Holders in particular. The opposition of the National
Founders' Association in 1900 and in 1904 increased greatly
the cost of strikes.
The United Mine Workers report the following strike
benefits as paid from 1900 to 1910:
1900 $ 144,462.50
'^ Counting the average membership at five thousand per year, says
one commentator, "the strikes cost less than two dollars per year"
(Iron Molders' Journal, September 10, 1875, p. 424).
45 1 1 STRIKE BENEFITS II3
Most of the money is said to have been spent in localities
where there was the least organization. Strikes as a means
of organization are declared to be too expensive. "The
enormous waste of money," said President Lewis, "and
the tremendous waste of energy incident to a strike should
be avoided. Our right to strike must never be surrendered,
but as the strike is an industrial war measure it should be
the last method resorted to in our effort to enforce any
demands that we present to the mine owners."®^
The Bakery and Confectionery Workers have had num-
erous small strikes, and make the following report of bene-
fits paid since the inauguration of the strike fund in 1904:^°"
Oct. I, 1904, to Oct. I, 1905, I year $ 14.355-30
" I, 1905, " Sept. I, 1906, II months 26,175.50
Sept. I, 1906, " " I, 1907, I year 10,974.00
" 1,1907," " I, 1908, I year 7,895.00
" 1,1908," " I, 1909, I year i4.553-oo
" 1,1909," " I, 1910, I year 66,845.00
" I, 1910, " Jan. I, 1911, 4 months 1.053.00
Total Benefits Paid $141,850.80
The expenditures of the Coopers for strike benefits from
1900 to 1 910 were as follows:
The higher cost in 1904-06 was not due to an increase
in the number of strikes or strikers, bu t because strikes were
83 Proceedings, 191 1, p. 50.
"° Bakers' Journal, January 14, 191 1, p. 66.
Length of Period
114 CONTROL OF STRIKES IN AMERICAN TRADE UNIONS [452
better financed than before. The next four years show the
result of larger control of strikes by the general executive
The Cigar Makers have paid out the following sums since
the inauguration of a strike fund in 1879:
Cost per member j
* Weekly dues 10 cents, t 15 cents, t 20 cents, § 25 cents, ^ 30 cents.
The total cost of strikes from 1879 to 1910 was $1,432,-
95 1 -93 •^"'^ The largest cost per member occurred in 1884
"1 Coopers' International Journal, October, 1910, p. 561: November,
1906, p. 10.
"' Cigar Makers' Official Journal, April 15, 1911, p. n.
453] STRIKE BENEFITS II5
on account of a disastrous strike in Cincinnati entered into
against the protests of the general officers, and amounted
to $I2.62yV. The strike committee reported at the 1885
convention against such large expenditures, and said:
"It is neither wise nor practical to at all times strike,
even against a reduction in wages." The rules in regard
to strikes were at that time revised and made more
1°^ Proceedings, 1885, p. 23.
The Termination of Strikes
The development of the power to end a strike has been
much the same as that of the power to initiate a strike.
From the nature of the case, however, the rules are less
rigidly enforced, especially if a favorable settlement can
Many strikes have no official end because the men gradu-
ally get work elsewhere. A strike of the Horseshoers in
New York City, for instance, was declared eight years ago
and has never been called off. Such a strike, of course,
has no real existence. A strike may be ended (i) by a vote
of the local union or local unions involved, (2) by action
of the representative or agent of the general union, (3) by
the general executive board of the national union, (4) by a
general vote, or (5) by a convention of the national union.
(i) The vote by the local union or local unions is found
in those trades where the local union has the right to
strike on its own initiative. In those unions where there
is a large measure of control by the national officers, the
vote of the local union becomes efifective only with the
consent of the national officers. The usual rule is that a
regular or special meeting of the local union must be held
and the terms of settlement submitted to a vote. Some
national unions require the same vote for concluding as
for initiating a strike; others require only a majority vote.
The vote of a local union in favor of ending a strike is not
always sanctioned by the national officers. In 1908 the
officers of the Stove Mounters declared in regard to a strike
called off by one of their local unions: "The International
Executive Board has never sanctioned the calling off of
this strike, because the Mounters who secured employ-
455] THE TERMINATION OF STRIKES II7
ment were forced to sign an individual contract and work
(2) The representative or agent of the national union,
as has been noted, is sent to the scene of the trouble as
soon as a dispute arises, and he usually remains until the
strike has been settled. The power of the general agent
in the termination of strikes appears to have grown out of
the practice of local unions in sending for their general
president when in trouble. Grand Chief Arthur of the
Locomotive Engineers brought about a settlement of several
strikes by personal efforts and conferences with railroad
officials, and today, although the matter is usually put to
a vote, the general officers of this brotherhood may termi-
nate a strike.^ The same is true of the grand master of the
Locomotive Firemen, with the consent of a majority of the
members of the executive board .^ The president of the
Conductors, together with the general committee of adjust-
ment, has similar powers."* President W. J. Smith of the
Flint Glass Workers in 1887 in conjunction with a com-
mittee of the local union brought to an end a strike that had
been going on for a year.^ The presidents of the Boiler
Makers, the Stone Cutters, and other unions intervene in
like manner when the necessity arises.
On account of a disastrous strike in 1 884-1 885, the Cigar
Makers adopted the device of arbitration and the sending
of agents to the scene of any strike. In 1906 the national
union sent two representatives to adjust a dispute. The
local union did not desire the presence of these two officials,
Ex- President Strasser and W. S. Best, who finally reached
an agreement with the manufacturers and brought the
strike to an end. The local union had the right to an appeal
to a general vote against the action of the general repre-
^ Proceedings, 1908, p. 8.
''Locomotive Engineers' Monthly Journal, May, 1875, p. 255;
January, 1877, p. 29; February, 1877, pp. 65-71.
' Locomotive Firemen's Magazine, November, 1894, p. 1079. This
in case two thirds of the members refuse to declare a strike off._
* Constitution, 1909, sec. 74. A strike on the Erie Railroad in 1891
was settled by Grand Chief Conductor Clark and the national officers
(Railway Conductor, February 15, 189 1, p. 127).
' Proceedings, 1887, p. 29.
Il8 CONTROL OF STRIKES IN AMERICAN TRADE UNIONS [456
sentatives, but contented itself by protesting in the columns
of the official organ. Agent Strasser said: "The duty of
the arbitrators and agent is to represent the interests of
the International Union, regardless of the local instructions
of the strike committee. It is also their duty to bring about
an amicable and honorable adjustment of the trouble as
speedily as possible, thus saving the funds of the Inter-
national Union, which would be otherwise wasted; and to
maintain the honor and reputation of the International
Union for fair dealing with union manufacturers."® The
decision of the representatives of the national union to
terminate a strike in New Haven was approved by the
executive board and then by a general vote.'' In 1892 the
executive board of the Bricklayers and Masons was author-
ized to send a deputy to the scene of any strike to investi-
gate and report as to prospects of success, and if these
reports were unfavorable the board was to declare the
strike off.^ Such procedure is a common practice in most
unions, and in most cases the general representative acts
in conjunction with the local officials. A common rule is
that final settlements must be made in the presence of the
The duties of a representative in the Stone Cutters'
Union is defined thus: "He shall immediately proceed to
the headquarters of said Branch where strike or lockout
exists and give them assistance within his power to settle
said strike or lockout, final decision to be given by the
Executive Board. "^° A good deal of authority is given
to the general representative. His decisions are binding
in some unions and subject to approval of the executive
board or a general vote in others.
When a number of national unions are involved in a
strike, a settlement is usually brought about by the officials
^ Cigar Makers' Official Journal, September 15, 1906, p. 3.
^ Ibid., February 15, 1909, p. 8. This same procedure is followed
by the Plumbers and the Tobacco Workers.
* Proceedings, 1892, p. 96.
^ Stove Mounters, Proceedings, 1901, p. 12; Paper Makers, Consti-
tution, 1912, art. vi, sec. 2.
1" Proceedings, 1904, p. 33.
457] THE TERMINATION OF STRIKES II9
of the various unions. In the settlement of a general
strike in the shops of the Missouri Pacific Railway system
in 1 9 10, terms of settlement were signed by the national
officers of the Machinists, the Boiler Makers, the Black-
smiths, and the Sheet Metal Workers.^^ A general strike
by the employees of the International Paper Company in
1 9 10 was terminated by an agreement signed by the officers
of the company and by representatives of the Paper
Makers, the Pulp Sulphite and Paper Mill Workers, the
Machinists, the Steam Fitters, the Steam Engineers, the
Electrical Workers, a general organizer of the American
Federation of Labor, and the chairman of the Bureau of
Mediation and Arbitration of the State of New York.^^
(3) The representative or agent is usually sent by the
general executive board of the national union, and in that
board the supreme executive authority of the union is
vested. As previously stated, the board is made up of the
national officers, including the president, and, in some
unions, of additional representatives from the general
membership. The tendency is toward a larger measure of
control by this body in termination of strikes. The Iron
Molders saw the necessity of some central control in
bringing unsuccessful strikes to a close, and in 1874 vested
such power in the president and four vice-presidents.^^
Two strikes were settled by these officers during 1 874-1 876.
The president in his report in 1876 said that "he had no
extraordinary power as he must consult with and abide
by the wishes of the four vice-presidents." A provision
for two weeks' notice to the local union on strike was added
to the rules at this convention, and in 1878 the power was
transferred to the president and the executive board .^^
In some unions action to stop a strike has been taken by
the national officers on their own responsibility because con-
ditions rendered it necessary to terminate the strike. For
" Machinists' Monthly Journal, February, 191 1, pp. 113, 160.
12 Report of the New York State Department of Labor, 19 10, pp.
^' Iron Molders' Journal, August, 1874, p. 4.
" Proceedings, 1876, pp. 7, 82.
120 CONTROL OF STRIKES IN AMERICAN TRADE UNIONS [458
example, the officials of the Flint Glass Workers called off
a strike in 1886 and declared strike benefits at an end.
The strikers protested against this action; but similar
decisions were quoted as precedents, and as these pre-
cedents had passed unquestioned by any convention a
warrant for them was thus given. The result was that
authority to terminate strikes was given to the executive
board .^'^ The Locomotive Firemen provide that in case
two thirds of the members on a division or system refuse to
declare a strike off, it can be ended by the grand master
together with a majority vote of the general executive
board. In case the president and the general committee
of adjustment of the Conductors cannot agree, the board
of trustees of that union, after a strike has been in force
ten days, can decide, and their decision is final. ^^ A num-
ber of unions, Hke the Barbers, the Boot and Shoe Workers,
the Box Makers, the Bricklayers and Masons, the Bridge
and Structural Iron Workers, the Cutting Die and Cutter
Makers, the Freight Handlers, the Lace Curtain Operatives,
the Metal Polishers, the Pattern Makers, the Iron, Tin
and Steel Workers, the Retail Clerks, the Stogie Makers,
the Stone Cutters, the Tile Layers, the Tin Plate Workers,
the Powder Workers, and the Woodworkers, give their
executive boards definite power to end a strike. In some
unions a strike by a local union may be appealed directly
to the national union by the firm or company against which
the strike is called. In the case of a firm in Denver whose
bricklayers refused to handle material made by a certain
manufacturer, the executive board of the Bricklayers and
Masons ordered the strike off.^^
The real power of the general executive board is found
in its control of strike benefits. If there are no strike
benefits, the local union on strike can accept or reject the
advice of the executive board. The development of this
control has been traced in previous chapters. Where
15 Proceedings, 1887, pp. 30, 80.
1^ Locomotive Firemen's Magazine, November, 1894, p. 1079;
Proceedings, 1897, P- 10; Constitution, 1909, sec. 74.
" Forty-third Annual Report, 1908, p. 26.
459] THE TERMINATION OF STRIKES 121
Strike benefits are paid, a strike may be practically ended
by the withdrawal of strike benefits. Some national
unions, such as, for example, the Amalgamated Glass
Workers, the Boiler Makers, the Broom Makers, the Cap
Makers, the Carpenters and Joiners, the International
Seamen, the Iron Molders, the Ladies' Garment Workers,
the Painters, the Teamsters, the Tile Layers, and the
Wood Carvers, give their presidents and general executive
boards discretionary power to declare a strike at an end
so far as financial aid from the general union is concerned.
Local unions may continue the struggle on their own
financial responsibility, but such action virtually ends a
strike. In the same way, in 1911, the general executive
board of the Coopers discontinued paying benefits to a
local union, believing that the general organization had
done its duty to the local union.^^ A number of unions
also set a definite time limit for the payment of benefits,
and as a rule this limit, unless extended, automatically
ends a strike.
(4) A general vote of all local unions is required in a
number of general unions before a strike can be terminated.
A general vote of the division or railroad system to which
the men belong is taken in the railroad brotherhoods like
the Locomotive Engineers, the Locomotive Firemen, the
Conductors, and the Trainmen on the acceptance of the
terms of settlement. The Flint Glass Workers, the Lake
Seamen, the Operative Potters, and some other unions
require a vote of all members before a strike can be termi-
nated. A strike continues indefinitely with the Flint
Glass Workers until so ended, but benefits lapse at the end
of a year unless continued by a general vote.^^ A special
convention may be called to consider the termination of a
strike. The Commercial Telegraphers in 1907 called a
special convention which appointed a "Peace Committee"
to adjust the strike, but finally the question was submitted
to a vote of all the local unions and carried.^" A very
^^ Coopers' International Journal, April, 191 1, p. 239.
1^ Proceedings, 191 1, pp. 34, 181.
20 Commercial Telegraphers' Journal, November, 1907, pp. 11, 40, 42.
122 CONTROL OF STRIKES IN AMERICAN TRADE UNIONS [46O
common usage is that of the United Mine Workers in sub-
mitting terms of settlement to a general vote. The Ohio
local unions embracing District No. 6 held a convention in
1895 and took up the question of agreement with the
operators, and then submitted the same to a referendum
vote of the miners of Ohio. The vote was 5091 in favor
and 4351 against.^^ In 1910 the demands of the operators
were submitted to the members in Illinois by the executive
board and refused by a vote of 45,190 to 1435, and the end
of the strike came through the operators acceding to the
demands of the United Mine Workers.^^ In some unions,
after a strike has lasted a definite period, as for twenty
weeks with the Piano Workers ,^^ a referendum vote is
necessary to continue it longer. The decision of the na-
tional deputy in favor of terminating a strike, if not agree-
able to the local union, is submitted to a general vote by
the Box Makers, the Cigar Makers, the Plumbers, and the
Tobacco Workers, and if so approved, becomes binding.
(5) The termination of a strike by a convention of the
national union or of the district unions occurs frequently
because sovereignty in the national union is usually found
in the convention. Some unions, however, submit all rules
or changes made to a referendum vote. The convention
of the Iron Molders, for instance, in 1876 discontinued
strikes in five places. After the president and other
officers of the Chain Makers had had many conferences
and a referendum vote for a settlement was lost, a con-
vention in 1908 declared off a strike which had lasted for
three years.^^ In 1904 on the occasion of a strike in West
Virginia a special convention of the United Mine Workers
of the New River District was called by the authority of
the general officers. The whole situation was explained
to the delegates at the convention, and by a large majority
the convention declared the strike at an end.^' Likewise
21 United Mine Workers' Journal, June 6, 1895, p. i; June 13, 1895,
"^ Proceedings, 191 1, p. 73.
2* Constitution, 1906, art. vi, sec. I.
^ Proceedings, 1908, p. 80.
^^ Proceedings, 1904, p. 42.
46l] THE TERMINATION OF STRIKES 123
in 1 901 a proposition for strike settlement by several
anthracite coal operators was considered at the Scranton
Convention and accepted. A proclamation declaring the
strike officially ended was issued after being signed by the
national executive board and the presidents and secretaries
of districts nos. i, 7, and 9.
The local union or unions involved in a strike are bound
to accept the terms of a settlement brought about by duly
constituted authority. The Metal Polishers follow the
general usage in declaring that "any local union accepting
a settlement contrary to the decision of all local unions or
the National Executive Board shall be expelled by the
International Union upon presentation of sufficient evi-
dence of guilt."^^ Not only may such action be penalized
by revocation of charter, but individual members may be
suspended if they refuse to obey the instructions of the
general officers to return to work in such unions as the
Blacksmiths, the Brush Makers, the Iron Molders, and the
Printing Pressmen. The places of the strikers may even
be filled and the strike thus terminated. Usually, how-
ever, such action is not necessary, as the simple withdrawal
of strike benefits compels acceptance on the part of even
recalcitrant local unions.
26 Proceedings, 1911, p. 178.
Actors' International Union, 26,
Affiliation, length of period of,
38, 102 (note).
American and Examiner (Chi-
cago), strike on, 67.
American Federation of Labor,
representation of, in strike,
American Newspaper Publish-
ers' Association, 36, 66.
American Railway Union, 58, 61.
Amnesty, during strikes, 83.
Appeal, right of, 44, ili, 117.
Arbitration, agreements for, 31,
33, 35; use of, 54, 117.
Arthur, P. M., 20, 34, 46, 57, 59,
Assessments, strike, 98 (note).
Automobiles, use of, during
Autonomy, local, 11, 71.
Bakery and Confectionery
Workers' International Union,
32, 38, 42; strike management
of, 74, 78, 82, 84; strike bene-
fits of, 99, loi, 109, no, 113.
Baltimore Cigar Makers, 80.
Barbers' International Union,
Journeymen, 32, 38, 49 ; deputy
of, 74; strike assessment of, 97
(note) ; strike benefits of, 99,
loi, 109; strike termination in,
Barnett, G. E., 13, 55, 77, 79, 94.
Barrett, grand master of Switch-
men's Mutual Aid Association,
Beer agency during strike, 87.
Benefits, strike, amounts paid in,
Benevolent and Protective Spin-
ners' Association of New Eng-
Best, W. S., 117.
Bill Posters and Billers of Amer-
ica, International Alliance of,
Brotherhood of, 44, 46, 48,
75; strike benefits, 99, 102;
strike termination in, 119, 123.
Blast Furnace Workers and
Smelters, National Associa-
tion of, 49, 71.
Boiler Makers and Iron Ship-
builders, Brotherhood of, 43,
62; strike notices in, 77; re-
instatement in, 81 ; strike ben-
efits of, 97 (note), 99; strike
termination in, 119, 121.
Brotherhood of, 41, 42, 44, 55,
64, 78, 82, 99, 104, 109.
Boot and Shoe Workers' Un-
ion, 33, 55 ; illegal strike of,
64, 68; centralization in, 70;
strike benefits of, 99, loi ; ex-
ecutive board of, 120.
Bowen, president of Bricklay-
ers and Masons, 27.
Box Makers and Sawyers,
United Order of, 19; fines in,
64; strike termination in, 120,
Brewery Workmen, Interna-
tional Union of the United,
arbitration in, 32; aflfiliation
period of, 38; strike vote in,
41, 42; independent strikes of,
50, 55 ; beer agency of, 87
(and note) ; strike benefits of,
96, 99, 100, 105, 109.
Brick, Tile and Terra Cotta
Workers' Alliance, Interna-
tional, district council of, 72 ;
strike benefits of, 99, in.
Bricklayers and Masons' Inter-
national Union, strike control
of, 15; strike vote of, 16, 17;
deputy of, 20, 23, 27, 118; ar-
bitration in, 31 ; time affilia-
tion provision of, 39; seasonal
strikes of, 44; strike limita-
tions of, 47; independent
strikes of, 50, 69; strike man-
agement of, 77, 87; strike
benefits of, 89, 91, 95, 97, 99,
103, 106, 107, hi; executive
power of, 120.
Bridge and Structural Iron
Workers, International Asso-
ciation of, 98 (note), 99, loi,
Broom and Whiskmakers' Un-
ion, International, 42 ; inde-
pendent strike of district
union of, 51 ; fines of, 81 ;
strike benefits of, 99, 109, 121.
Brush Makers' International
Union, 41, 81, 123.
Buffalo Tailors, 79.
Building Trades' Strike, 50.
Bureau of Mediation and Arbi-
tration of the State of New
Burlington Strike, 83, iii.
Cannon, president of Cigar
Car Workers, International As-
sociation of, 24, 73, 99.
Carpenters and joiners, United
Brotherhood of, deputy of,
23; arbitration provision of,
32; limitations of number of
strikes of, 47; independent
strikes of, 54; district council
of, 72 ; fines of, 81 ; picketing
during strikes, 84; strike ben-
efits of, 99, 103, 107, 121.
Carr, president of Bricklayers
and Masons, 91.
Carriage and Wagon Workers'