some of the mines started up, the strike was settled by the D., L. and W. and D. and H. companies agreeing to pay the same wage as the Pennsylvania com pany and to make no reduction until tne next December without thirty days notice. The settlement came on August 27. . Coal Strike of 1871. The next big coal strike was In 1871, and lasted from January 6 to May 22. In December, 1870, the companies had cut the wages of the men from $1.31 to eighty - six cents a car. jonn siney, father of the Miners' union and one of the greatest labor leaders of the last century came here during that strike to help organize. He arranged with Franklin B. Gowan, head of the Reading company, that miners be permitted to produce sufficient coal to keep the steel mills going, that arsangement being made after, mill men threatened to import Nova' Scotia coal. In this strike the Rockwell breaker In Providence was burned and there were some riots, but none of a serious nature until May 15 when two men were shot during trouble in West Scranton. Towards the latter end of the strike the rolling mills were also tied up. The shootings occurred when a body of miners who quit the strikers and re1 - turned to work in the Briggs' breaker in West Scranton, met a body of strikers at Fellows' Corners, as they were marching from the mine. The men who went back to work were armed with rifles and they had an escort of militia, the state troops having been brought into the region in April. Stones were thrown and one of the men who had returned to work, fired his rifle. The bullet killed two men, Benjamin Davis and Daniel Jones. The' strike of 1871 spread to all parts of the anthracite fields. It was ended May 22, 1871, on a compromise basis, the men going back to work pending the result of arbitration by districts. By 1874 the Miners' national union had been formed and was being well organized here. On December 81, 1874, the companies cut the wages ten per cent. On January 7, John Siney, head of the Miners' union and James O'Hall - oran, head of the Luzerne district, came here to address a mass meeting. During the winter of 1878 - 1877 the mines were working on one - third time and the wages of the men were again reduced, this time.' fifteen per cent. There were no cars to carry the coal and no market for it The whole country was In the throes of labor difficulties and a big strike had been called in Pittsburg, the miners and iron workers declaring they could not live on the wages they were getting, and submitting demands to their employers. On July 25, 1877, a general strike was called on the Delaware and Hudson and D., L. and W. railroads. On July 24, 1,000 employes of the rolling mills had struck for a twenty - nve per cent, wage increase'. On July 26, the D., L. and W. miners struck for twenty - nve per cent more wares and they were followed on the next three days by the miners of the Delaware and Hudson and Pennsylvania companies. The head house and bridge at Plane No. 6 on the Pennsylvania Gravity railroad were burned and that line was tied up. A big railroad strike was on all over the country and indus try was paralyzed . Railroad Strike Ends. On July 80, the D., L. and W. railroad strike ended, the men returning to work on the appeal of the city authorities. They did not get a wage Increase. The miners continued on strike and on August 1, there was a clash between some of them and armed guards at Washington and Lackawanna avenues, and four men were killed and a number Injured. Mayor McKune, the chief ex' ecutive of the city at the time, was injured during the rioting. On August 2, 3,000 state troops arrived here and within a few days 900 regulars came. The strike was con tinued but' the men gradually returned to work. On October 16, 1877, the last of the strikers went back to work, with' out any settlement, other than a promise to make the best wage adjustments possible. The.Miners' union went through many vicissitudes after that strike. The Knights of Labor became stronger here and T. V. Powderly, a Scranton man, was elected to their highest office. In 1878 he was elected mayor of Scranton on a labor ticket and twice re - elected. Dan iel J. Campbell, now city councilman, was one of the big figures in labor circles in those days and was a district master workman of the Knights of Labor. The Miners' union dwindled and the Knights of Labor were replaced by craft organizations until in the late nineties there was hardly a vestige of a union in the anthracite mines. In 1899, John Mitchell, president of the Miners' union, made his first trip here and began the work of organizing the miners. A district union had been formed in July that year with Thomas D. Nicholls, later a Congressman, as president, and C. W. Baxter, secretary' HAT HOSPITAL . 406 LINDEN STREET FOR LADIES AND GENTLEMEN Statistics prove the Hat Hospital to be the only hospital in the City of Scranton where one can have a guarantee that within twenty - four hours New Life and form will be injected into any Old Hat - No matter whether you bring it to the Hospital dead or alive, it will be, when leaving here, a model suitable to travel with any correctly clad lady or gentleman attending the celebration of the City's Centennial. SOME HOSPITAL, EH? For your consideration, we print a partial list of the most prominent families of which we have remodeled many thousand members: ( The Felts, Beavers, Velours, Velvets, Panamas, Hemps, Leghorns and Milans. HAT HOSPITAL GO. Bell Phone, 3923 - J. ' 406 LINDEN STREET Scranton, Pa. TymimnnirTTmwnTmriiiijjj Established 1885 m VS'Srj j "Buying cheap goods to save money is like stopping a clock to save time." Geo. W. Watkins .Extends a cordial invitation to the public to visit the Fall Opening of the finest selected stock to befound outside of New York or Philadelphia, consisting of furniture, draperies, wall papers, carpets, rugs and linoleums. Having devoted thirty - one years of my life to the study of interior decoration and traveled over a good part of the world, thereby gaining a knowledge which is valuable to any customer who wishes to get the best and latest productions for their own furnishings. . - My goods are unexcelled for their decorative quality and traditional value. I have always and still will adhere to a standard of perfection, which has proven that true merit and consistent prices are always rewarded by permanent and lasting success. No reliance can be placed on the general appearance of goods. I have never been tempted by competition to sacrifice quality to price, knowing that the triumph of depreciable goods is only temporary,. 201 - 203 Jefferson Ave. m gpTjru 'Miiinuiiiii - 2riss in rtty - s rri 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ii i m 1 1 rrji J qsLq - nTimn LD ' Jl A t. A. Greetings: If Many years ago I saw that Scranton was the kind of a town I'd like to tie up to and I decided that when I had firmly established my Wilkes - " Barre store I would branch out by locating a big store in the Electric City. I have been disappointed pleasantly. I had hoped to grow at a - Scranton pace. I have grown even at a greater pace. Scrantonians have responded in a most gratifying way to my efforts to serve them. ft The Dollar Hat proposition was looked upon with some misgiving at first. The people were a bit slow to appreciate the fact that if the dollar hat wasn't a good proposition I couldn't afford to lease a big store, install a raft of expensive fixtures and engage a large force of salespeople to launch it. ft Gradually the misgivings and doubts were dissipated, business began to increase and inside of a year the Sherard Dollar Hat was accepted as a Scranton institution. ft I have had such success in Scranton that I have added a $l.5o Hat and named it after the city. - The Electric City Hat at $1.50 is as well known and thought of as our Dollar Hat. On the occasion of the City's Fiftieth Anniversary I wish to extend to the people of Scranton my heartiest felicitations and my sincerest wishes for a future full of happiness. Shepard's Dollar Hat Store E. T. Shepard, Prop. 4 48 East Market St., Wilkes - Barre 230 Lackawanna Ave., Scranton. Geo. Coskey, Mgr. treasurer. Frank Miller, of Nanticoke, was vice - president. District 7 was also organized in the Hazleton region, and in the same year District 9 was organized in the Schuylkill region. In January, 1900, John T, Dempsey, now president of District No. 1, and one of the big figures in the union, was elected secretary - treasurer of the Scranton district On May 1, of that year, the miners had a big street parade and a mass meeting on Farr Heights in West Scranton. Fred Dilcher and other organisers addressed that meeting and remained In the Held. In July, a convention of District 1 was held and a call Issued for a Joint three district convention. That convention was held In Hazleton In August, and demands were framed and committees appointed to lay them before the operators. The districts re - convened In September and - when their committees reported that the operators had refused to confer on the demands, It - was voted to call a strike unless the demands were granted. The men asked for a twenty per cent wage increase, cheaper powder, the abolition of the company store evil, the eight hour day, union recognition, weighing of coal and other concessions. The strike was called September 17 and ended on October 29, a day since observed by the miners as a holiday, and called Mitchell day "for their leader. They received a wage Increase of ten per cent, and other slight concessions, the wages to continue at the increased rate for one year. In 1901 that agreement on wages was renewed for another year, by notice from the mine owners. In the strike of 1900 the Miners' union numbered 8,000 men out of 160,000 employed in the hard coal fields. Demands Are Refused. In 1902 the miners renewed their demands for a twenty per cent wage increase, the eight hour day and other concessions. The demands were refused by the operators and April 1 fixed as the day for a strike. Civic associations sought to make peace and the strike was delayed until May 12. The operators steadfastly refused to confer on the demands and after several months President Theodore Roosevelt Intervened. He called representatives of the operators and miners together and suggested arbitration. The operators refused, but after three weeks agreed to the president's proposal, and the anthracite strike commission was named by the president The men returned to work on October 15, and the commission held hearings that continued over several months. Their award was a ten per cent, increase for contract miners, the nine hour day at ten hours pay for day workers, the eight hour day for firemen, a re - adjustment of working conditions and the naming of the board of conciliation, made up of three operators and three miners to adjust disputes. The award covered a three year period. In 1906 President Mitchell and the district officers made more demands but only received a continuation of the award of the commission. In 1909 Tom Lewis was president of the miners, and made a number of demands, but won only a few very slight concessions and a renewal of the award. Sliding Scsle Abolished. In 1912, John P. White was president of the miners. He had campaigned to build up the union but it was still numerically weak. With the district officers, however, he was able to win from the ' operators, after a suspension had been called, a substantial victory. A wage increase of five and a half per cent., the right of the union to have colliery grievance committees and a number of other concessions were received. The sliding scale system of a bonus to the workers based on the selling price of coal at tidewater was abolished. That had netted about four and a tialf per cent a year to the miners. The new contract gave a ten per cent wage Increase but the abolition of the scale cut that to five and a half per cent It was the first real contract the miners had won and It was signed with the union leaders as representatives of the anthracite workers. The sliding scale was part of the award of the strike commission of "1902. In the spring of this year (1916), the miners won another victory in their wage negotiations. The eieht hour day, a wage increase for contract miners and day workers, recognition of the union and a number of other concessions are in the contract which is for four years and whidh was negotiated without a day's tie - up of the mines. The no - sus - penslon policy was Introduced by President White and backed by the local officers. The Miners' Union is stronger numerically today than at any time in Its history. One of the great labor events here was the national convention of the American Federation of Labor that was held In St. Thomas' College hall In 1901. Thousands of visitors attended the sessions. The Central Labor union has been organized for more than twenty - five years and represents 70,000 workers. Steve McDonald has been Its president for several terms. John T. Dempsey was Its president preceding Mr. McDonald's present term. Other presidents have been, John H. Devine, George Walker, Walter Jones and Martin D. Flaherty. Mr. Flaherty, who died in 1910, was a member of the typographical union, and won this love and esteem of the miners for his assistance to their cause in the strike of 1900. Hugh Frayne, now one of the international officers of the American Federation of Labor was an active member of the Central Labor union up to about ten years ago when he went PSCPAXEDITBBS A fat little boy was playing In the park with one of far fewer pounds. A third fellow appeared In the distance, Said the little fat one to his companion: "If tiiat boy hits me will you hit him back ?' "Why don't you hit him back yourself?" a bystander, was astonished Into "Aw cause I don't feel like it see" was the weary reply. New York Pout 'The Spruce St.Styl Presents Modei ii "THE STORE INDIVIDUAL," John G. McDonnell's, is the mecca of all fashion leaders and style - loving women in this valley. Invariably the new modes are shown here first, because we are ever alert to secure the very latest and most approved styles for our valued patrons. Your own "individual tastes are best expressed in a "McCONNELL" .garment, because the fabrics, colors and styles are always "DIFFERENT" and above the ordinary. - It costs no more to wear "McCONNELL" styles, and you at once take your place in the forefront of fashion's promenade. Modish Autumn SUITS, COATS, DRESSES, SKIRTS and WAISTS are ready now for your inspection. We would appreciate a call from you whenever you are ready. Exclusive Agent for Knitted Sport Apparel Of all stores between New York and Buffalo, "THE McCONNELL STORE" was selected to present this new line of Sport Apparel to you. Manufactured right here in your own home town, these garments have won their way into the favor of the country's smartest dressers. A knitted fabric, of the finest Australian wool, that Is moist - proof, non - sagable, unshrinkable and very durable. Suits, Coats, Skirts and other Sport Apparel, of this famous fabric, in at least 50 shades. Prices very moderate. John G. McConnell Established in 1899 Scranton Life Building, 532 Spruce St. - trv IllllllllllllllllllllllllttM

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