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By Commissioner Donovan:

Q. The only question I want to ask, Mr. Walter, is when this tenhour law was passed, was there any attempt, on the part of the company, to evade it? A. None whatever.

Q. You complied with the law as soon as it was passed? A. Yes, sir; as soon as we heard of it.

Q. And the men were satisfied with that? A. We heard no complaint about it until the grievances were presented by the committee; the ten-hour law was not referred to in their complaint. By Commissioner Robertson:

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Q. There was a perfect willingness on the part of all these men to work ten or twelve or fourteen hours, if they were paid for it? A. Yes, sir.

By Commissioner Donovan:

Q. There is no attempt on the part of the railroad company to compel a man to work more than ten hours within twelve, if he does not want to? A. There is no intent on our part to compel a man to work if he does not want to; the presumption is that when he comes to work he wants to work; no man is required to work overtime if he does not want to.

The investigation then closed.

Rochester and Suspension Bridge.

During the progress of the Buffalo strike, a small number of switchmen, employed at Rochester and at Suspension Bridge, engaged in sympathetic strikes. At Suspension Bridge other men were employed, and at Rochester the switchmen were induced to return to work within a few hours after the strike commenced.



On the twenty-ninth of May the employes of a Brooklyn street railroad company went on strike because of certain grievances against the foreman of the stables. After the road had been tied up for five hours the foreman was discharged and the employes returned to work.



On the fourteenth of December, 1891, fifteen workmen, who were employed in a sash, door and blind factory at Lansingburgh, went on strike because of a proposed reduction of their hours of labor. During the dull season they had been working eight hours per day, at a reduced rate of wages, and their employer proposed to change the working time to seven and one-half hours per day. Some of the employes remained at work, and other hands were immediately employed to take the places of those who had gone on strike.


On the thirty-first of August about forty workmen who were painting and scraping a vessel in a shipyard, at the Erie basin, went on strike. They were employed by a firm of employing painters, who were also doing work in New York city, and this strike was the result of differences between the firm and their New York employes. The painting and scraping of the vessel was completed by a force of non-union workmen, and the strike was not successful.


About the fifteenth of January the girls employed in a shirt factory at Mechanicville went on strike, on account of differences in relation to the prices to be paid for certain new work. A committee of the employes waited upon the proprietor of the factory, who refused to discuss the matter, and stated that he would talk to all the girls, or none. On the twentieth of January twenty-five of the employes met him, upon his invitation, and he offered to have the new work done elsewhere and to give them

employment upon the old work, in reference to which there had been no dispute. This offer was accepted by the employes, and work was resumed on the twenty-fourth of January.

New York.

On or about the fourth of October, a strike or lockout took place in a shop on Forsyth street. The eighteen operatives in this shop claimed that they had been locked out for having joined the Shirt Makers' Union. This difficulty has not been settled.

In the fall of 1892, the Shirt Makers' Union ordered a few other small strikes against contractors who refused to recognize the union or pay the union scale of prices. One of these strikes is now pending.


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About the sixteenth of July the proprietors of a shirt factory in Troy discharged a girl who worked in their laundry, and the other girls in their employ went on strike. Within a few days thereafter the firm re-employed the discharged employe, but transferred her from the laundry to the stitching department. The strike was then declared off.


On the first of April, 1892, the McKay lasters employed in a shoe factory at Auburn went on strike, and within a few days thereafter the employes in the several other departments of the factory were obliged to stop work. The lasters demanded a slight increase of wages. On the twentieth of April the strike was declared off and the men signified their intention of returning to work the next day, upon the understanding that terms of setilement would be agreed upon thereafter.


About the twentieth of November, 1891, the lasters employed in a shoe factory, at the corner of Sterling piace and Fifth avenue, struck for an advance in wages. The proprietor of the factory

immediately acceded to their demands, and the strike was declared off.

On the 4th of January, 1892, the Ladies' Turn Shoemakers' Union, of Brooklyn, ordered a strike in the factory of J. Wichert & Co., at 26 Boerum street. The firm had decided to do the fitting by machinery, and, as this work had formerly been done by hand, a change in prices became necessary. The firm proposed to deduct eight cents from the price per pair, but the workmen refused to allow more than two cents for the fitting, and this disagreement resulted in a strike. On the sixth of January the Board received a communication from Local Assembly 2394, Knights of Labor, an organization composed of Goodyear turn and welt shoeworkers, stating that their members might become involved in the trouble, and requesting that a member of the Board go to Brooklyn immediately and endeavor to bring about a settlement of the difficulty. The next day Commissioner Donovan met committees representing this local assembly and the Ladies' Turn Shoemakers' Union. These committees informed him that 160 men had been on strike since Monday, January 4, and that they were opposing a twenty per cent. reduction of wages. He then called upon Mr. Wichert and made arrangements for a conference, which was held on the eighth of January. Mr. Wichert appeared on behalf of the firm, and the employes were represented by Frank Silva, George W. Myer, Alfred Pieser, John B. Plumb and Herman Weinstein, a committee of the Ladies' Turn Shoemakers' Union; Wm. L. Brower, of Local Assembly 2394; and Frederick S. James, of District Assembly 213. Following is a report of the conference:

Commissioner Donovan stated the object of the meeting, and urged both parties to endeavor to agree upon a scale of prices. Frank Silva - The trouble commenced when the men got work and no price was marked on their tickets. We called the foreman's attention to this, and he told us that he would mark the price on the tickets when we brought the work in, after it was finished. A committee waited upon Mr. Wichert, and he informed us that he intended to have the fitting done for the men; that they

were not to do their own fitting, as formerly; and for having the fitting done in another department he would take off eight cents. The men refused to accept what they consider a reduction of eight cents a pair, but they were willing to allow two cents for the fitting. Mr. Wichert refused to accept the terms offered by the men. He offered eight cents for lasting, ten cents for second lasting and sixteen cents for sewing. The men then went out on strike.

Mr. Wichert - The men have formerly done their own fitting, and that work was done by hand. I propose now to have this work done by machinery, the same as it is done in other factories, and I propose to pay as much as any first-class factory for the same grade of work. The price that I offer I claim is no reduction, when you take into consideration that the men will get their work already fitted. I am confident that they can do more work; that they can earn more money. I have tried to reason with them and convince them that they could earn better wages under the new system than they could under the old system, but they would not listen to me, neither would they give it a trial. I am now offering the men more than is paid in other factories.

Wm. L. Brower - I do not agree with Mr. Wichert when he says that he is paying as much for his work as any other factory; in fact, I know that he is not paying as much as the factory that I am working in at the present time. I do not know of any shop in this vicinity that is doing similar work.

Mr. Wichert I have done a business of $375,000 during the last year, have met with no losses, and yet have made less than two per cent. on the capital invested. I am compelled to adopt this method of doing my work, in order to compete with other manufacturers. If they will bring to me the highest prices paid by any first-class factory, I will agree to pay the same.

Commissioner Donovan

Is it a fact, Mr. Wichert, that the men

did not give the new system a trial?

Mr. Wichert - Yes, sir; that is a fact. The committee present will tell you the same thing.

George W. Myer Mr. Wichert's statement is correct as to the men not going to work under the new system. They did not try

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