The Uprising in Chicago: The Men’s Garment Workers Strike, 1910–1911
A lull in the struggle,
A truce in the fight,
The whirr of machines
And the dearly bought right,
Just to labor for bread,
Just to work and be fed.1
ON SEPTEMBER 22, 1910, Hannah Shapiro decided she could not accept three and three-fourths cents (a reduction from four cents) to sew a pocket into a pair of men’s trousers. Hannah and sixteen other young women picked up their scissors and walked out of Shop No. 5 at 18th and Halsted streets, one of the forty-eight tailor shops owned by the Chicago firm of Hart, Schaffner & Marx. Thus began a strike that would last four and one-half months, enlist strong support from progressive trade unionists and reformers, and bring about an investigation by the Illinois Senate.
Although the Chicago strike of 1910–1911 has been cited as a breakthrough because of the resulting agreement between the garment workers and a major firm, Hart, Schaffner & Marx, it has rarely been given the attention of the “Uprising of the 20,000” in New York City the previous year. While the importance of New York’s garment industry is commonly understood, the significance of the garment industry to the Chicago economy continues to be relatively unrecognized. At the turn of the century, the garment trades vied with the stockyards as the city of Chicago’s major employers. New York’s trade was dominated by the struggling women’s garment industry and its corresponding fledging union, the International Ladies Garment Workers, whereas the major producers of the more traditional men’s garment industry were located in Chicago.
The Chicago walkout also affords an opportunity to analyze the collaboration among the Women’s Trade Union League, the Chicago Federation of Labor, and some immigrant workers. (The cooperation of these three groups was much more effective than in the New York strike.) A group of young working women came to the WTUL shortly after the walkout occurred, and received invaluable assistance. But the feminist alliance between middle-class and working women was not equal.2 The older, well-educated, affluent allies took charge of the proceedings. The wage-earning women proved themselves eager to cooperate and willing to become loyal union members, but the young men who also were aided in the strike were to break away from the alliance. Margaret Dreier Robins, president of the Women’s Trade Union League, considered the collaborative experience “one of the most splendid demonstrations of the courage, endurance and fraternity in the human heart . . . on the battlefields of American industry.”3 Sidney Hillman, president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, on the other hand—while expressing gratitude for the Hull House training, especially for the support necessary in a strike—felt humiliated at being forced “to beg for charity outside the labor movement.”4
The men’s garment industry began in Chicago in small workshops, following the Great Fire of 1871. The industry grew rapidly during the next forty years. By the turn of the century, two types of manufacturing existed side by side in the city. A market for quality clothes had compelled the larger manufactures to combine small shops into large factories as a way of assuring a standard product. At the same time, a growing market for ready-made clothes and the seasonal nature of the industry encouraged the continued proliferation of contract or sweatshops. The contract system continued to flourish alongside the large, fully integrated concerns, primarily because of its elasticity. The existence of contractors meant that large manufacturers did not have to add employees during the busy season; they simply contracted for extra work. Sweaters continued to compete by providing small orders directly to retailers.
Whether the garment was produced from start to finish in a factory or partially made by contract labor, the initial stages of production were the same. The designing and cutting of the garments took place in the factory. If contractors were involved, the cut cloth was packed in bundles and delivered to the sweatshops. Here a succession of specialized machine operators (each doing a specified portion of the garment) did the sewing, helped by basters, who basted the unsewn pieces and removed the bastings from the sewn ones. Next, the garments went to the buttonholer (usually a subcontractor), and, finally, to the presser back in the factory in which the production process had begun.
The needle, the sewing machine, the pressing iron, and the sheers dictated the primary division of labor into hand sewers, machine operators, pressers and trimmers. Occupations performed exclusively by men were those that required standing all day—pressing coats and pants, basting coats on table tops—and those that required the skills of a tailor, trained to make up an entire garment. On the other hand, “woman’s knowledge of hand sewing, her deftness and speed with the needle, as also her acceptance of wages which a man cannot afford to accept,” determined the domain left exclusively to women—hand sewing, buttonholes, and sewing buttons on garments. In machine sewing, nationality and availability of men generally determined whether men or women were hired. German, Scandinavian, and Bohemian shops hired women exclusively as machine operators. Shops operated by Jews, Lithuanians, and Italians almost always used men as machine operators. Less-demanding basting on coats was done by men in New York, but elsewhere, including Chicago, by women.5 With the elaborate refinement in the division of labor, the sewing of a coat could be broken down into approximately 150 separate operations.
This division of the manufacturing process into self-contained operations was highly conducive to sweatshop production. Moreover, with fifty dollars in capital and some knowledge of tailoring, a contractor could establish his own business. A typical entrepreneur might buy half a dozen sewing machines, set them up in his apartment, and hire neighbors to operate them. Such tenement sweatshops dotted Chicago’s West Side. So did the workshops of the country’s largest clothing manufacturer, Hart, Schaffner & Marx.6
This manufacturing firm had been organized in Chicago in 1887 by a family of Bavarian immigrants who wanted to produce suits for their own retail stores. At first, the company contracted orders to tenement sweatshops, which employed an average of fifteen persons per shop. By 1905 the firm had purchased forty-eight of these sweatshops, bringing production under its direct supervision. The contractors sold their equipment to the company and became foremen, while the workers continued to perform their customary tasks for a new employer.7
Other large manufacturers of men’s clothing in Chicago were the House of Kuppenheimer (founded in 1876 as a retail store); the Scotch Woolen Mills, Royal Tailors, and Society Brand. These Chicago clothing firms became pioneers in mass merchandising, associating their trade names with quality clothing through advertisements in such national magazines as Colliers and the Saturday Evening Post.8
By 1910 the men’s clothing industry had become Chicago’s largest employer—even larger than the stockyards—with a work force of 38,000 (not including home workers).9 Sixty-five percent of these clothing workers were foreign born, with another 32 percent having foreign-born fathers.10 The two largest ethnic groups were Polish Catholics and Bohemians, with substantial numbers of Italians and Eastern European Jews also working in the industry. Approximately half of these workers were women.11 Employers furnishing information to the Immigration Commission of 1910 explained that, “To a certain extent immigrants have been employed in the clothing trades of Chicago, because of their peculiar skill. This is more especially true of the Bohemians, who are considered the best coat makers in the world; of the Scandinavians, who are the best workers on pants and vests; and of the Italians, who are the best hand sewers.” After this lavish praise of foreign expertise, the report continued, “The chief explanation . . . given by the manufacturers . . . that American employees were not available was that . . . the Americans had a very marked prejudice against the business and refused to work at it.”12
In Chicago, as in other cities, the industry was concentrated in several distinct districts. The sales and general offices and the cutting and shipping rooms were usually located in the same building, close to the central business district. The contract shops were located in surrounding areas near the workers’ homes, in ethnic enclaves. Italian workers, who did most of the handwork, were squeezed into the West Side. Close by, thousands of Russian Jews operated some of the most crowded sweatshops in the city, specializing in coats and pants. Bohemians, located further west, produced coats. Sprinkled among them were Germans and Scandinavians, although these groups had almost disappeared from the industry by 1910. To the northwest was the large Polish district, whose garment workers specialized in pants.13
Sporadic attempts to organize garment workers in large cities had been only partially successful. The United Garment Workers of America was formed in 1891, at a convention called by the United Hebrew Trades and the Knights of Labor to combine organizations serving the men’s garment industry. The delegates of cutters’ locals, representing conservative American workmen, dominated the proceedings, and soon affiliated with the craft-oriented American Federation of Labor. By 1896 the officers of the UGWA had turned their attention to the union label as a way of discouraging purchase of clothing produced by nonunionized workers, a practice that discouraged and angered more radical tailors. The union label, while effective in influencing sales of overalls and work shirts that were produced in rural areas, scarcely touched the urban industry that specialized in fashionable male clothing.14 In spite of its weaknesses the UGWA managed to organize some women. Three of the original twenty-four chapters were given to unions composed wholly of women, and mixed locals were common. The executive board usually had one or two women members. Chiefly, the UGWA factories were scattered in small towns, often formed on the initiative of employers desiring a union label.15 The UGWA, which portrayed immigrants as a menace to American trade unions, dragging the native laborer down to an un-American level, could hardly have been enthusiastically organizing a work force composed primarily of immigrants.16
Disgusted with the prevailing attitude, a group of workers in Chicago formed a new organization in the late 1890s, the Special Order Clothing Makers’ Union—a short-lived example of a successful women’s union. Ellen Lindstrom led an active local of 850 skilled and Americanized Scandinavian women operators. The women’s local persuaded the male pressmen’s local to include the Swedish and Italian hand finishers in their successful wage negotiations of 1900. The American Federation of Labor subsequently acceded to pressure by the United Garment Workers to revoke the Special Order charter, but the independent union refused to join the UGWA because the Chicago group had been rebuffed in its earlier struggle by the UGWA. Because of its acceptance by the skilled tailors, however, the UGWA was able to pressure the women into signing a wage contract. When the agreement was later broken, and a lockout and strike of eight and one-half months followed, the women’s union died.17 The strike, and subsequent policy of employers not to hire union members or sympathizers, decimated the ranks of the United Garment Workers in the city. Only two UGWA cutters locals, with men working in a few of Chicago’s small shops, survived between 1904 and 1910.18 But the UGWA still retained the recognition of the AFL and the authority to speak for organized garment workers.
Employers, meanwhile, suffering from intense competition, consolidated and built cooperative organizations, one purpose of which was to resist the organization of unions. Louis Kuppenheimer, one of the founders of the Chicago Wholesale Clothiers’ Association, described its objectives as exchanging credit information and facilitating the sale of goods. But the Chicago Wholesale Clothiers’ Association (WCA), and the two national associations with which it was affiliated—the National Association of Clothiers and the National Association of Manufacturers—were also dedicated to resisting labor unions. A Chicago Labor Bureau constructed an elaborate blacklisting system, exposed by an Illinois Senate Committee investigating the garment workers’ strike in 1911.19 Although the firm of Hart, Schaffner & Marx did not join these organizations, it shared their attitude toward unions, refusing to hire anyone suspected of union sympathies.20
As the men’s garment industry was consolidating, the workforce also was changing. A Chicago newspaper reporter lamented the passing of “the bright, healthy looking Scandinavian girl,” replaced by Italian girls carrying big bundles from the workshop to their homes.
Where the union workers were paid 15 cents for finishing a pair of pants, these Italian girls are doing the same work for 8 or 10 cents a pair . . . this is what the blessed open shop brings about in the clothing industry. . . . Thus do we see a race of people who have high ideals of a standard of life, supplanted by a race content to live on a lower scale.”21
This was the atmosphere in which Hannah Shapiro (also known as Annie) and her coworkers decided to protest their employer’s action—one that was by no means uncommon in the industry—to lower the piece rate agreed upon at the start of the season.
At eighteen, Hannah Shapiro was a veteran of Chicago’s garment industry. The oldest child of a Russian immigrant family, she had gone to work in a small shop making bow ties when she was thirteen. Two years later, she moved on to Hart, Schaffner & Marx, where she earned $3 a week, for ten-hour days, pulling out bastings on coats. At one point she operated a pocket-cutting machine, receiving her highest weekly wage of $12. But the rates on that task had also been reduced. In September of 1910 she was earning $7 a week by seaming pockets.
In a 1976 interview, Hannah Shapiro Glick recalled that period of her life. In spite of her strike experience, she did not remember the Hart, Schaffner & Marx workshop as a terrible place. She noted the advantage of being allowed passes to leave early on Friday and of not being forced to work on Saturday, which pleased her father, an orthodox Jew. Nor did she mind walking to the fifth floor, or the petty fines, which she was skilled enough to avoid. But inevitably, there were grievances, and because she was friendly with many of her coworkers—Polish, Rumanian, and Italian, as well as Jewish—and also high spirited, Hannah often carried both their complaints and her own to the bosses. The cut in the piece rate was strongly resented. Despite fear of the consequences, Hannah Glick recalled: “We all went out; we had to be recognized as people.”22
Three weeks elapsed between the first walkout and the time that most Hart, Schaffner & Marx workers were on strike. Communications were slow—there were no leaders to make decisions, no mechanism to call a strike. Spontaneous walkouts by angry workers in sweatshops were common. Usually the contractor either met their demands or fired the few involved. Employment in larger factories gave workers a better opportunity to communicate with each other, but much of the work was still done in shops scattered throughout the area.
Within a week, people from seven of the ten West Side pants shops refused the work from Shop No. 5.23 Sidney Hillman, another recent arrival from Russia who worked in one of these shops, later recalled that at first these girls were a joke to the men, until finally some “bold spirits” decided to join them.24 Another Jewish immigrant, Jacob Potofsky, attended a meeting of more than 500 people at Hull House, where workers aired their grievances. The next day he talked about the meeting to the Bohemian, Polish, and Jewish women with whom he worked. When the 300 people in the workshop started to leave the room, the foreman shut the doors in a vain effort to stop them.25 After three weeks, at least 2,200 “bold spirits” were attending daily meetings.26 Hart, Schaffner & Marx reacted to the walkout in a variety of ways. First the firm insisted that there was no strike. At the same time, Harry Hart authorized a rate adjustment in the shop in which the trouble had started. But by then things had gone too far, and there was no stopping the strike. Three weeks after the walkout the firm admitted that it had been forced to hire private detectives “to protect the weak and foreign born employees from intimidation by strike agitators.”27
By the middle of October, Hart, Schaffner & Marx strikers were being joined by workers from Kuppenheimer’s, Hirsch-Wickwire, and other clothing firms. Spokesmen for the Chicago Wholesale Clothiers’ Association claimed that their workers had no grievances and were only striking out of sympathy for Hart, Schaffner & Marx workers, or because they feared violence from agitators—a position from which these spokesmen never deviated.
Although their workers were harassed by insults and by bricks hurled at them through the factory’s windows, Kuppenheimer managed to maintain production throughout the strike. Louis Kuppenheimer prided himself on the “moral” atmosphere of his factory, in which there was no mixing of girls and boys. Indeed, he claimed that many parents appealed to him to hire their daughters because of the protection thus afforded them. Like most industrialists, Kuppenheimer refused to deal with a union because he claimed that workers were better off contracting as individuals. Furthermore, he considered open shops more American. As the strike continued, in addition to advertising for workers, he hired a New York agent to recruit strikebreakers. One entire floor of the factory was converted into sleeping and kitchen facilities to protect and isolate strikebreakers.28
Nevertheless, the walkout continued to spread. Strikers paraded past shops blowing whistles, a signal to workers to join them. One of the strikers, Clara Masilotti, recalled that, having heard about the signal, she told the other workers in her shop: “The first whistle we hear . . . means for us to strike. You cannot work for twelve cents a coat and I cannot baste 35 coats a day.” One day 200 people appeared under the shop window. Masilotti was the first to respond to the whistles, and the “greenhorns” followed.29
Born in the United States, Clara Masilotti had been taken back to Italy by her family as an infant. She returned to Chicago in time to attend school for several years. At the age of thirteen she went to work in a date factory for thirty-two cents a day. Later she basted coats in a number of small shops, usually quitting after a disagreement with a foreman. In 1910 she was asked to be a forewoman and to teach the “greenhorns.” She remembered that “the boss preferred Italians, Jews, all nationalities who can’t speak English. They work like the devil for less wages.” Masilotti lost her position as a forewoman when she refused to tell the workers that their wages had been cut. She returned to doing piecework. In the course of the 1910 strike, she became a leader in the Women’s Trade Union League and a union organizer.30
At the time of the walkout, the strikers had approached Robert Noren, Chicago district president of the United Garment Workers of America. After consulting Thomas Rickert, the national president, Noren turned down their request for support. Rickert’s reluctance stemmed from a “lack of faith in the possibilities of organizing these people,” and the conviction that “it was just an over-night strike.”31
Not until one month after the walkout did the UGWA finally issue a general strike call. Within a week of that call, on November 5, Thomas Rickert and Harry Hart signed a document agreeing on the selection of three persons to take up alleged grievances. The agreement also guaranteed that former employees could return to work without discrimination should they affiliate with UGWA. It specifically excluded the question of any shop organization.32 When the agreement was submitted to strikers at a meeting at Hod Carriers’ Hall, it was overwhelmingly rejected. The cutters—the aristocrats of the industry—had elected Sidney Hillman to explain why the settlement was unsatisfactory. Rickert was hooted with cries of “sold out,” “betrayed,” “traitor,” and was forced to flee from the hall.33 This episode was followed by a near riot when the UGWA was unable to honor 10,000 of its strike benefit vouchers.34
In the meantime the strikers were seeking support from a variety of sources. A delegation of women had approached the Women’s Trade Union League, founded in 1903 by social reformers and settlement-house workers to support the efforts of working women. Members of the WTUL, moved by what they heard, promised to help if the Chicago Federation of Labor (CFL) would endorse the strike.35 The WTUL would provide aid to pickets, speakers for meetings, relief aid, and contact with the general public, which encouraged much favorable publicity.
After listening to an appeal by the strikers, the Chicago Federation of Labor delegates were moved to declare that “this firm (Hart, Schaffner & Marx) and others of like character were nothing more or less than slave driving institutions of the worst imaginable kind, and . . . gradually but surely, getting worse year by year.” The day after the strikers rejected the Hart-Rickert agreement, the CFL declared its support of the garment workers.36
A Joint Strike Conference Board assumed leadership of the garment worker’s strike. The CFL’s president, John Fitzpatrick, became chairman; Edward Nockles, the CFL vice-president, vice-chairman; Agnes Nestor, a glove worker and president of the Chicago WTUL, and Margaret Dreier Robins, president of the National WTUL and a member of the CFL Board, represented the WTUL; and Robert Noren and Samuel Landers represented the UGWA. A committee of thirty-five strikers met with the board to maintain liason between it and the ranks. The board unanimously adopted an agreement stipulating the need for a union shop, minimum hours with time and a half paid for overtime, and the establishment of grievance procedures.37
Several other community groups rallied to support the struggling clothing workers, including the city’s socialist organizations and a Citizens Committee. The Chicago Daily Socialist strongly supported the strikers; two special strike editions were sold, earning over $3,000 for the strike fund as well as spreading the workers’ story.38 The Socialist Women’s Strike Committee raised an additional $5,400.39
Chicago’s prominent reformers established a Citizens Committee chaired by Rabbi Emil Hirsch, whose congregation included some of the clothing manufacturers. A report prepared by the committee and given widespread attention by the press “revealed serious difficulties in all of the shops.” The report denied that union agitators were responsible for the walkout and declared that the strike was justified. It went on to recommend some form of shop organization.40 Citizens Committee members, often behind the scenes, became active in attempts to mediate the strike.
Jane Addams attended the first conference between Harry Hart and Thomas Rickert. Harry Hart, a Hull House supporter, became embittered by the role of Hull House women and the Citizens Committee. Jane Addams continued her role of mediator although she stated in a letter written November 22: “I do not believe that there is the least chance for arbitration now and of course no chance that the strikers will win.” She also expressed concern over the heavy involvement of Ellen Gates Starr, cofounder of Hull House, who refused to accept any prospect of the strikers’ defeat.41
To sustain the strike through an especially cold and blustery Chicago winter, the Joint Conference Board commenced a massive fund drive, ultimately collecting $110,000. Approximately 65 percent of the funds came from organized labor, 10 percent from socialist organizations, and the remainder from appeals organized by the Women’s Trade Union League. In addition to financial aid, the Jewish Labor Federation donated $36,000 worth of meal tickets, while the Bakers Union contributed 60,000 loaves of bread.42
Gertrude Barnum, Margaret Dreier Robins, and other WTUL members took “girl strikers” to meetings all over Chicago to plead for support. A breakfast meeting across the street from the old Chicago Daily News building was well attended by newspapermen who frequented the restaurant. “Over a simple little breakfast the girls talked their hearts out and explained their problems in a natural fashion to a few friends.”43 One reporter wrote that “Annie Shapiro . . . told her story in such a dramatic manner in broken English that her hearers were moved to tears.” Clara Masilotti revealed that she had been coerced into working faster for less pay. Bessie Abramovitz explained that during rush periods she was often forced to work twelve or thirteen hours without extra pay, despite the Illinois ten-hour law, while during the slack periods she had to stay in the workshop all day for only one or two hours’ pay. Anna Cassetteri carried additional material home to earn nine or ten dollars a week. Sixteen-year-old Anna Rudnitsky had been forced to sew slowly, in order to keep her pay low. In spite of intimidation by the foreman, she led 300 young women out of Hart, Schaffner & Marx Shop No. 11. Bina Wool testified that she had gone from place to place looking for better conditions, but found them all the same.44
Hannah Shapiro did not confine herself to addressing society women and reporters. For the first time in her life she entered saloons to plead for her cause. One bartender contributed fifty cents saying: “That’s all I’ve got, little girl, for since the strike started nobody pays for a drink.”45
The most successful undertaking of the board was the operation of six commissary stores that provided appropriate fare for the different ethnic neighborhoods. Shop chairmen were responsible for distributing tickets for prepackaged weekly supplies. Reformers took advantage of the opportunity to educate the immigrants. Among these reformers were Zelie P. Emerson and Katharine Coman, who noted: “Many foreigners learned the nutritive value of articles of food hitherto unknown, such as beans and oatmeal. Hereafter, they will probably demand a higher class of ordinary groceries.”46 Tickets for fifteen-cent meals were distributed to single men and women without family support. A special fund of two dollars a week was set aside for some Jewish and Polish girls who came to Margaret Dreier Robins in tears because it would be indecent for them to go into a restaurant with strange people. Robins was less sympathetic when a group of boys requested laundry money. They were told to wash their own laundry like the girls.47 Twenty-two carloads of food and 200,000 loaves of bread were distributed to over 11,000 families a week.48
Of special concern were the 5,000 babies whose families were now unemployed. “Strike babies”—1,250 were born during the strike—received layettes and milk through settlement houses. Appeals for financial aid were sent on postcards carrying the heading, “Sacred Motherhood,” and picturing a woman nursing a baby and working on a sewing machine while several small children played among unfinished garments.49
The reformers were less successful in controlling the streets. Early efforts by the strikers to induce all the workers to join them were relatively calm. But as the weeks dragged on, and employers began to import strikebreakers, violence escalated on the part of strikers, nonstrikers, and the Chicago police.50
A Women’s Trade Union League picket committee chaired by Emma Steghagen “undertook the twofold task of picketing with the girls and of patrolling the streets for their protection.”51 After being handled roughly by the police, Steghagen and Ellen Gates Starr protested publicly as well as officially. Starr had been grabbed insolently and told that if she did not go away, she would be sent to the police station, even if she was a social worker. Steghagen was given more explicit instructions: “Go home and wash your dishes.”52
A daily pattern was set by the end of the first month. Meetings were held in at least thirty-four halls scattered throughout the garment district. Speakers orated in several languages, sending cheering strikers to the streets, where they marched past tailor shops, blew whistles, and enjoined other workers to abandon their machines.
Strikers pouring out of meeting halls encountered 200 regular policemen and 50 mounted police—called Cossacks by the Socialists—as well as private detectives hired by the manufacturers to guard their establishments.53 Newspapers portrayed the women as being more violent than the men in resisting efforts of bluecoats to disperse mobs.54 One riot erupted when fourteen-year-old Josie Mielewski and her chief lieutenant led a mob of 200 against police blocking the entrance to Kuh, Nathan, Fisher & Company. Accounts varied as to whether the police were forced by armed rioters to use revolvers, or whether the police took the initiative in setting upon hundreds of workers.55 The dispersal of women complicated matters for police used to handling crowds of men. A study of policing of labor disputes in Chicago states that the police were cowed by women who “often fought and scratched and bit and pulled hair like demons—and no man likes to hit a woman.”56
Just before Thanksgiving, strikebreakers attracted to the city by employers’ agents and advertisements began to arrive in Chicago in large numbers. Pickets were sent to guard the railroad depots and clashes increased. Occasionally appeals to potential strikebreakers to go home succeeded—in one case the United Garment Workers paid the return fares of thirty-five arrivals. But more often the outcome was less peaceful.57 The Chicago Railroad Company appealed to the police for protection after twenty women set upon nonunion Italians inside a streetcar.58
Out-of-town strikebreakers were not the only source of trouble. A substantial number of garment workers had never joined the strikers. As the tension mounted, many workers were chased and attacked by strikers on their way home. Private guards were hired by employers to escort strikebreakers to elevated stations and to their homes.59
Alarmed by the mounting violence, City Council member and social reformer Charles E. Merriam of the University of Chicago proposed that the City Council, headed by Mayor Fred Busse, mediate the strike. The Joint Conference Board—with approval by the Chicago Federation of Labor and the strikers’ committee—and Hart, Schaffner & Marx cooperated with these efforts. All these parties believed that if a settlement could be reached with the largest manufacturer, the others would follow. But the representatives of the Chicago Wholesale Clothiers’ Association tenaciously refused to meet with union representatives; nor would they talk with arbitrators appointed by the Illinois Board of Arbitration.60
Joseph Schaffner and his partner, Harry Hart, appear to have been genuinely shocked by the outbreak of the strike. They had prided themselves on their modern, sanitary workshops, offering conditions that compared favorably with those prevailing in the sweatshops. As the strike progressed, however, it became clear that many of the oppressive conditions typical of the sweatshops had persisted. In 1916, testifying before the United States Industrial Regulations Commission, while insisting that the strikers’ grievances were minor in character, Schaffner admitted that they had been allowed to accumulate to the point of creating in workers “a feeling of distrust and enmity toward their immediate superiors.” Schaffner confessed that he had been “so badly informed of the conditions . . . that he had concluded that the strike should have occurred much sooner.”61 The owners were too absorbed in the merchandising aspects of their business to pay attention to what was happening in the workshops. The foremen, themselves working on piece rates, and eager to produce more for less, imposed typical sweatshop conditions—erratic pay scales, speedups in production, fines, and other petty persecutions.62
Early in December two strikers were killed. Charles Lazinskas, one of three strikers arguing with two young workers who were being escorted home, was shot by a private detective.63 During a skirmish that broke out when strikebreakers tried to enter Kuppenheimer’s, a policeman killed Frank Nagreckis and severely injured his companion.64 In both cases, the crowds turned on the police and private detectives. Priests officiating at the funerals of the two Lithuanians asked for donations to the strike fund. Approximately 30,000 strikers and sympathizers, led by bands playing the Marseillaise, paraded through the West Side following Lazinskas’ funeral. They had been refused permission to march past the clothing firms’ central offices in the Loop. In defiance of another police stipulation banning red flags, marchers carried red and white banners inscribed with rousing slogans. The marchers ended up at West Side Ball Park, where they heard passionate oratory delivered in six languages. Charles Murphy, owner of the Chicago Cubs, donated coffee and sandwiches as well as the ball park.65
By the time of Lazinskas’ funeral, Hart, Schaffner & Marx had presented their proposal to the City Council mediators, and the terms had been accepted by the Joint Conference Board. To the consternation of their leaders, the strikers rejected the compromise. After hearing funeral orations urging them to stick together until all the manufacturers conceded their rights, strikers went to their separate meeting halls. Workers who spoke in favor of the settlement were drowned out. Father Lawczyinski, of St. Mary’s Independent Catholic Church, exhorted Polish workers to hold out for a closed shop and, holding up a crucifix, called on them to make a solemn promise not to accept the terms.66
At a meeting at Hod Carriers’ Hall, emotions ran so high that John Fitzpatrick and Margaret Dreier Robins were unable to speak. Strikers at the meeting felt betrayed. Discussion was delayed until the agreement could be printed in nine languages and an educational campaign launched. After ten days the Joint Board acknowledged defeat.67
While reformers were pressing for an end to the walkout, a split occurred in the socialist ranks. Robert Dvorak, reporter for the Chicago Daily Socialist, was reprimanded by Raymond Robins (husband of Margaret Dreier Robins) and Emma Pischel, a socialist working with the WTUL, for writing about the strong rejection of the agreement. Robins argued that the strikers were in a desperate condition and that the funds “were not large enough to continue.” Pischel “upbraided him for sticking with the stupid strikers, who knew not what was best for them.” A group of Socialists allied with the Chicago Federation of Labor were responsible for arranging Dvorak’s dismissal.68
Disagreement about the strike among Socialists was reflected in another incident involving the Chicago Daily Socialist. The editors cut so as to alter an address by Eugene Debs in December, in which he had made an appeal on behalf of the garment workers. “If the workingmen of Chicago were not inert as clods, white-livered excuses for men, they would rise like a whirlwind in defense of these shivering, starving children at their doors” was edited to read: “Let the workingmen rise like a whirlwind in defense of these shivering, starving children at their doors.” Another section, calling for industrial unions and condemning craft unionism, was completely eliminated. What did remain intact was the plea to men not to allow women and children to suffer. “Women and children by thousands, who spend their wretched lives making clothes for others are themselves naked, without shoes, their wan features distorted by the fangs and pangs of starvation.”69
The violence accelerated. Just before Christmas John Donnelly was delivering a wagon filled with unfinished garments to home workers from a nonunion tailor shop. Three men shot the eighteen-year-old to death, then disappeared into the crowd. According to his mother, he had been threatened earlier and had intended to quit the next day.70 Since people lived as well as worked in the neighborhoods in which such clashes were occurring, nonstrikers became unwitting victims. Ferdinand Weiss, walking in the vicinity of a group that was arguing with strikebreakers and private detectives, was killed by a gun fired by a private detective. Mourning garment workers attended his funeral en masse.71 The fifth victim of the strike, Fred Reinhart, who was a guard at Hart, Schaffner & Marx, was apparently much hated by the strikers. On January 3 he was ambushed and killed by strikers while escorting two young strikebreakers home.72
At the beginning of January, two manufacturers who were members of the Chicago Wholesale Clothiers’ Association agreed to sign contracts with the United Garment Workers, thus breaking the impasse. But the strike was far from over.
The settlement with Hart, Schaffner & Marx was accepted, finally, on January 14, 1911. It provided for the reemployment of all strikers and guaranteed that there would be no discrimination in favor of or against membership in the union. Although no prior settlement on wages and working conditions was made, the agreement called for the establishment of an Arbitration Committee to settle current and future grievances. No adjustment in wages or working conditions was to take place until after the workers returned to their jobs.73
On January 17, Hannah Shapiro, Bessie Abramovitz, and 2,000 of their fellow workers were greeted by their foremen as they returned to their jobs at the Hart, Schaffner & Marx workshops.74
The approximately 18,000 people still on strike against those Clothiers’ Association members who had not settled, elected a committee to continue to strike. They denounced the agreement with Hart, Schaffner & Marx, the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Women’s Trade Union League, and the United Garment Workers. Representatives of the radical Industrial Workers of the World appeared at these meetings, and tried, according to one organizer, “to revitalize the strike.”75 Several foreign language newspapers disclosed discontent among immigrant workers. A Bohemian newspaper charged unfair treatment by the leadership. Bohemian strikers conducted their own relief work through an independent group that had formed early in the strike, with Alberta Hnetynka as secretary. The halls rented by the Bohemian workers were the only ones open to the protesters. La Paroladel Socialisti complained that Italian garment makers residing in the Hull House district were refused meal tickets and no longer allowed to use Hull House for daily meetings because they rejected the proposed agreement with Hart, Schaffner & Marx.76
On the other side, most of the members of the Chicago Wholesale Clothiers’ Association refused to budge, in spite of tremendous public pressure and negative publicity, including an investigation by the Illinois Senate. In the face of this intransigence, Thomas Rickert, president of the UGWA, took drastic action. On February 3, without consulting the Joint Strike Conference Board, let alone the strikers who were still attending meetings, he called off the strike. This time the leaders of the CFL and the WTUL, as well as the strikers, felt betrayed. Robins called Rickert’s action a “hunger bargain.”77 As Sidney Hillman later recalled, the great majority of the workers
were forced to return to their old miserable conditions, through the back door; and happy were those who were taken back. Many who had participated in the 1910 strike were victimized for months afterward. They were forced to look for other employment and to wait until their record in the strike was forgotten.78
After four and a half months the strike dissolved. At Hart, Schaffner & Marx, most of the workers returned to their jobs with only the promise that a Board of Arbitration would adjust their grievances. One of the board’s first acts allowed UGWA representation. The board would prove successful in the resolution of differences over work rules and wages and in the prevention of future strikes. A few other firms signed union agreements, but the Wholesale Clothiers’ Association steadfastly refused to arbitrate, cooperate with the union, or to accept other offers of mediation. The uprising had started in the shops of Hart, Schaffer & Marx but because grievances in most companies were similar, the walkout spread. Reformers had been mistaken in their belief that once the largest firm acquiesced, the others would cooperate. Not until 1919, after two more strikes, did the majority of Chicago’s firms agree to deal with workers’ representatives.
The Board of Arbitration that formed—with Carl Meyer representing Hart, Schaffner & Marx and Clarence Darrow representing the workers—proved effective. Whereas the Protocol of Peace hammered out in New York City had to deal with a multitude of companies, these arbitrators dealt with only one firm.
The men’s garment workers in New York City experienced a strike two years later in which there was a similar encounter between immigrant laborers and the United Garment Workers. Thomas Rickert again concluded an unsatisfactory truce. At the 1914 UGWA convention held in Nashville, Tennessee, dissidents formed a new union, the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA). In 1915 the ACWA again tackled the Chicago market. Instead of taking shape as a “spontaneous rebellion,” the 1915 strike was coordinated by the ACWA, which submitted demands to the Wholesale Clothiers’ Assocation. A mass meeting endorsed a strike, but the people continued working until informed by shop chairmen that the negotiations had failed. Manufacturers requested police protection before the walkout. A few more companies accepted unionization—but on the whole, the strike failed. Not until another strike in 1919 did the Amalgamated Clothing Workers penetrate the holdout firms.
When the Chicago market finally was unionized, following the conflict in 1919, many manufacturers left the city in search of more tractable workers (in the 1920s that meant heading south), in order to remain competitive. Through pioneering industrial unionism, the garment unions helped to improve working conditions and to stabilize the needle trades. But the garment unions have never solved the basic problems arising from extreme competition. An important commodity that attracted the clothing trades to urban America in 1900 was disappearing from Chicago in the 1920s: abundant, flexible, cheap labor. Ironically, the improvement of wages and working conditions had the effect feared by so many manufacturers—it threatened their profits in a highly competitive industry.
The Chicago garment strikes played a major role in American labor history. The significant contribution made by the WTUL to the Chicago strike of 1910–1911 represented one of the league’s greatest historic successes. As a delegate to the CFL and the Joint Committee operating the strike, Margaret Dreier Robins’s role proved crucial. Women allies in the community were observed on the streets aiding pickets and collecting relief, and were recognized for their work behind the scenes. Working women also behaved in a fearless fashion, as they put down their shears and seized their picket signs. But very few union women transcended the image and function of “girl striker” to become leader, although women comprised half of the work force and half of the union membership. The older women failed to cultivate the leadership potential of their protegees, or to hand down a tradition of female leadership. Male union members, not surprisingly, showed no interest in promoting leadership among women.
The ACWA recognized the importance of the 1910–1911 strike for its development of leaders. In this connection, the name of Bessie Abramovitch was occasionally mentioned. Abramovitch served as a member of the Strike Committee, then on the Hart, Schaffner & Marx grievance committee and trade board formed after the strike.79 She represented her Chicago UGWA vest makers’ local at the Nashville convention and was one of the delegates (along with Frank Rosenblum and Anzuino Marempietri) fighting to seat the New York delegation. Only one other woman—Miss S. Goldblatt, of Rochester—was among the mavericks who formed the new union. Abramovitch also assumed an active role as a delegate from her vest makers’ local at the New York convention, two months later, along with Miss Goldblatt, two women from Baltimore, and one hundred and thirty men.80
The May Day parade of 1916 became a wedding march, as Bessie Abramovitch and Sidney Hillman led a large assemblege two days before their marriage. Their honeymoon was spent in Rochester at the ACWA convention. Upon her marriage, Abramovitch resigned her post as business agent of the ACWA and as organizer of the WTUL.81 Later she became a vice-president of ACWA where her presence reminded the men that more than half their members were women.
During the strike, Clara Masolotti, an effective speaker before women’s groups, also became a WTUL organizer. Between jobs, she went to New York and probably participated in the Lawrence strike. She remained active in the labor movement until 1925. After 1925 she moved to California, where she operated a flower shop and lived with her married younger sister. She spent her last years in England with another sibling.82
Hannah Shapiro was pleased to return to work at Hart, Schaffner & Marx, following settlement of the strike. Would the strike have taken place if Shapiro had not protested? The other women had been afraid to complain; the men, afraid of losing their jobs, laughed at her. Shapiro herself agonized over her boldness, feeling guilty because her financial position differed from that of the mass of strikers: her father was able to support her. During the strike she had gone regularly to union meetings and, encouraged by Agnes Nestor, she spoke before women’s groups. But once the strike ended, Shapiro did not become involved with either the union or the WTUL. She was proud that her earnings helped her brother to attend college. Shapiro met her future husband at a party during the strike. He was also a Russian immigrant, but his superior knowledge of English enabled him to be a printer. Two years after their meeting, Shapiro quit her job to marry and raise a family.
Hannah Shapiro Glick did not make her experiences part of her family history. She never mentioned them to her daughter until some pictures of her appeared in a bicentennial exhibit, “Forgotten Contributors: Women in Illinois History.” Then, at the prompting of her daughter, Glick contacted the director of the exhibit and thus enabled historians to include her forgotten contribution.83 Most important, the old woman reminded them of the feelings of the young girls: “We had to be recognized as people.”
Reprinted from an article entitled, “Walkout: The Chicago Men’s Garment Workers’ Strike: 1910–1911,” Chicago History, 8, no. 4 (Winter 1979–1980), by permission of the publisher, Chicago Historical Society.
1. Mary O’Reilly, “After the Strike,” from Women’s Trade Union League of Chicago, “Official Report of the Strike Committee” (Chicago, 1911; repr. from Life and Labor), 40.
2. Nancy Schrom Dye, “Creating a Feminist Alliance,” Feminist Studies, 2 (1975), 111–125. See also Alice Kessler-Harris, “Where Are the Organized Women Workers?” Feminist Studies, 3 (Fall 1975), 92–110.
3. WTUL, “Official Report,” Committee,” 3.
4. Matthew Josephson, Sidney Hillman: Statesman of American Labor (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1952), 51 (quote), 58, 62, 69–70.
5. Charles P. Neill, Men’s Ready-Made Clothing, 443–444, Report on Conditions of Women and Child Wage Earners in the United States, 61st Congress, 2d Session, Senate Document #645 (Washington, 1911), vol. 2.
6. Factory Inspectors of Illinois, Third Annual Report, Dec. 15, 1895 (Springfield: 1896), 56. Neill, Men’s Clothing, 492–494, 443–480. Florence Kelley, “The Sweated Industry,” in Hull-House Maps & Papers (Chicago: Thomas Y. Cromwell, 1895) 28: Harry A. Cobrin, The Men’s Clothing Industry (New York: Fairchild, 1970), 75–76.
7. Hart, Schaffner & Marx, “Hart, Schaffner & Marx History” (Chicago, April 1977, mimeograph); Abraham Hart, “The 50 Years of Hart, Schaffner & Marx, (Chicago, April 4, 1937, reprint of speech); Sara L. Hart, The Pleasure Is Mine (Chicago: Valentine-Newman, 1947), 118–119; Factory Inspectors of Illinois, Third Annual Report, 8–9.
8. Robert James Myers, “The Economic Aspects of the Production of Men’s Clothing,” PhD diss., University of Chicago, 1937, 21, 24–25, 381–382.
9. United States Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Thirteenth Census of Manufacturers (1910), IX, 296, 299.
10. Immigrants in Industries, vol. 11 of Clothing Manufacturing, 61st Congress, 2d Session, Senate Document # 66 (1911), XI, 433–434.
11. Neill, Men’s Clothing, 33–34, 45–46, gives the following percentages for Chicago workers:
Women accounted for 53 percent of the Chicago total. The proportion of women as well as ethnic groups varied among the five cities studied—Chicago, New York, Rochester, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
12. Clothing Manufacturing, 434.
13. Myers, “Economic Aspects,” 40–41, 46.
14. Abraham M. Rogoff, “Formative Years of the Jewish Labor Movement in the United States (1890–1900),” PhD diss., Columbia University, 1945, 46–47; Charles Zaretz, The Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (New York, 1934), 80–82, 88–89.
15. John B. Andrews and W. D. P. Bliss, History of Women in Trade Unions, vol. 10, Report on Conditions of Women & Child Wage-earners in the United States, 61st Congress, 2d Session, Senate Document #645, (Washington, 1911), 160, 168–170. The exceptions were Detroit and Boston where UGWA members were immigrants.
16. Melvyn Dubofsky, “Organized Labor and the Immigrant in New York City, 1900–1918” Labor History, 2 (Spring 1961), 188–189.
17. Andrews and Bliss, Women in Trade Unions, 164–167. Margaret Hoblitt, “A Labor Tragedy,” The Commons, 10 (May 1905), 273–281. Ellen Lindstrom served on the WTUL board for a short time, then moved to Iowa to edit a Swedish newspaper.
18. Illinois General Assembly, “Special Senate Committee to Investigate the Garment Workers Strike,” 47th General Assembly (1911), testimony of Thomas Rickert, Feb. 6, 1911.
19. “Committee to Investigate the Garment Workers Strike,” testimony of Louis Kuppenheimer, Jan. 26, 1911; Martin J. Issacs, Jan. 20 and Feb. 2, 1911; Thomas Rickert, Feb. 6, 1911. Cobrin, Men’s Clothing Industry, 82–89. The Labor Bureau was not disbanded until 1919.
20. Robert Dvorak, “The Chicago Garment Workers,” International Socialist Review, 11 (Dec. 1910) no. 6, 353–355. According to Dvorak, the WCA also formed to gain strength against the most formidable competitor, Hart, Schaffner, & Marx.
21. Luke Grant, Chicago Inter-Ocean (I-O), Apr. 23, 1905; and Hoblitt, “A Labor Tragedy,” 278. See also Chicago American, Mar. 17, 1905, where strike breakers were described as “clad in dirty garments, with shawls for their only wrap, and their sleek, greasy black hair combed tight without covering.”
22. “Committee to Investigate the Garment Workers Strike,” testimony of Anna Shapiro, II, 242–272. Videotaped interview with Hannah Shapiro Glick, by Rebecca Sive-Tomeshivsky (Chicago: University of Illinois Chicago Circle, 1976). The names of the other young women have been lost. Mrs. Glick did not remember them, and did not think Bessie Abramovitch was among them. (However, Josephson, Sidney Hillman, 47, says she was among the “fourteen.”) Shapiro was the only female worker interviewed by the Illinois Senate Commission.
23. Chicago Daily Socialist (CDS), Sept. 30, 1910, 1.
24. Josephson, Sidney Hillman, 38, 47–48.
25. Interview with Jacob Potofsky from Elizabeth Balanoff, director, “Oral History Project in Labor and Immigration History” (Chicago: Roosevelt University, Aug. 4, 1970), 4–5.
26. CDS, Oct. 11, 1910, 1.
27. “Committee to Investigate the Garment Workers Strike,” testimony of Harry Hart. CDS, Oct. 12, 13, 1910, 1; Chicago Record-Herald (R-H), Oct. 15, 1910, 5; Chicago Daily News (CDN), Oct. 15, 1910, Oct. 17, 1910, 1; 1 (quote).
28. “Committee to Investigate the Garment Workers Strike,” testimony of Harry Wolf, superintendent at The House of Kuppenheimer; testimony of Kuppenheimer. CDS, Jan. 28, 1911, 1, reported that Wolf “cringed with the same fear which has filled hearts of women and girls who have stood before him: The ‘bully of the sweatshop’ pleaded for mercy.”
29. “Bricks without Straw—Story of an Italian Girl among Striking Garment Workers in Chicago, taken down by Katharine Coman,” Survey, 25 (Dec. 10, 1910), 424–428.
30. “Bricks without Straw,” CDS, Nov. 21, 1910, 1; article written by Masilotti, “We Can’t Make Our Living”; Trib, Mar. 3, 1912, pt. 7, 1.
31. “Committee to Investigate the Garment Workers Strike,” testimony of Thomas Rickert. Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, The Clothing Workers of Chicago, 1910–1922 (Chicago, 1922), 27.
32. WTUL, “Official Report,” 11–12.
33. Potofsky interview, 6. I-O, Nov. 6, 1910, 1, 4; Trib, Nov. 6, 1910, 1.
34. ACWA, “Clothing Workers,” 34–35; WTUL, “Official Report,” 13–17; Josephson, Sidney Hillman, 50–51. Zelie P. Emerson and Katharine Coman, “Co-operative Philanthropy, Administration of Relief during the Strike of the Chicago Garment Workers,” Survey, 25 (Mar. 4, 1911), 942–948.
35. WTUL, “Official Report,” 4–5.
36. Josephson, Sidney Hillman, 50. “Extracts from the minutes of the Chicago Federation of Labor,” Nov. 6, 1910, John Fitzpatrick Papers, Chicago Historical Society.
37. WTUL, “Official Report,” 12–13. “Extracts CFL,” Nov. 6 and 20, 1910, Fitzpatrick Papers. There is little information about the “committee of 35.”
38. ACWA, Clothing Workers, 27. The first CDS articles appeared Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 1910. Also see Robert Dvorak, “The Garment Workers Strike Lost, Who Was to Blame?,” International Socialist Review, 9 (March, 1911), 550–551. CDS Strike Editions, Nov. 21 and Dec. 18, 1910; CDS, Nov. 6, 1910, 1; employees also donated their time. See also Mary Jo Buhle, “Socialist Women and the ‘Girl Strikers,’ Chicago, 1910” Signs, 1 (Summer 1976), 1043–1046. Buhle interprets the special strike extra as a phenomenal success, and details its planning.
Despite the obvious bias, Chicago Daily Socialist articles provided the most complete daily chronical of the strike. The other papers skipped periods of relative quiet, describing “riots,” although they were usually supportive of the needs of the strikers. Community group efforts to end the strike also were stressed in the daily press.
39. WTUL, “Official Report,” 41.
40. Report of the subcommittee of the Citizens Committee, “Concerning the Garment Workers Strike,” (Chicago, Nov. 5, 1910). WTUL, “Official Report,” 24–25. Trib, Oct. 30 and Nov. 3, 4, 5, 6, 1910; CDN, Nov. 10, 11, 1910; R-H, Oct. 31, 1910 (lists participants), Nov. 1, 2, 7, 1910.
41. I-O, Nov. 6, 1910; Trib, Nov. 5, 1910. Hart, The Pleasure Is Mine, Jane Addams to Darling Mary Rozet Smith, Nov. 16, 1910; Nov. 22, 1910; Nov. 24, 1910, Jane Addams Papers, Hull House, University of Illinois Chicago Circle.
42. WTUL, “Official Report,” 17, 41–42. “Extracts CFL,” Nov. 20, 1910, and Feb. 19, 1911, Fitzpatrick Papers.
43. Katharine Coman, “Chicago at the Front,” Life and Labor, 1 (Jan. 1911), 11.
44. I-O, Nov. 2, 1910; CDS, Nov. 2, 1910; see also CDS Nov. 4, 21, 1910.
45. I-O, Dec. 12, 1910. See also Hannah Shapiro Glick interview.
46. Emerson and Coman, “Co-operative Philanthropy,” 942–948.
47. Mary E. Dreier, Margaret Dreier Robins (New York: Island Press Cooperative, 1950), 74.
48. WTUL, “Official Report,” 17.
49. WTUL, “Official Report,” 20. R-H, Nov. 13, 26, 1910, 2; Trib, Nov. 28, 1910, 3; Jan. 6, 1911, 3, other newspapers for that date.
50. Howard Barton Myers, “The Policing of Labor Disputes in Chicago: A Case Study,” PhD diss., University of Chicago, 1929, 646; for the 1910 strike, see 701–727. Myers classified the 1910 strike as second in violence only to the teamsters strike of 1905.
51. WTUL, “Official Report,” 10–11. See ACWA, Clothing Workers, 30–31; the picket committee was “perhaps most important service rendered.”
Rules for Pickets:
Don’t walk in groups of more than two or three.
Don’t stand in front of the shop; walk up and down the block.
Don’t stop the person you want to talk to; walk alongside of him.
Don’t get excited and shout when you are talking.
Don’t put your hand on the person you are speaking to.
Don’t touch his sleeve or button; this may be construed as a technical assault.
Don’t call anyone “scab” or use abusive language of any kind.
Plead, persuade, appeal, but do not threaten.
If a policeman arrests you and you are sure you have committed no offense, take his number and give it to your Union officer.
52. WTUL, “Official Report,” 10–11. ACWA, Clothing Workers, 29–32. I-O, Nov. 2, 3, 1910; R-H, Nov. 2, 3, 24, 25, 1910; Trib, Nov. 3, 5, 24, 25, 1910.
53. Myers, “Policing,” 701–702.
54. R-H, Oct. 16, 1910. The article said that ten strikers and five policemen were hurt and identified the mob of 150 women and girls as wives, sweethearts, and daughters of strikers. Later articles recognized that the women were strikers; see CDN, Oct. 16, 1910; I-O, Oct. 16, 1910. There are many other newspaper examples.
55. CDN, Nov. 2, 1910; Trib, Nov. 2, 3, 1910 (75 arrests, police forced by rioters); R-H, Nov. 3, 1910 (37 arrests, police forced); I-O, Nov. 3, 1910 (nearly 100 arrests); CDS, Nov. 3, 1910 (4 loads of people arrested, workers set upon by police).
56. Myers, “Policing,” 707.
57. CDS, Nov. 26, 1910.
58. I-O, Nov. 18, 1910; CDN, Nov. 17, 1910.
59. CDS, Nov. 21, 28, 29, 1910; CDN, Nov. 22, 28, 1910; I-O, Nov. 26, 29, 1910; R-H, Nov. 26, 29, 1910; Trib, Dec. 13, 1910.
60. WTUL, “Official Report,” 20–24. “Extracts CFL,” Dec. 4, 1910, Fitzpatrick Papers, 4–5. CDS, Nov. 30, Dec. 3, 5, 1910; CDN, Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1, 3, 1910; I-O, Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 2, 4, 5, 1910; R-H, Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 1, 4, 1910; Trib, Nov. 29 through Dec. 5, 1910. See also Dvorak, “The Chicago Garment Workers,” 358, for the same attitude expressed by Socialists. “Committee to Investigate the Garment Workers Strike,” testimony of Harry Hart, Emil Rose, president of National Wholesale Clothiers’ Association, and Charles Pies, member of State Board of Arbitration. CDS, Jan. 11, 17, 1911; Trib, Jan. 9, 10, 1911; R-H, Jan. 10, 1911.
61. Frank P. Walsh, 64th Congress, Commission on Industrial Relations, Final Report and Testimony, Senate Document #415, 1916, I, 565.
62. Hart, The Pleasure Is Mine, 135–138. Joseph Schaffner 1848–1919: Recollections and Impressions of His Associates (Chicago: private printing, 1920), 85–87.
63. Myers, “Policing,” 704. ACWA, Clothing Workers, 32–33. CDS, Dec. 5, 1910; R-H, Dec. 3, 1910; Trib, Dec. 3, 1910.
64. CDS, Dec. 16, 1910; CDN, Dec. 15, 1910; R-H, Dec. 16, 1910; Trib, Dec. 16, 1910; I-O, Dec. 16, 1910, confuses circumstances of the two deaths.
65. Myers, “Policing,” 704. ACWA, Clothing Workers, 32–33. CDS, Dec. 8, 1910, reported a crowd of 50,000; CDN, Dec. 7, 1910; Trib, Dec. 8, 1910; I-O, Dec. 8, 1910, red and white banners with quotes: “A union shop means more bread & milk for our children”; “Give the fathers work and the children will go to school”; “Capitol is organized & labor must be organized”; “Child labor is child murder”; “We are organized & will stick to our union”; other signs in Hebrew, Polish, Bohemian.
66. CDS, Dec. 13, 1910; I-O, Dec. 14, 15, 1910, mentions the crucifix; R-H, Dec. 14, 1910; Trib, Dec. 14, 1910, mentions the crucifix. “Deadlock in the Chicago Strike,” Survey, 25 (Dec. 24, 1910), 490–491, refers to frenzy of defiance by a misguided priest. The article finds it significant that killings took place near his church.
67. CDS, Dec. 7, 8, 15, 1910; I-O, Dec. 9, 13, 14, 1910; R-H, Dec. 7, 8, 14, 1910; Trib, Dec. 6 (meeting of 500 cutters accepted agreement) 7, 8, 15, 1910. On Dec. 15 both the CDS and Trib mentioned an elaborate plan for a secret ballot. WTUL, “Official Report,” 23–24.
68. Dvorak, “Garment Workers Strike Lost,” 551.
69. Eugene V. Debs, “Help! Help!! Help!!!” International Socialist Review, 11 (Jan. 1911), 394; and CDS, Dec. 12, 1910, 4.
70. CDN, Dec. 20, 1910; CDS, Dec. 22, 1910; R-H, Dec. 21, 27, 1910; Trib, Dec. 21, 24, 1910; I-O, Dec. 24, 1910 (quote from mother).
71. Trib Dec. 25, 31, 1910; CDS, Dec. 31, 1910, Jan. 3, 1911; I-O, R-H, Dec. 31, 1910.
72. I-O, R-H, Trib, Jan. 4, 1911; CDS, Jan. 5, 1911.
73. ACWA, Clothing Workers, 44. WTUL, “Official Report,” 31–32. CDS, Jan. 12, 16, 17, 1911; CDN, Jan. 13, 14, 16, 1911; I-O, Jan. 12, 15, 1911; R-H, Jan. 11, 16, 1911; Trib, Jan. 11, 17, 1911.
74. CDN, Jan. 16, 1911; I-O, Trib, Jan. 17, 1911.
75. I-O, Jan. 15, 16, 1911; Trib, Jan. 14, 19, 1911 (claimed the secessionist movement disintegrated when W. E. Trautman suggested taking up a collection for a $1.50 bill); CDS, Jan. 16, 1911. Dvorak, “Garment Workers Strike Lost,” 554, includes text of demands. Interview with Irvin Abrams in Balanoff, “Oral History Project,” 2; Abrams came to Chicago toward the end of the strike.
76. Federal Writers Project translation of foreign language press: La Paroladel Socialisti, Jan. 28, 1911; Denni Hlasatel, Jan. 15, 1911. Dvorak “Garment Workers Strike Lost,” 554.
77. WTUL, “Official Report,” 34. ACWA, Clothing Workers, 46.
78. Josephson, Sidney Hillman, 57.
79. Potofsky interview, 9, 18, 20.
80. ACWA, Documentary History of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, 1914–1916 (New York, 1920), 10–13, 46–48. See also Josephson, Sidney Hillman, 97–98, for Abramovitch’s role at Nashville.
81. Josephson, Sidney Hillman, 152–153.
82. Correspondence with Clara’s younger sister, Florence Masilotti Hurst, from Oct. 16, 1976, to Oct. 4, 1977.
83. Interview with Hannah Shapiro Glick, by Rebecca Sive-Tomeshivsky.