Thomas A. Smith.

Twelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Statistics and Information of Maryland. 1903. Thomas A. Smith, Chief. (Volume 1904) online

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meeting of the master builders in July, 1902, was as follow:


"That on and after May r, 1903, we will adopt eight hours as a legal
day's work for carpenters at a minimum rate of $2.75 per day;" there-
be it

Resolved by the Master- Builders' Association of Baltimore City,
That we hereby adopt eight hours as a legal day's work for carpenters,
at the rate of $275 per day. This to go into effect on and after
May I, 1903.

Resolved, That while we do not discourage trade organizations, but
rather encourage them, we will not be dictated to by any organization
of labor as to whom we shall employ in our business in any capacity.
In order that we may be more fully understood by those we may employ,
the following resolutions are adopted :

Resolved, That we, the master builders, will further state that we are
unalterably opposed to any card system that will in any way abridge
the rights and liberties of ourselves or any workman in our employ,
or who wishes to be employed by us, or any person or persons that
may be employed by us as sub-contractors, or in any capacity whatever.

Among those present at the meeting were Messrs. Walter Burham,
C. S. M. Williamson, Milton C. Davis, George Pierson, T. B. Stanfield,
Elmer Stanfield, Edward Watters, Edward Brady, Fred Walsh, John
Smith, J. Henry Miller, Conrad Kratz, John W. Kratz, Arthur Brown,
William T Murphy, George Bunnecke, Henry S. Rippel, J. J. Knight,
Fred Decker, R. H. Frazier, Clarence Frazier, H. H. Brown, Charles
Morrow, Joseph Lamb and Israel Griffith.

The officers of this new association of employers were as
follows: President, Jefferson J. Walsh; first vice-president,
John Trainor; second vice-president, L. A. Winder; secretary,
John M. Hering, and treasurer, John K. Howe. One of the
first steps of the new association was to appoint a conciliatory
committee, and invite the representatives of the unions to
meet said committee and discuss the proposed agreement and
demands of the men. Unfortunately, though, the invitation to
meet was accepted, the date or time was misunderstood and
the builders' representatives waited in vain for the appearance
of the unions' representatives.

The first proposition of the Master Builders' Association
to their employees in answer to their demands was as follows :

"Eight hours shall constitute a day's work, and owing to our posi-
ti^■e knowledge that there is a diff^erence in the quality of workmanship
among the mechanics employed by us we would make the scale of


wages to be a minimum of $2.75 per day and grade the pay of workmen:
according to the quality and ability as displayed among the men em-
ployed by us to an amount not exceeding $3.25 per day, and in the
event of working two or more shifts of men in any one twenty-four
hours, eight hours shall constitute a day's work for each shift at the
same minimum pay.''

In answer to the Master Builders' Association's propositioit
the unions presented the following proposition :

"Rule I — Eight hours shall constitute a day's work at the minimum
rate of $3 per day, with the right to work two shifts of men at straight
time and pay, provided that no man who has worked in previous shift be
allowed to work in the following shift unless time and half time be

"Rule 6 — A unanimous decision taken to claim the recognition of
the carpenter's card on the work."

The demand was made from the District Council of Carpen-
ters to the Master Builders' Exchange, and the notice of such
demand was sent them six months prior to May i, 1903. as per
the agreement made in 1902. In reply to this demand the
Master Builders offered to grant the demand for eight hours
a day, but refused to grant the $3.00 a day, offering instead
$2.75 per day of eight hours.

Consequent upon this refusal, a strike of the carpenters'
seven imions was ordered on May i, 1903, and the strike lasted
until May 16. At this time a number of builders, not affiliated
with the Master Builders' Exchange, offered to give the $3.00-
per day for eight hours.

The terms that they offered, however, were of varied char-
acter, and they claimed that they had no right to sign an agree-
ment, as they were not members of the Master Builders' As-

One of the main causes for the refusal of the Master Build-
ers' Association to sign the agreement was the demand for a
general card system in the building trades, that is, that the
Building Trades' Section of the Federation of Labor, compris-
ing carpenters, bricklayers, structural iron builders, plumbers,
etc., demanded that no one should be employed on a building
except those who had cards from some union connected with
the building Trades' Section. This the Master Builders' Asso-
ciation positively refused.


Pending' this controversy, the I>Liilflinf»- Trades' Section of
the Federation of Labor separated, and by May i6 nearly all
of the leading- builders and a number of contractors granted
the $3.00 ])er day and eight hours as a day's work, and sufficient
of them had signed the agreement to establish the rate de-
manded until May i, 1904.

The largest number of men on strike at any one time was
about 400, and not all of them were out at one time, as many of
the builders signed the contract almost immediately after the
demand was made and work continued.

The general result of the strike, so far as the carpenters
were concerned, was to give a great impetus to the organization,
resulting in over 2,000 members joining the various unions,
and bringing about an esprit de corps among the membership
that had not existed in many years.

The following is a copy of the agreement which the carpen-
ters requested their employers to sign :

United Brotherhood ot Carpenters and Joiners oe America.

Between the Master Builders' Association, Boss Builders, Contractors,
and District Council, Baltimore and vicinity, Brotherhood of Carpen-
ters and Joiners of America, to remain in force from May i, 190. ., to
May I, 190. ..

This Agreement, entered into this day of A. D., i. . ., by

and between the Master Builders' Association, Boss Builders, of
Baltimore City, party of the first part, and the District Council United
Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, and the Unions
affiliated therewith, party of the second part. Witnesseth :

First. — The party of the first part agrees that will employ as

carpenters none but members of Unions affiliated with District Council,
Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

Second. — The party of the first part agrees to pay $3.00 per day of
eight hours, as a minimum rate of wages.

Third. — The party of the second part agrees that from the date of
the signing of this agreement until May i, 190. ., that no strike shall
take place, either for an increase of pay or shorter hours.

Fourth. — The party of the first part and the party of the second part
agree that in future all agreements shall be made in November prior
to the expiration of agreement of May following.

Fifth. — It is agreed that in all matters of dispute, which they are
unable mutually to adjust, shall be submitted to an arbitration com-


mittee composed as follows : Three members to be chosen by the
builders of Baltimore and three members by the District Council of
Carpenters, these to select a seventh member, their decision to be

Sixth. — All agreements after the expiration of this agreement shall
be for one year and date from May i.

Seventh. — This agreement shall be signed by the Master Builders'
Association, or Boss Builders, or Contractors, as the case may be, party
of the first part, and by the President and Recording Secretary of the
District Council, and the Business Agent, as parties of the second part.

During the strike the city authorities were drawn into the
controversy with the strikers, Mr. Preston, Building Inspector,
being "requested to refuse to employ any person from outside
the city or from unorganized labor. The committee of the
Building Trades' Council waited upon Mayor Hayes and called
his attention to the ordinance passed April ii, 1898, which pro-
hibits any person not a registered voter of the city from work-
ing on public buildings. During the controversy between Mr.
Preston and the organization, the Building Inspector notified
all contractors having work for the city under way, that accord-
ing to Ordinace 59, passed in 1902, the men should be paid
"such wages as are established at the time of the making
of the contract." Plad this been carried out by the contractors
a number of men would have had their wages reduced from 25
to 50 cents per day. However, this result was not reached
and the speedy termination of the controversy ended this dis-

At one time during the trouble a general strike was antici-
pated of all the building trades in the city, but this was avoided
by a compromise settlement, in which the general working
card system, which had been demanded by the men, was
abandoned and the carpenters finished the struggle single-

Another result of the strike was that friction occurred
between the various building trades organizations, which cul-
minated later on in the carpenters withdrawing from the
Federation of Labor.

This incident was a result of the Bricklayers, Stone Masons
and Plasterers' Union refusing to obey the order to strike


generally when that decision was made by the Building Trades
Section of the Federation of Labor. These unions were then
turned out of the Building Trades' Section of the Federation
and finally the carpenters abandoned that section entirely.

On May i the compositors, eight in number, employed by
the Summers Printing Company, who had become members
of the Typographical Union a few weeks previous, demanded of
their employers a recognition of the union card. The company
was paying union wages, and the demand was to enforce union
rules and to have what is called a "closed shop," so far as the
•compositors were concerned. The eight compositors went on
strike on the order of the union and remained out until May
22, at which time the company agreed to recognize the union
and the cards held by their employees. The matter was thus
settled and a victory gained for the union.


The members of Steam Fitters' Union No. 435 and of Steam
Fitters' Helpers' Union No. 438 went on strike on Friday, May
■6, after having made a demand for a working day of eight
hours and $3.00 per day for fitters and $2.00 per day for

The Master Fitters' Association entered into an agreement
with the Fitters' Union in 1902, said agreement being for a
minimum wage scale of $2.50 and a work-day of nine hours;
the Master Fitters also agreed not to employ any but union men,
while the fitters agreed not to strike, but to submit any dif-
ferences or disagreements that might arise to an arbitration
■committee. This agreement would have expired on June 3,
1903. When on presentation of a new agreement by the union,
the Master Fitters said they would not take up the matter
unless the men returned to work, and subsequently, on May
12, the Master Fitters' Association notified the unions that they
"had broken their agreement without warrant and that unless
the men returned to work by Wednesday, May 13, the firms
which were members of the association would request all


their employees to resign from the union and would then put
them back to work.

A number of the men stayed out until June i. In the mean-
time some of the firms conceded the demands of the men and
by June lall had returned to work, either by the signing of an
agreement or without any agreement whatever.

It was the concensus of opinion that the strike was ill-advised
at the time and it was by no means successful.


The molders employed by the Henry McShane Manufactur-
ing Company, to the number of 175, went on strike about April
I for an increase of wages and for a better equipment of the
shop. This strike was ordered by the Iron Molders' Unions
Nos. 19 and 24, and the strike has never been settled, many of
tlie men who left having sought employment elsewhere and
some few having returned to work.

During the pendency of this strike the Henry McShane
Manufacturing Company filed a bill in the United States Cir-
cuit Court against the Iron Molders' Unions Nos. 19 and 24,
and named a number of the members of those unions in the

The petition for the bill alleged as follows :

That prior to March 30, 1903, the company had been paying their
molders 10 per cent, in excess of the standard wage established by the
union, when their wages were reduced to the standard wage scale.
Eighteen molders, it says, protested at the reduction, but continued to
work. The reduction was reported to -the union and on advice of
that body they informed the company that unless the wages were
restored they would strike, and in combination with others would close
up the shops. The wages were not restored, it says, and it was then
that the molders and their assistants, whose wages had not been re-
duced, proceeded to carry out their threat.

The complainant says it was necessary to reduce the wages of the
molders in order to compete with firms in similar business. The strike
commenced April 2, 1903, and since that time, the petition says, the
strikers have congregated about the shops, and have intimidated and
threatened the employees who had remained at work. From the action
of the strikers the company says it has been unable to fill contracts and
that the threats of the locked-out men are becoming more dangerous
and oppressive.


Judge Morris signed an order setting down the hearing for the
motion on the injunction for June 13, and it appearing, the court said
that there is danger of irrepressible injury being caused to the com-
plainant before the hearing unless the defendants are restrained. It
is further ordered by the court that the defendants be restrained in
any manner whatever from using threats, force, violence, intimidation,
ridicule or violent or abusive language toward the workmen employed
by the defendant. Furthermore, the order prohibits the strikers from
gathering at or about the places of business of the Henry McShane
Manufacturing Company and inducing by threats, etc., and of the em-
ployees to refuse to perform their duties, following the workmen to
■or from their work, and of establishing pickets near or around the

The strike has never been declared off and the company
employed new hands to the number of 145.

The wage loss to the men is reported to be about $30,000
so far.


The strike in the marine department of the Maryland Steel
Company for shorter hours was practically a failure, the
company refusing to deal with the union and employing other
help. The members of the union on strike were paid $5.00
and $7.00, respectively, by the union.


The bricklayers employed on the Naval Academy at Annap-
olis, who struck on March 19, went back to work, as the strike
was declared off by the Bricklayers' Union on March 24,
a settlement having been effected by the vice-president of the
Bricklayers' International Union.

The bricklayers employed on the State House annex, who
went on strike against the sub-contractor in May last, returned
to work, the matter having been settled by the employment of
a new sub-contractor. Work had been stopped for about ten
days. Mr. J. W. Ringrose, president of the Baltimore Union,
was sent down to Annapolis to adjust the matter, and he
decided that it was not a matter for interference and that the
union men could return to work.

On June 25 some of the hod-carriers employed on the State
House annex were discharged for refusing to obey orders,


and these induced others to quit work with them. They
were notified that unless they returned by i o'clock other
carriers would be put to work in their places, and all the men
returned to work, there being practically no stoppage.


Owing to the fact that the American Bridge Company, of
Pittsburg, broke their agreement with the International Asso-
ciation of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers by employing
three men in a gang instead of four, and also by
sub-letting riveting to non-union men, the members
of the local organization. No. i6, located in Maryland, who
were working at Ilchester on a bridge, were ordered on strike.

The trouble first started in New York, and extended to
Brooklyn, Pittsburg and elsewhere.

The employees of Gilligan Bros., who were working for the
Consolidated Gas Company, at the foot of Leadenhall street,
also went on strike, but returned to work in a few days.

Most of the men employed at Ilchester were taken to Wash-
ington and put to work on the new Willard Hotel.


Early in June the members of the Carriage and Wagon
Workers' Union made a demand upon their employers for a
nine-hour work-day and eight hours on Saturday, with the
same scale of wages. The Association of Carriage and Wagon
Builders, composed of employers, refused the request, and on
June 3 nearly all the employees of the twenty-six firms, to the
number of 320, went on strike. The strike lasted until August
28, some of the firms conceding the demands, but the majority
of them refusing, and also refusing to recognize the workmen's

The statements of the employees and their employers were
very wide apart, the men claiming the number as stated above
being on strike, while the employers claimed that only 102
men were out.

Mr. Wm. Cameron was the Business Agent of the Carriage
and Wagon Workers' Union. A number of the men returned


to work, and the places of those who remained out on strike
were taken by non-union men.

The union claimed that the following firms granted their
demands, along with a number of others, who were not
reported :

John C. Raum & Son, 303 South Sharp street; Harry Meis-
ner, 1106 East Madison street; George Kerchenhofer, Eager
and Bond streets ; Marr & Burggraf , 229 Pearl street ; Faethe
& Deitz, 205 North street; V. Dicke, 204 North Wolfe street;
George Germeten, Pennsylvania avenue and Robert street;
George Wilkens, Pratt street and Fremont avenue ; John Miller,
2033 Frederick avenue; John Rheinhard, Frederick avenue;
A. Weber, 1014 Hanover street.

The strike was never settled and can only be considered
as being partially successful. The members of the union esti-
mate that the wage loss aggregated fully $40,000.

On the ist of June the bakers of Baltimore commenced to
discuss the questions of higher wages and shorter hours of
labor. They were organized in the Hebrew Union No. 209,
and in the Bohemian Union No. 326, and the German Union
No. 12. After considerable preparation and organization the
unions presented the following agreement to their employers
with the request that the same be signed and the demands
granted :

Journeymen Bakers and Coneectioners' Union, No. 12,

Baltimore, Md.


Whereas, In the past differences and inconveniences have arisen

between bosses and employees, and trade has been interfered with

and strikes and losses to both parties have resulted, and.

Whereas, Both parties are desirous of arriving at a common under-
standing and agreement which will prevent such difficulties in the
future :

Now, Therefore, this Agreement, entered into this day of

190. .between of Baltimore, Md., party of the first part, and with

Local Union, No. 12, of Baltimore, Md., of the Journeymen Bakers and
Confectioners' International Union of x-Vmerica, party of the second
part ; Witnesseth :


The said party of the second part, hereby agrees to protect
the said party of the first part against all strikes of the members of
the party of the second part, providing the rules below are lived up to,
and to grant the party of the first part the use of the labels of the
Journeymen Bakers and Confectioners' International Union of America,
subject to the further provisions of this agreement, and to furnish such
union men as may be necessary to do the work of the first party if
possible. The said party of the first part liereby agrees :

First — That he will employ none but members of the Journeymen
Bakers and Confectioners' International Union of America belonging
to Local Union, No. 12; all men to be engaged through the agency of
Local Union No. 12, located at 1011-13 East Baltimore street, Balti-
more, Md.

Second — Not to compel any journeyman to board with employer.

Third — Work shall only be allowed six days in the week, and work-
ing-time shall not exceed ten hours per day or night. Overtime is
only allowed in case of necessity and shall be paid for at the rate of
twenty-five cents an hour.

Fourth — Not to employ more than one apprentice to every five men
or less.

Fifth — The party of the first part also agrees to place the union label
on every loaf of bread made in his bakery —

(a) Said labels to be furnished by the party of the second part at
the rate of yYz cents per one thousand labels.

{b) For each bakery there shall be issued as many labels at a time
as shall be consumed in two weeks.

(c) The foreman of each department shall have the custody of the
labels, and account for same to the party of the second part.

(d) In case of non-compliance with this agreement, the Union re-
serves the right to withdraw the labels and its members.

Sixth — No employee shall be allowed to work on the following
holidays, viz : New Year, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving
Day and Christmas, the day-men to have the day and the night-men
to have the night of the aforesaid holidays, wages not to be deducted.

Seventh — We will meet any employer who may have a grievance
against any man or men.

Eighth — The business agent bearing the credentials from the Bakers
LTnion, Local 12, shall be allowed in shop during working hours, pro-
vided he applies at the office of employer for admission.

Ninth — The scale of wages shall be as follows : Oven hands and
dough-mixers not less than $14.00 per week; bench hands not less than
$12.00 per week; jobbers, per day or night, $2.50.

Tenth — Wages to be paid at the end of the week and no money
kept back.


Eleventh — Where five men or more are employed, the sliding system
aiiall be adopted in the dull season, foreman and dough-mixer to be

Twelfth— And we, the members of the aforesaid union, agree in
consideration thereof at all times to assist the party of the first part
m every way which may lie in our power to successfully conduct and
increase his or their business.

This agreement shall take effect igo. ., and expire 190...

[n witness whereof, the parties have hereunto set their hand and
seals the day and year first mentioned above.

As this was refused, about 200 Germans connected with
I^cal Union No. 12 quit work on June 7, and they were shortly
followed by a number of bakers of different nationalities
throughout the city.

The first result of the strike was that three of the large
bakeries were compelled to close their doors, and a number of
small bakeries throughout the city were also compelled to shut

The strike continued until August 8. In the meantime a
number of the small bakeries agreed to the demands of the
men and some of them signed the agreement. Bread became
scarce for a few days during June, but subsequently many of
the men returned to work and their wages were increased in
some forty shops, mostly smaller ones, and the number of work-
ing hours reduced. The strike was finally declared oflf by the
unions, after having been only partially, successful. The strike
was originally ordered by Bakers and Confectioners' Union
No. 12, being the Germans, but was subsequently joined by the
other unions. Some disturbances occurred during the strike
oi minor importance.

The demands made by the bakers, even if granted, would by
no means have brought the wages of the bakers of Baltimore
up to the standard of those in Washington, Philadelphia and
other cities.


About twenty-one males and females, employed by Messrs.

Online LibraryThomas A. SmithTwelfth Annual Report of the Bureau of Statistics and Information of Maryland. 1903. Thomas A. Smith, Chief. (Volume 1904) → online text (page 3 of 30)